News: Nick Bjugstad posted a minus-2 with one shot on goal in Thursday night's 3-0 loss to the Blackhawks. Analysis: Nick Bjugstad started February on fire with seven points in his first nine games of the month including a stretch with four goals in five games. However, the past five games have not been as kind to the 22-year-old. Bjugstad has only taken 11 shots on goal and has posted a minus-7 plus/minus, dragging his plus/minus for the season to minus-9. He still leads the team in points (36) and goals (21), but will need to regain his scoring form for the already light-scoring Panthers.
News: Jonas Gustavsson will start Saturday's game in Nashville, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: It's a bit surprising to see Jonas Gustavsson get the nod, as Detroit won't play again until Wednesday's game against the Rangers. The matchup is as tough as they come, with Nashville currently leading the race for the President's Trophy.
News: Bobby Ryan assisted on the game's lone goal in Thursday's 1-0 win over the Kings. Analysis: Bobby Ryan is working on a modest three-game point streak, which are starting to become ordinary for him in his second season in Ottawa. The Sens' leading scorer with 45 points, Ryan has been especially productive since the All-Star break. He's accumulated three goals and nine assists in his last 12 games.
News: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) will skate on his own Saturday morning, and the Blue Jackets will then make a decision on their starter for Saturday's game against the Devils, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: The team will not skate until 5 PM, but Sergei Bobrovsky is going to work out on his own in the morning. If he doesn't make it back for Saturday's game, Bobrovsky could still start Sunday's contest in Pittsburgh.
News: Craig Smith netted his 20th goal of the season in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Wild. Analysis: Craig Smith is on track to fall short of last year's career-high total of 52 points, but he's at least in the midst of his hottest run of production of the season. He's accumulated six goals and two assists in his last seven games, making him a trendy waiver wire addition in recent days.
News: Brian Elliott will start Saturday's game in Edmonton, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: With Brian Elliott starting Saturday night, there's a good chance Jake Allen will get the nod for Sunday's game in Vancouver. However, the Blues have yet to name a starter for that game. First, Elliott will try to make the most of a favorable matchup, facing an Edmonton team with just 46 points this season.
News: Nate Thompson (lower body) remains day-to-day, but he will not play in Friday's game against the Kings, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Chris Wagner will center the Ducks' fourth line, working in between Tim Jackman and Patrick Maroon.
News: Brett Bellemore (illness) was on the ice for pregame warmups and appears set to play Friday against the Capitals, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Brett Bellemore was a game-time decision after missing the Canes' morning skate with the illness, but he made enough progress in the afternoon for the team to feel comfortable using him. Few fantasy players were likely awaiting an announcement on Bellemore's status with much anxiousness, as the blueliner has produced no goals and five assists over 32 games this season.
News: Eric Staal (illness) is on the ice for pregame warmups and looks like he'll play Friday against the Capitals, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: As expected, Eric Staal's minor bout with an illness won't prevent him from missing any game action, despite his absence from the Canes' morning skate. Look for him to slot in at his usual spot on the top line and receive his usual 20 minutes of action.
News: Though he was on the ice for pregame warmups, it appears unlikely Mark Giordano (upper body) will play Friday against the Islanders, NHL.com's Aaron Vickers reports. Analysis: Mark Giordano's presence at warmups was quite the surprise after the Flames had ruled him out for the game earlier in the day, but any hope that he might play seemed to be extinguished when he failed to skate as part of a regular pairing. The blueliner didn't seem to have his usual zip while shooting the puck, so it looks like the Flames will play it safe and send him to the press box for this one. Official confirmation on his being scratched should become available minutes prior to the 6:00 ET puck drop, but those in daily leagues that planned on using him should start looking at other options quickly.