News: Bryan Bickell bagged his third goal of the season in Wednesday's win over the Avalanche. Analysis: The versatile Bryan Bickell has been used on a number of lines and has bounced on and off the team's power-play this season, but nothing has really allowed his production to take off. He's supplied eight points through 22 games and probably won't see many more opportunities in the Blackhawks' top-six forwards while Kris Versteeg continues to thrive.
News: Ryan O'Reilly netted his third goal of the season in Wednesday's loss to the Blackhawks. Analysis: Ryan O'Reilly has a point in back-to-back games, but he's still been largely invisible for most of November, accruing six points in 12 games. On top of his downturn in offense, O'Reilly is sitting on a minus-12 rating for the season, which has put a huge drag on his fantasy value to date.
News: Andrew Shaw (upper body) potted a power-play goal in Wednesday's win over the Avalanche. Analysis: Andrew Shaw returned to action after missing the previous three games and performed quite effectively, firing off five shots over 15:32 of action. He's still probably behind the pace to reach the numbers most were expecting from him this season, but his production could begin to take off now that he's healthy again.
News: Josh Gorges (knee) could be available for either of the Sabres' two games over the weekend. Analysis: Josh Gorges participated fully in Thursday's practice and indicated afterward that his knee feels better with each passing day. However, the Sabres want to ensure they don't throw in back in the lineup at less than 100 percent, so Gorges will be evaluated after Friday's morning skate before the team determines whether or not he'll play later that evening against his former team, the Canadiens.
News: Matt Cullen is expected to serve as a healthy scratch Thursday against the Oilers, Eric Stromgren of The Tennessean reports. Analysis: The Preds will welcome back Mike Fisher (Achilles) into their lineup Thursday for the first time this season, and it looks like Matt Cullen will be forced to head to the press box as a result. Cullen missed the team's morning skate while all of his other mates were present, a sign that he'll be given the night off.
News: David Krejci (groin) missed Wednesday's practice, the Bruins' official site reports. Analysis: David Krejci is thus unlikely to play in Friday's game against the Jets, with his status at this stage day-to-day as that contest approaches. While coach Claude Julien hasn't gone into the specifics of Krejci's injury -- which is believed to be a groin pull -- he did at least confirm Wednesday that whatever is ailing the center won't require surgery. "No procedures for him, guys, I can tell you that much," Julien noted.
News: Mike Fisher (Achilles) will be activated from the non-roster injury list and make his season debut Thursday against the Oilers. Analysis: Mike Fisher was a full participant in morning skate and was cleared for a return to action by the team's medical staff on Thanksgiving Day, just like he had been planning all along after suffering the Achilles injury back in July. He's set to center the third line with Olli Jokinen and Derek Roy, but it wouldn't be surprising if coach Peter Laviolette experiments with different mates for Fisher over the course of the game in an effort to determine where he fits in best.
News: Chris Kelly (unspecified injury) was on the ice Thursday for the second straight day. Analysis: The veteran forward is thus a candidate to return to action Friday against the Jets, though on Wednesday coach Claude Julien noted that the Bruins will "take it day-by-day" with Chris Kelly, the team's official site reports.
News: Dave Bolland (groin) skated with the full team at Thursday's practice, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Analysis: Dave Bolland has been slow to recover from the groin injury he suffered in the fourth game of the season, but there's growing optimism that his return could be forthcoming. He'll probably need a couple more practices to get back up to full speed as he sets his sights on returning from IR next week. His return will provide the Panthers with a little more depth down the middle, but the team is likely already experiencing a bit of buyer's remorse after doling out a five-year, $27.5 million contract to the center this past offseason.
News: Al Montoya will be between the pipes Friday against the Senators, George Richards of the Miami Herald reports. Analysis: Though Roberto Luongo's upper-body injury isn't considered serious, it will keep him out for at least Friday, affording Al Montoya the opportunity to make his seventh appearance of the season. Montoya was superb in relief of the injured Luongo in Wednesday's win over the Hurricanes, stopping 22 of 22 shots, and should function as coach Gerard Gallant's primary option in the net until Luongo returns. The run of starts isn't expected to last more than a few games for Montoya, but he may be worth grabbing on speculation in the event Luongo's injury proves to be more of a long-term concern than the Panthers initially thought.