News: Tyson Strachan (lower body) missed his second straight practice Friday. Analysis: Coach Ted Nolan described Tyson Strachan's absence Thursday as being for "maintenance purposes," but back-to-back no-shows raise concern about his availability for Saturday's game against the Avalanche. His status likely won't be known until the Sabres conduct their gameday skate Saturday morning.
News: Brian Gibbons is dealing with an upper-body injury and will be evaluated Friday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Brian Gibbons supplied an assist and two shots on goal in Thursday's overtime loss to the Capitals, but suffered the injury at some point during the contest and was limited to just 9:05 of ice time. The Blue Jackets should have a better idea of his condition after the evaluation, so he'll remain questionable for Saturday's game versus the Blackhawks until the team provides more information.
News: Leo Komarov (concussion) skated with the Leafs' strength and conditioning coach prior to Friday's practice, David Alter of MapleLeafs.com reports. Analysis: It's just the second time that Leo Komarov has taken to the ice since suffering the concussion back on Nov. 29. The forward still remains under league protocol and hasn't been cleared to resume practicing with the team, likely making him at least a week away from a return to action.
News: Eric Tangradi was reassigned to AHL Hamilton on Friday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: The Habs activated Lars Eller (upper body) from injured reserve Thursday, leaving no incentive for the team to keep Eric Tangradi around. The winger has tallied no points across seven games with Montreal on the season.
News: Dustin Tokarski was reassigned to AHL Hamilton on Friday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: Due to his lack of recent activity behind No. 1 goalie Carey Price, Dustin Tokarski will be sent to Hamilton for the weekend in order to pick up two starts. Look for Montreal to call up another goalie from the AHL in a corresponding move to serve as Price's backup for their game Saturday against the Senators.
News: Mike Weber (knee) resumed skating Friday, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Mike Weber isn't expected to return until around Christmastime, so he'll probably still need a few days of conditioning and practice time before he feels comfortable with his knee. He's already missed the last three games with the injury.
News: Robert Bortuzzo (upper body) tested negative for the mumps and has been cleared to rejoin the team. Analysis: All of Robert Bortuzzo, Olli Mattaa, and Thomas Greiss fell ill Thursday, prompting the Penguins to isolate them from the rest of the team in the fear that they might have been the latest players to acquire the virus. Only Maatta tested positive for symptoms of the mumps, however, leaving Bortuzzo to resume his recovery process from the upper-body injury he sustained last Saturday. It's uncertain when he might return from that injury, but a better timetable should become available once he resumes skating with the team.
News: Thomas Greiss tested negative for the mumps and has been cleared to rejoin the team. Analysis: After Thomas Greiss was feeling under the weather Thursday morning, the Penguins wasted no time in isolating him from the rest of the team due to concerns that he might be their third player to have acquired the mumps. Fortunately, it appears his symptoms of illness were unrelated to the virus, and it now looks like he'll resume his usual backup duties behind Marc-Andre Fleury on Saturday against the Panthers. Jeff Zatkoff, who served as the team's No. 2 netminder on Thursday while Greiss was unavailable, was reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday after Greiss' encouraging test results were revealed.
News: Jeff Zatkoff was reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday. Analysis: Jeff Zatkoff served as the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury on Thursday while Thomas Greiss (illness) remained under evaluation for a possible case of the mumps. Greiss' tests ended up coming back negative Friday morning, so he'll be cleared to rejoin the team for Saturday's game, thus making it unnecessary for the Penguins to keep Zatkoff around any longer.
News: Mattaa tested positive mumps virus and will remain in isolation for at least five days. Analysis: Mattaa was already slated to miss the next few weeks while recovering from an undisclosed upper-body injury, but having to table his rehab activities for the next few days due to the illness will delay his return even further. He's the third Penguins player to deal with the mumps and 16th confirmed case in the NHL this season. Fortunately, the other two Penguins players who had been tested for the virus, goalie Thomas Greiss and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, didn't display any symptoms of the mumps and have been cleared to resume playing.