News: Oscar Klefbom (foot) will return to the lineup Thursday against the Sharks, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports. Analysis: Despite practicing Wednesday, Oscar Klefbom was expected to sit out Thursday's contest in an effort to provide him with more time to heal. However, after the injury didn't seem to compromise him during the morning skate, Klefbom was given the go-ahead to suit up following a two-game absence. He'll join Mark Fayne on Edmonton's second pairing.
News: Lee Stempniak will undergo testing for the mumps virus and will be isolated from the Rangers for the next five days, Andrew Gross of The Record reports. Analysis: Though Lee Stempniak hasn't been diagnosed with the virus, the Rangers aren't taking any chances after Tanner Glass and Derick Brassard both previously dealt with the mumps. Even if the tests don't reveal Stempniak's illness to be anything serious, the five-day timeline will force him to miss at least the Rangers' two games over the weekend. The Rangers could recall a forward from AHL Hartford to cover for Stempniak's absence.
News: Torrey Mitchell's foot injury is considered to be a week-to-week concern, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: With Torrey Mitchell yet to resume skating since leaving Monday's game with the foot injury, the Sabres aren't expecting him to return in the near future. He could be placed on injured reserve in the coming days as the Sabres look to add further depth at forward.
News: Cody McCormick (lower body) is considered week-to-week, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Cody McCormick has already missed the last three games with the injury and doesn't seem to be particularly close to a return. The Sabres could place him on injured reserve in the next few days to open up a roster spot for a healthy body at AHL Springfield.
News: Ben Scrivens will man the net again Thursday against the Sharks. Analysis: Ben Scrivens has turned in back-to-back credible outings for the Oilers against the Rangers and Coyotes, but he's been cruelly handed the loss on both occasions. If it's not Edmonton's horrid defense that lets him down, Scrivens has too often seen the Oilers' offense fail to provide him with much support. Simply put, the team is a disaster right now and could struggle mightily over the remainder of the season, making its goalie situation one to avoid whenever possible.
News: Derick Brassard (mumps) will resume practicing with the Rangers on Friday, Andrew Gross of The Record reports. Analysis: The Rangers put Derick Brassard under a five-day isolation period after he was diagnosed with the mumps last Sunday, and it appears the virus is no longer wreaking havoc on his body. Though ostensibly healthy, Brassard is no sure bet to return to the lineup Saturday against the Hurricanes, as it will likely hinge on how he looks during Friday's skate. J.T. Miller has been absorbing most of Brassard's ice time over the last two games.
News: Stefan Noesen (Achilles) posted on his personal Twitter account that he was able to resume skating Thursday. Analysis: Stefan Noesen isn't projected to return until mid-to-late February due to the Achilles injury, so he still has significant hurdles to clear in the recovery process. He'll likely work out on his own for the next several weeks before the Ducks allow him to practice with AHL Norfolk.
News: Karri Ramo missed Thursday's practice with an illness. Analysis: Coach Bob Hartley said that Karri Ramo called in sick prior to practice, but is expected to return to the ice for Friday's morning skate. He's slated to serve as the backup for Jonas Hiller later that evening against the Stars, but the Flames will bring a goalie up from the AHL ranks if Ramo fails to notice improvement with his condition by that time. Hartley said there's no indication at this time that Ramo is dealing with the mumps, but the Flames are taking precautions nonetheless, according to NHL.com's Aaron Vickers.
News: Jonas Hiller will receive the start in goal Friday against the Stars. Analysis: With Karri Ramo absent from Thursday's practice due to an illness and uncertain to be availalbe Friday, it was an easy decision for coach Bob Hartley to tap Jonas Hiller for his third start in four games. While Hiller has been unable to snap a losing streak for the Flames that now sits at six games, he's at least outperformed the struggling Ramo recently, stopping a respectable 91.8 percent of the shots he's faced over his last four appearances. The Flames will play their second game of a back-to-back set Saturday, but if Ramo's not healthy by then, look for Hiller to get the call again.
News: With the Kings facing a 3-0 deficit Thursday, Marian Gaborik went to work, sandwiching an assist between two power-play goals to tie the game at 3-3, leading to an eventual 6-4 win. Analysis: Uh oh, Gabby's heating up. He's tallied goals in three straight games, with five markers on 12 shots in that span, making him look like the high-flying Marian Gaborik we saw in last year's playoffs again. The key for him is, as always, avoiding the injury bug. If he can do that, well, it certainly looks like his offensive game has come around.