News: Cam Talbot stopped all 26 shots he faced to blank the Flyers on Friday. Analysis: That gives Cam Talbot back-to-back shutouts against the Flyers, who failed to get one by the netminder when the two teams met last week. Despite his extraordinary success against Philadelphia, coach Alain Vigneault will resist the temptation to go back to him in Saturday's rematch, as Henrik Lundqvist has already been announced as that game's starter. In any case, the back-to-back positive turns amount to a nice confidence boost for Talbot, who had mostly struggled in his other outings this season.
News: Frederik Andersen led the Ducks on to the ice and will make the start in goal Friday versus the Blackhawks. Analysis: Frederik Andersen has reeled off three straight wins on the heels of a five-game losing streak, but he'll face a stiff test at home against Chicago. Friday's game will mark the first of a back-to-back set for the Ducks, so it's possible coach Bruce Boudreau will turn to backup Jason LaBarbera on Saturday.
News: Jesse Blacker was recalled from AHL Norfolk on Friday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Clayton Stoner was officially diagnosed with the mumps virus and ruled out of Friday's game against the Blackhawks, forcing the Ducks to bring up Jesse Blacker for his NHL debut. The 23-year-old, who is considered one of the organization's better blue line prospects, has four points in 14 games with Norfolk.
News: Clayton Stoner (illness) has been officially diagnosed with the mumps virus and will not play Friday against the Blackhawks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Clayton Stoner practiced Thursday and seemed well on his way to returning to action, but apparently some late-emerging symptoms of the mumps will knock him out of action. The setback has to be concerning for the Ducks, who now might have to worry about further players potentially being infected by Stoner. Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin previously missed multiple games with the illness.
News: Mike Green (upper body) will not play Friday against the Islanders, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: Jack Hillen will spell him in the Capitals' lineup for the second straight game. It hasn't been reported that Mike Green has resumed skating since suffering the injury, so it's not clear when he might rejoin the lineup.
News: Johnny Boychuk will miss Friday's game against the Capitals with an upper-body injury. Analysis: Johnny Boychuk had been missing practices recently with a suspected knee issue, so the fact that he'll sit out Friday with an upper-body injury comes as a surprise. The blueliner, who has been highly productive since coming over in a trade with the Bruins late in training camp, will be considered day-to-day for the time being. Brian Strait takes his spot in the lineup Friday.
News: Chad Johnson will be in the crease Friday against the Capitals. Analysis: Chad Johnson will spell the red-hot Jaroslav Halak in goal, but only because the Islanders are playing the first game of a back-to-back set. The move from Boston to Long Island hasn't proven overly kind for Johnson, despite the 5-2 record he carries into Friday's contest. His 3.33 GAA and .876 save percentage rank 38th and 42nd, respectively, among the 42 qualifying goaltenders.
News: Braden Holtby made 26 saves on 28 shots in Friday's win over the Islanders. Analysis: Just another day at the office for the 25-year-old, who has been on top of his game lately. Braden Holtby is 5-2-1 in his last eight games, allowing only 13 goals in that span. He is on track to reach 30 wins for the first time in his career. With a respectable .916 save percentage and 2.27 GAA, Holtby is a must-start every night he gets the call.
News: Chris Neil recorded a goal and an assist during Friday's 3-2 loss to the Panthers. He also chipped in with five three shots on goal, seven hits, five penalty minutes and a blocked shot. Analysis: It was a rare, multi-category night for Chris Neil, who is typically known for his PIMs and not much else, having failed to crack the 20-point plateau in three of the past four seasons. Enjoy the power surge while it lasts, because it won't.
News: Nick Spaling continues to skate with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist at even strength, giving him fantasy value while he serves as a top-six forward. Analysis: Although it's unlikely he sticks with Pittsburgh's top line for an extended period, Nick Spaling figures to pick up the occasional point through osmosis with Crosby and Hornqvist. With Pascal Dupuis (blood clot) out for six months and Beau Bennett (knee) sidelined for two weeks, Spaling could serve as a useful fantasy piece in the short run. He's got eight points in 22 games for Pittsburgh after totaling 32 points in 71 contests with Nashville last season.