News: Nikita Nikitin (upper body) is doubtful for Saturday's game against the Predators but may be able to return for Monday's game against the Stars. Analysis: Nikita Nikitin sustained an upper-body injury during Thursday's game and was not able to return to that contest. He traveled with the Blue Jackets to Nashville and is considered day-to-day.
News: Antti Niemi is expected to start Saturday's game against the Canadiens, David Pollak of the Mercury News reports. Analysis: Antti Niemi has struggled lately, posting an .887 save percentage over his last five games. While it's something to keep in mind, the Finnish netminder has a long history of success and figures to get back on track sooner rather than later.
News: Jaroslav Halak will start Saturday's game against the Coyotes, CSN Washington's Rob Carlin reports. Analysis: As expected, Jaroslav Halak will make his Caps debut against the Coyotes, in a matchup between two teams grinding for wild-card spots in their respective conferences. The Slovak netminder posted a 24-9-4 record, 2.23 GAA and .917 save percentage in 40 games (38 starts) behind the stout St. Louis defense this season. He'll have a tough time maintaining those numbers behind a shaky Washington blue line that has struggled on the PK all season. It's still unclear how the playing time will be divided between Halak and Braden Holtby, but a timeshare would make sense.
News: Updating a previous item: Andrew Cogliano returned to Friday's game after being helped to the locker room during the first period. Analysis: Andrew Cogliano took a hard hit and was helped to the locker room by trainers after he skated slowly back to the bench. He appears to be fine though, so no concern seems necessary.
News: Luca Sbisa did not return to the bench for the second period of Friday's game due to a lower-body injury and is doubtful to return. Analysis: No other details were given with regard to the injury, but not returning to the ice doesn't sound too promising. Consider him day-to-day for now and expect the Ducks to update his condition over the weekend.
News: Ryan McDonagh scored a short-handed goal during the Rangers' 4-2 win over Carolina On Friday. Analysis: Ryan McDonagh has now scored in three-straight games and now has a plus-three rating in the five games since returning from the Olympic break. The defenseman is not known for his scoring touch but now has 11 goals and 22 assists over 64 games this season.
News: Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 of 24 shots during the Rangers' 4-2 win over the Hurricanes on Friday. Analysis: Considering the amount of work Lunqvist had to put in for this one, he really wasn't as sharp as he has normally been. He gave up a late goal in the first and then one in the third before a late rally by the offense put the game away. In his defense, it was his fourth-straight start since returning from Sochi and his first win in that span.
News: Mats Zuccarello, who had missed the last four games due to a hand injury, returned to the lineup Friday and recorded one assist and three shots on goal over 18:19 of ice time. Analysis: Mats Zuccarello suffered the injury while playing for Norway at the Sochi Olympics, but was insistent that it wouldn't keep him out for long. Coach Alain Vigneault said that Zuccarello "didn't miss a beat" and played a strong game, so it looks like he's safe to get back into your lineups.
News: Brad Richards (finger) will have x-rays taken to determine the severity of his injury, Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: Brad Richards took a slash on the left hand from Eric Staal, but the injury wasn't enough to keep him from staying in the game. He did record one assist, but that was before the incident. Gross cites that Richards will be sore but that it shouldn't affect his ability to play. Still consider him day-to-day for now though until test results come back.
News: Anders Nilsson will start Friday's game against the Calgary Flames. Analysis: With Evgeni Nabokov getting the start Thursday, Anders Nilsson always figured to handle the second game of the Isles' back-to-back. The Swedish goaltender played well in his last start but owns ugly numbers -- 2-3-2, 3.44 GAA, .888 save percentage -- for the season.