News: Taylor Hall has tallied just one point in the Oilers' last seven games. Analysis: Taylor Hall hasn't seen his shot attempts take a dramatic dip during the scoring drought, but if he's not finding the back of the net with regularity, the Oilers are in a serious trouble. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that with Hall slumping, the Oilers haven't mustered more than two goals in any match during that seven-game stretch. The burden of carrying the Oilers for the past five seasons clearly seems to be weighing down Hall, whose name has been starting to show up in trade rumors more frequently of late.
News: Reilly Smith netted a goal in Tuesday's shootout loss to the Predators. Analysis: After a meager start to the season, Reilly Smith has really clicked since joining Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on the top trio, tallying four goals and two assists over the last five games. Smith's recent surge in production could make it tough on coach Claude Julien to break up the trio once David Krejci (groin) returns, which could happen as soon as Wednesday's game against the Wild.
News: Chris Thorburn scored his second goal of the season in Tuesday's victory over the Sabres. Analysis: As his two points in 31 games would suggest, Chris Thorburn isn't someone the Jets are looking to for offense most nights. Instead, he'll carry most of his value as a grinder on the checking line and a leader in the locker room.
News: Carl Hagelin tallied his seventh goal of the season in Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the Oilers. Analysis: Carl Hagelin has notched goals in back-to-back contests, giving him 13 points in 29 contests this season. However, he's currently skating on the third line with Kevin Hayes and Lee Stempniak, a role that won't afford him much more than 15 minutes per night. He's a solid depth scorer for the Rangers, but fantasy owners can likely do better.
News: Josh Harding has yet to return to practice with Iowa teammates since being hospitalized for dehydration after playing two periods for AHL Iowa on Dec. 6, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The dehydration episode was related to his multiple sclerosis. Analysis: There's no timetable for his return and it sounds like this could be a significant setback to his multiple sclerosis issues.
News: Kari Lehtonen was the first goalie off the ice at the Stars' gameday skate and is slated to start Wednesday against the Canucks, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Kari Lehtonen has alternated wins in losses in his previous four December starts, continuing a trend of rather inconsistent play this season. He'll catch a bit of a break in matching up against Canucks backup goalie Eddie Lack on Tuesday, but it's still difficult to trust him at this point. The last time Lehtonen played Vancouver, he came away with a 6-3 victory during which he faced 46 shots. It wouldn't be shocking if another barnburner broke out again Wednesday.
News: Bryce Salvador (lower body) has yet to resume skating since landing on injured reserve Nov. 17, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Bryce Salvador suggested that he's making progress, but he has yet to show anything tangible that would indicate as much. The 38-year-old is in the final year of his contract with the Devils and could be headed for retirement once the season concludes.
News: David Krejci (groin) is no longer listed on injured reserve, suggesting he'll be available Wednesday against the Wild. Analysis: When he met with the media Wednesday morning, coach Claude Julien would only say that David Krejci was a "possibility" to play later that evening against the Wild, but the roster move would seem to bode well for his availability. It's still worthwhile to await confirmation from the Bruins on Krejci's status prior to the puck drop, so check back for an update when the Bruins hold their pregame warmup. Given the success the top trio of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Reilly Smith have enjoyed of late, Krejci could be forced to settle for second-line duties in his first game back from injury.
News: The Stars will scratch Jamie Oleksiak in Wednesday's game, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. Analysis: Jamie Oleksiak has been in and out of the lineup lately and it wouldn't be surprising to see him take a stint in the AHL if he can't stay in the lineup in Dallas. He's young and the team will want him playing rather than watching the games as insurance.
News: Corey Perry (knee) skated on his own back in Anaheim on Wednesday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Corey Perry isn't traveling with the Ducks on their road trip while he remains more than a few days away from playing, but his return to the ice does offer hope that he's coming close to the end of his recovery timetable. If he demonstrates strong progress over the next few days, he could be activated in time for next Monday's home game against the Sharks. Otherwise, his return wouldn't come until after the Christmas break.