News: Mark Giordano notched an assist in a 5-0 win over Carolina on Thursday. Analysis: Mark Giordano's pace has slowed a little since a hot start to the season, but seven points in nine games for a defenseman is still stellar. There's no reason not to be starting Giordano at this point.
News: Scott Harrington was reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday. Analysis: Robert Bortuzzo (upper body) looks to be ready to go for the Penguins for their weekend tilt with the the Predators, so there wasn't much of a need for the team to carry Scott Harrington as an eighth defenseman. Harrington could be back up with the parent club if another long-term injury strikes the blue line at some point, but he'll otherwise spend most of his time this season in the minors.
News: Per GM Peter Chiarelli, surgery is not considered a likely option for Zdeno Chara, who sustained a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Thursday's game against the Islanders, the Bruins' official site reports. Analysis: While Chiarelli fell short of declaring that surgery has been 100 percent ruled out, at this stage it does not seem a likely outcome for Zdeno Chara, who the report confirms will be out 4-6 weeks. In the absence of Chara, at Friday's practice, the Bruins' top two defensive pairings appeared to be Dennis Seidenberg/Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug/Adam McQuaid.
News: Andrew Ebbett was reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton on Friday. Analysis: With all of the Penguins' forwards on the 23-man roster seemingly healthy heading into the weekend, Andrew Ebbett would have been forced to serve as a healthy scratch Saturday versus Nashville if he had stuck around. Instead, by returning to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he'll be able to get in a few games before perhaps returning to the Penguins as an extra forward at some point next week.
News: Dennis Wideman scored a goal in Thursday's 5-0 pasting of the Hurricanes, his fourth in five games. Analysis: Ever since a benching early in the season, Dennis Wideman has caught fire. He has five points in his last five games and is finally showing why Calgary gave him such a big contract. Keep him rolling, as he and the Flames have been surprisingly good this season.
News: Calvin Pickard was assigned to AHL Lake Erie on Friday, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Calvin Pickard had been on hand for the last three games while Semyon Varlamov (groin) and Reto Berra (neck) dealt with injuries, but with both players now healthy, he'll head back to the minors. The 22-year-old Pickard predictably struggled in his first taste of NHL action, going 0-2 with a 3.65 GAA and .889 save percentage in his two appearances.
News: Nikita Zadorov played just 6:12 in his 2014-15 season debut as the Sabres' seventh defenseman in a 2-0 loss to the Kings on Thursday. Analysis: It was more an effort to take some rust off Nikita Zadorov than anything as head coach Ted Nolan used him sparingly in a game that would've been a blow out had Jhonas Enroth not turned in such a solid performance. The big hulking Russian defender is still in limbo as the team decides what to do with him. SKA St. Petersburg, the KHL team that owns his rights, have so far refused to release him to the OHL. At this point, Zadorov's only options are to stay in the NHL or go to the KHL, but the Sabres are reluctantly to let him go to Russia and develop in a league so far away.
News: Anthony Duclair practiced on the Rangers' third line Friday and appears set to return to the lineup Saturday against the Canadiens, Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: A healthy scratch for the previous two games, Anthony Duclair will get another chance to state his case for remaining with the Rangers on Saturday. The 19-year-old was the talk of training camp and has contributed three assists in five games, but his effectiveness had started to wane prior to his pair of healthy scratches. Coach Alain Vigneault has vowed to keep Duclair among his top-nine forwards anytime he plays, but if the young phenom fails to take advantage of the opportunity in subsequent games, a demotion to his junior team, the QMJHL's Quebec Ramparts, could be in the offing.
News: Kari Lehtonen will get the start in net for the Stars on Friday against New Jersey, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News. Analysis: Kari Lehtonen has been hit and miss through five starts this season, and will bring his carry a 2.92 GAA and a .913 save percentage into Friday's showdown in Newark. The Devils have been surprising potent on offense in the early stages of the season, so it's far from a safe bet that Lehtonen will turn in a respectable outing Friday.
News: Jacob Josefson will make his season debut Friday against the Stars, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: With Jordin Tootoo (bruised foot) landing on IR, Jacob Josefson will be tasked with taking his place on the Devils' fourth line. Josefson had been a healthy scratch in each of the Devils' previous six games of the season and figures to return to the press box when Tootoo is activated from IR, which could happen at some point next week.