News: Coach Todd Richards said that there's a chance Fedor Tyutin (ankle) will return from injured reserve for Saturday's game vs. the Wild, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Richards noted that Fedor Tyutin's ankle has improved dramatically the last few days, and while he won't be able to suit up Thursday vs. the Sharks, he could be good to go after a few more practices. In spite of the injury, the 30-year-old Tyutin is enjoying his seventh straight 20-point season.
News: Cam Atkinson will return to the lineup Thursday vs. the Sharks, Dan Kamal of FOX Sports Ohio reports. Analysis: A healthy scratch the last three games for the Blue Jackets, Cam Atkinson will likely be replacing Artem Anisimov (personal), who is away from the team as he awaits the birth of his first child. Coach Todd Richards said that Atkinson will have plenty to prove in his return, with a poor performance likely resulting in another prolonged stay in the press box.
News: Artem Anisimov (personal) is not expected to play Thursday vs. the Sharks, Dan Kamal of FOX Sports Ohio reports. Analysis: Coach Todd Richards already said that Cam Atkinson would enter the lineup Thursday, with Artem Anisimov looking like the easy scratch as he awaits the birth of his first child. Look for Anisimov to return to the lineup Saturday vs. the Wild.
News: Tuomo Ruutu (personal) missed practice Thursday but is expected to join his teammates in Florida for Friday's game vs. the Panthers, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: Tuomo Ruutu's wife had been set to give birth for the last few days, and it appears Thursday will go down as the official due date. The forward will take the day off to be with his family before taking a private flight to Florida. He's expected to remain on the top line with Travis Zajac and Jaromir Jagr on Friday night.
News: Dmitry Orlov agreed to a two-year, $4 million extension Thursday. Analysis: The 22-year-old has provided three goals, six assists and 19 penalty minutes over 38 games for the Capitals. He's logged consistent ice time since being recalled from the minors in November, and the two-year pact seemingly locks him into full-time duty for the foreseeable future.
News: Jonas Gustavsson (groin) left the ice early during Thursday's practice, suggesting he won't be available Friday vs. the Oilers, Chuck Pleiness of the Macomb Daily reports. Analysis: The Red Wings were down to just one healthy goalie (Petr Mrazek) during Tuesday's loss to the Blue Jackets with Jimmy Howard feeling under the weather and Jonas Gustavsson nursing the groin injury. While Gustavsson probably won't be back Friday, Howard will likely be healthy at that point, lessening the need for the Wings to rush Gustavsson into action when he's less than 100 percent healthy.
News: Mikhail Grabovski (ankle) was spotted skating on his own prior to the Capitals' Thursday practice, Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington reports. Analysis: It was the first time Mikhail Grabovski has skated since apparently re-injuring his ankle during a Feb. 27 game against Florida. Grabovski has been placed on IR retroactive to that game, and is eligible to come off the injured list at any time. However, given that he is only doing light skating and not practicing or taking any contact, he is unlikely to be reinserted into the lineup anytime soon. This is bad news for a Capitals team that has won only two of its last seven games with Grabovski out of the lineup.
News: Rich Peverley (chest) has been released from the hospital, NHL.com's Mark Stepneski reports. Analysis: Though he can now resume resting comfortably back at home, Rich Peverley will still undergo a season-ending heart procedure to correct the irregular heartbeat that caused him to collapse on the bench during Monday's game vs. the Blue Jackets. Peverley will have to await clearance from doctors before he begins working out again, but he's expected to continue his playing career after this season.
News: Reto Berra will make his first start with the Avalanche next Wednesday vs. the Jets, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Coach Patrick Roy will use the Avs' back-to-back next week against the Canadiens and Jets to give starting goalie Semyon Varlamov some needed rest, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere getting the nod vs. Montreal. Giguere's presence on the roster hurts Reto Berra's chances of picking up much spare duty behind Varlamov, but it seems apparent Berra is viewed as the No. 2 of the future between the two backups. Giguere has previously suggested that he might retire after the season, when his contract will expire.
News: Jean-Sebastien Giguere will make his next start Tuesday against the Canadiens, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Coach Patrick Roy will have No. 1 goalie Semyon Varlamov start the remaining two games on this week's schedule, before handing the reigns over to backups Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Reto Berra for back-to-back starts Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. With Varlamov playing some of his best hockey of the season at the moment, Giguere may not see the ice again for a long while after Tuesday. The addition of Berra as an additional backup certainly doesn't help Giguere's chances of earning extra playing time, and the acquisition already has the veteran goalie hinting that he will retire after this season.