News: Al Montoya will be in the crease Monday against the Avalanche, Jim Toth of 680 CJOB reports. Analysis: Al Montoya came on strong to spell Ondrej Pavelec on Saturday against the Senators, knocking away all 12 shots to keep the bleeding from getting worse. The quality performance was enough to convince coach Paul Maurice to give Montoya the start Monday, but even with another solid outing, he probably won't displace Pavelec as the No. 1 starter.
News: Despite missing Monday`s morning skate with a lower-body injury, Patric Hornqvist suited up in Monday`s 4-3 OT win over the Sens, recording three SOG in 16:23 of ice time. Analysis: It was business as usual Monday for the 27-year-old Swede, who now has 189 SOG this season, good for 26th in the NHL. Unfortunately, his 6.1 percent shooting percentage is second-worst among the 75 league forwards who have recorded 150 shots or more this season. Patric Hornqvist has only managed 12 goals through 60 games, leaving a lot to be desired for owners who were optimistic that he might return to 30-goal form circa 2009-2010. He`s the de facto top right-winger on a shallow Preds depth chart, so hopefully he can string a few more snipes together as the season winds down.
News: Drew Stafford has been named an alternate captain for the rest of the season, reports the Olean Times Herald. Analysis: Drew Stafford had a fantastic start to 2014 with 11 points in 12 games. He's traditionally been a much stronger player in the second half of the season throughout his career, with over 50 career points in the months of January, February and March. Stafford wore the 'A' two years ago but was stripped of it, and says it's a relief to have it back. That Stafford is getting more comfortable could be a sign that there are more good things to come. The Sabres are now playing for pride as the league's worst team, and that can be a very strong motivator. Stafford's worth picking up if he's available in most standard leagues.
News: Colton Orr (undisclosed) was a healthy scratch Monday, Jonas Siegel of TSN 1050 reports. Analysis: That explains why Colton Orr didn't play, despite an earlier report saying that he was ready to return. It appears that his undisclosed injury is no longer a factor, but he still isn't assured of a spot in the lineup. With no points and 96 PIM through 45 games, Orr has a stat line to match his role.
News: Phil Kessel scored the game-winning goal and had two helpers against the Ducks on Monday. Analysis: Business as usual for Phil Kessel. He's in the top 10 in goals, assists, and points, and his 73 points are second overall in the NHL.
News: Tyler Bozak scored a goal and added two assists Monday against the Ducks. Analysis: Tyler Bozak's overall point total may not seem impressive, but it must be remember that he has been limited to 42 games so far. His 40 points is his best scoring average, and he is also a plus-8, en route to finishing in the positive for the first time in his career.
News: Jonathan Bernier made 43 saves on 44 shots in a win over the Ducks on Monday. Analysis: Jonathan Bernier has been very busy when he's been in net. While he's only eighth in games played, he's second in shots against. This has hurt his GAA, but he is fourth in the NHL in save percentage.
News: Frans Nielsen scored a goal and added an assist against the Canucks on Monday. Analysis: It was his 20th goal, the first time in his career he's reached that mark. Frans Nielsen also has 46 points now, just one off his career high.
News: Frederik Andersen stopped 20 of 23 shots on goal during a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Maple Leafs on Monday. Analysis: While losing his first game since being recalled from the AHL likely wasn't the NHL return that Frederik Andersen was hoping for, the fact that the Ducks just traded away goalie Viktor Fasth likely means that he will be the backup goalie for the foreseeable future.
News: Kyle Okposo picked up three helpers against the Canucks on Monday. Analysis: Thomas Vanek is gone, but Kyle Okposo is keeping up his nearly point-per-game pace, as he has 65 points in 66 contests.