News: Brett Bellemore scored his first goal of the season and collected five PIM in Friday's win over Washington. Analysis: Brett Bellemore now has six points and a plus-3 rating in 33 games on the season. Considering the defenseman averages just 15:32 of ice time and has only recorded 16 shots on goal, Bellmore is only valuable in the deepest of fantasy leagues.
News: Curtis McElhinney will be in the crease for Saturday's game against the Devils, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: This could be Curtis McElhinney's last start for a while, as the Blue Jackets will activate Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) from IR to serve as the backup goalie for Saturday's tilt. Bobrovsky is then expected to man the net Sunday against the Penguins, and should assume the bulk of the duties thereafter as the Blue Jackets cling to fleeting playoff hopes. To his credit, McElhinney has been generally serviceable in place of Bobrovsky for the past month, going 6-5-1 with a 2.51 GAA and .923 save percentage since the All-Star break. However, he's taken losses in each of his last three turns, and may have difficulty coming away with the win with one of the game's better goalies in Cory Schneider manning the opposite net.
News: Nate Guenin scored his second goal of the year and chipped in two assists in a 5-4 shootout win over the Stars on Friday. Analysis: An unlikely source of offense, the trio of points gives the stay-at-home defenseman a total of just 12 on the season. Nate Guenin (25 points in 125 career games) doesn't figure to have too many more nights like these, so we'll chalk this up as an anomaly for the 32-year-old.
News: Gabriel Landeskog scored his 16th goal of the season and added an assist in a 5-4 shootout win over the Stars on Friday. Analysis: The resurgence continues for Landy, who's now rattled off six goals and nine points in the last eight games. The Avs' captain is certainly doing his best to redeem himself with owners who have been saddled with one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of the year, as his 40 points and minus-5 rating are still well off the mark of his 65-point, plus-21 campaign from 2013-14. Gabriel Landeskog does, however, have 11 power-play points, surpassing last year's 10, so if he can continue his run of strong play, his ledger may not wind up being that disappointing, after all.
News: Dalton Prout (upper body) will return to the lineup Saturday against the Devils, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Dalton Prout, who had missed the previous nine games with the injury, resumed practicing Wednesday and appears to be back to full health. He'll slot in on the third pairing in place of Kevin Connauton, who will sit out Saturday with a foot injury.
News: Coach Todd Richards announced Saturday that Brandon Dubinsky has a concussion and has been ruled out indefinitely, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Few teams have been hit harder by injuries this season than the Blue Jackets, and Brandon Dubinsky looks to be just the latest of the team's casualties. Dubinsky had already been limited to 34 games this season after requiring abdominal surgery in early October and missing two months of action. His loss will thrust Alexander Wennberg into duty as the Jackets' second-line center.
News: Tyson Barrie tore it up Friday, bagging his 10th goal of the season to go with a pair of assists and a plus-3 rating in a 5-4 shootout win over the Stars. He also fired five shots on goal. Analysis: With seven points in the last four games, the diminutive d-man is officially sizzling. Tyson Barrie is up to 39 points in 60 games -- amounting to a very impressive 0.65 points per game -- and should be counted on as a top-10 or top-15 fantasy rearguard in the final quarter of the season.
News: Kari Lehtonen was porous again Friday, giving up four goals on just 23 shots in a 5-4 shootout loss to the visiting Avalanche. Analysis: What the heck happened to this guy? His most notable blunder of the evening came in the third period, when he coughed up two goals in 1:15 to erase a 3-1 lead for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen has been roughed up for 14 goals over the last three games and now owns a .905 save percentage -- the worst of his 11-year career -- and a 2.97 GAA, second worst to only his ghastly 2008-09 season with the now defunct Atlanta Thrashers. With all this in mind, you'll want to proceed with caution with Lehtonen going forward, especially since the Stars continue to roll on without Tyler Seguin (lower body), their most prolific offensive weapon who, when healthy, is the most likeliest of Stars to bail the Finnish netminder out with his scoring prowess.
News: David Rundblad registered his 10th assist on the season on Thursday in the Blackhawks' 3-0 victory over the Panthers. Analysis: David Rundblad has three goals and 10 assists in 40 games for the Blackhawks in his first full season for Chicago after coming over from Arizona. It's his best season by far for the 24-year-old defenseman in his sixth NHL season. Rundblad only had a goal and eight assists in five previous seasons with two other clubs where he was shuttled between the NHL team and the minor leagues. After being a healthy scratch on Feb. 20, Rundblad has collected a pair of assists in his last four games.
News: Semyon Varlamov gave up four goals on 36 shots but came away the winner as the Avs outlasted the Stars 5-4 in a shootout Friday. Analysis: Talk about fortunate -- Varly has now won three of his last four games despite having given up 13 goals during that span. He's getting a ton of offensive support from the Colorado offense, although it's probably too-little, too-late as the Avs sit soundly out of a playoff spot at six points back. Still, coach Patrick Roy is going to fight until the bitter end this season, which means Semyon Varlamov is going to continue to see almost all of the starts in Denver, giving him every opportunity for wins and to improve his .917 save percentage and 2.68 GAA.