News: Josh Gorges (knee) will not play Friday against the Canadiens and isn't likely to suit up in Saturday's rematch either, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports. Analysis: Josh Gorges was on the ice as an extra for Friday's morning skate, and while he feels like he's ready to go, the Sabres' doctors aren't signing off on his return just yet. Unless the doctors change their tune Saturday morning, it's looking likely that Gorges won't be activated until prior to next Tuesday's game against the Lightning.
News: Victor Hedman (hand) was skating as an extra at Friday's practice, suggesting he won't suit up Saturday versus the Senators, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: Victor Hedman wore a regular jersey and took full contact, but it would appear that the Lightning want him to get another practice or two in before getting him back in the lineup next week. There's still a possibility that Hedman could talk his way into the lineup after Saturday's morning skate, so it's probably advisable to keep track of his situation in the event he ends up being a surprise activation prior to that evening's game.
News: Darcy Kuemper will start in goal Friday against Dallas, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Darcy Kuemper will start despite giving up four goals and getting pulled in the first period in Wednesday's loss. Niklas Backstrom has a bad track record in Dallas and Kuemper has bounced back from poor outings this season, so the Wild will keep him in goal. Backstrom is likely to start Saturday in the second of back-to-back games.
News: Jussi Jokinen is battling the flu and is unlikely to play Friday against the Senators, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Analysis: Jussi Jokinen wasn't present at Friday's morning skate, so barring a dramatic recovery over the afternoon, it appears that he'll sit out for the first time this season. The veteran winger could probably benefit from the rest in any case, as he's cooled considerably since his hot start in November, going without a point and producing a minus-3 rating over his last four games. Jimmy Hayes figures to rejoin the lineup in Jokinen's place.
News: Jay Bouwmeester (lower body) is expected to miss his third straight game Saturday versus the Oilers, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Jay Bouwmeester wasn't present at the Blues' morning skate and hasn't resumed on-ice work since suffering a lower-body injury last weekend. Chris Butler is once again in line to replace him on defense. Bouwmeester would seem unlikely to play in Minnesota on Saturday, either.
News: Kari Lehtonen is likely to start Friday's game against the Wild, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Kari Lehtonen was the first goalie off the ice at the Stars' morning skate, so it would seem safe to reason that he'll be in the net later in the evening. He's riding a three-game winning streak that has improved his season record to 9-5-4, but his 2.93 GAA and .908 save percentage still qualify as below average among No. 1 goalies.
News: Steve Mason will be in the net Friday against the Rangers, Dave Isaac of the South Jersey Courier-Post reports. Analysis: It's the fourth straight starting nod for Steve Mason, who will be looking to rebound from a brutal turn his last time out against the Red Wings on Wednesday that resulted in him being pulled after allowing three goals on only 14 shots. Coach Craig Berube expected to go with Ray Emery on Saturday, when the Flyers and Rangers will get together in New York for the second game of their back-to-back set.
News: Ryan Miller is lined up to start Friday against the Blue Jackets, Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun reports. Analysis: Ryan Miller has generally been racking up wins on the strength of his impressive offense this season, but he's been airtight in goal over his last two turns. After limiting the Blackhawks to one goal on 25 shots Sunday, the netminder spun his second shutout of the season in his last start Tuesday against the Devils. He'll make for a superb option against a Columbus squad that looks like one of the weakest outfits in the Eastern Conference.
News: Jake Allen will be between the pipes Friday against the Oilers, Jack Michaels of the Oilers Radio Network reports. Analysis: Jake Allen will get a relatively easy inauguration into what could be a long-term stint as the Blues' No. 1 goaltender, as he'll be facing an Edmonton squad that went to overtime Thursday night before dropping its eighth straight game. The Blues are calling Brian Elliott (knee) week-to-week for now, which should guarantee Allen a steady stream of starts.
News: Brent Seabrook has a six-game point streak going into Friday's game against the Ducks. Analysis: Brent Seabrook has two goals and four assists in the six games and has accumulated five goals and eight assists in 22 games this season. He has two goals and six assists in 35 games against the Ducks in his career. Seabrook could have his best season in his 10-year career if he continues on this stretch. His best season came in 2010-11 where he collected nine goals and 39 assists where he played in every game.