News: Jonathan Quick will start in the goal Thursday against the Sabres, John Vogl of the Buffalo News reports. Analysis: Jonathan Quick has been dominant of late, exactly what fantasy players who drafted him expected. He will look to notch his fourth consecutive win Thursday against a Buffalo team that has struggled to score this season.
News: Nathan Gerbe skated Thursday in a no-contact jersey, Michael Smith of the team's official site reports. Analysis: This is the first time Nathan Gerbe has skated at all since suffering the injury the previous Thursday. He is still considered day-to-day, however it appears doubtful that Gerbe will be able to play in either of the Canes' upcoming games Thursday or Friday.
News: Martin Havlat (face) appears doubtful to play Friday against the Stars, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: Though Martin Havlat returned to the lineup Tuesday after painful cuts on his face forced him to sit out the Devils' previous game, it sounds like the forward might have suffered a setback in his return. He's been absent for practice for each of the last two days, and barring some quick healing overnight, it looks like he'll be in the press box Friday night.
News: Cory Schneider will be back in the crease Friday against the Stars, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: Cory Schneider has drawn all seven starts for the Devils thus far, but his first rest of the season could come on Saturday, when the team will complete the second half of their back-to-back set with a game in Ottawa. Though Schneider's overall numbers thus far haven't been inspiring (3-2-1, 3.13 GAA, .898 save percentage), the Devils are committed to giving him one of the league's heaviest workloads in the net, after inking him to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension in July.
News: Christian Folin (illness) won't be available Thursday against the Coyotes, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Both Christian Folin and his usual defensive partner (Keith Ballard) were feeling sick Thursday morning, prompting coach Mike Yeo to tab Matthew Dumba and Nate Prosser for third-pairing duties. A day out of the lineup should be all Folin needs to clear up the illness, before a likely return to action Saturday against the Bolts.
News: Keith Ballard (illness) will not be available for Thursday's game against the Coyotes, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Both Keith Ballard and his usual defensive partner (Christian Folin) were feeling sick Thursday morning, prompting coach Mike Yeo to tab Matthew Dumba and Nate Prosser for third-pairing duties. A day out of the lineup should be all Ballard needs to clear up the illness, before a likely return to action Saturday against the Bolts.
News: Pekka Rinne will make the start in goal for the Predators on Thursday against the Blackhawks, Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago reports. Analysis: Pekka Rinne dodged the Blackhawks over the past weekend when he was rested in favor of backup Carter Hutton, but he'll now get the opportunity to test himself against the Western Conference power. The Finnish netminder has been sensational this season (4-0-1, 1.55 GAA, .940 save percentage) in his five starts, but none of his outings have come against especially formidable competition. The Blackhawks will represent his toughest test to date.
News: Antti Raanta will be in the crease Thursday against the Predators, Tracey Myers of CSN Chicago reports. Analysis: With Corey Crawford (upper body) prepared to miss at least the next two games, Antti Raanta will make his second straight start in the net for the Blackhawks. He was sensational in his season debut Tuesday night, stopping all 32 shots he faced to blank the Flyers. Raanta isn't one of the more talented goalies in the league, but the Blackhawks' deep base of forward and blue line talent should put him in good position for a win nearly any time he takes the ice.
News: Colin McDonald cleared waivers Thursday, Tim Wharnsby of CBC reports. Analysis: The Islanders dropped Colin McDonald from their 23-man roster Wednesday after he had seen only limited minutes on the fourth line for the team to start the season. He'll report to AHL Bridgeport, with Anders Lee likely to be recalled to take his spot on the Islanders roster.
News: Alexander Steen (illness) was on the ice prior to Thursday's optional morning skate, but didn't take part in the team portion, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: Alexander Steen was forced out of Wednesday's practice while battling the flu, so his return to the ice in some capacity Thursday would seem to show that he's made some progress. However, with coach Ken Hitchcock yet to announce if Steen will be available for Thursday's tilt with the Canucks, the forward should be viewed as a game-time decision at this juncture.