News: The Wild will go with John Curry as the backup to Ilya Bryzgalov for Game 1 against the Avalanche, meaning Darcy Kuemper (upper body) will be in the press box Thursday, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. "Kuemper is feeling a lot better, just not at a place yet where we feel comfortable playing him." Analysis: Darcy Kuemper practiced Tuesday for the first time in two weeks, so he could still need a few more workouts to round back into form. He enjoyed top billing on the Wild's depth chart before the injury, but it seems likely Yeo will roll with Bryzgalov as his No. 1 goalie throughout the playoffs.
News: Antti Niemi was named the starter for Thursday's Game 1 against the Kings, Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports. Analysis: Coach Todd McLellan declined to name his starting goalie at Wednesday's practice, but as expected, Antti Niemi was the first off the ice at Thursday's morning skate and will get the nod. Despite the emergence of Alex Stalock as one of the NHL's better backups this season, Niemi has put together another nice season for the Sharks. He carries a 39-17-7 record, 2.39 GAA and .913 save percentage into Thursday's contest.
News: Raffi Torres (knee soreness) will play in Thursday's Game 1 against the Kings, Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports. Analysis: After missing the first five months of the regular season following knee surgery, Raffi Torres only played in five games out of the Olympic break before soreness in the knee resurfaced. After taking the rest of the regular season to rest up, he increased his activity this week and looks set to play on the fourth line Thursday.
News: Ryan Getzlaf (face) is expected to play in Game 2 of the Ducks' series with the Stars, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Ryan Getzlaf was struck in the face with just 16 seconds remaining in Wednesday's Game 1 victory, suffering a deep facial laceration. Getzlaf was stitched up to repair the cosmetic damage, and after X-rays came back negative, it looks like he'll be in good shape for the rest of the postseason. He had a goal and assist before leaving Wednesday.
News: Coach Todd Richards said Nick Foligno (knee) would miss Saturday's Game 2 against the Penguins, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Nick Foligno is still expected to play at some point in the series, but the Blue Jackets may need to steal a win or two in order to buy enough time for his return.
News: Patrice Bergeron (lower body) practiced in full Thursday, CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty reports. Analysis: At this point, it looks like Patrice Bergeron will be a safe play for the postseason now that he's practiced for two consecutive days on his usual second line. Bergeron enjoyed another productive regular season for the Bruins, scoring 62 points while showing his typical toughness on defense. He'll have a good chance at claiming the Selke Trophy for the second time in his career.
News: Ryan Miller will get the nod for Thursday's Game 1 against the Blackhawks, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: Look for Ryan Miller to man the net for the duration of the Blues' postseason run, barring a continuance of his struggles late in the regular season. Miller finished 0-5 with a 3.83 GAA and .856 save percentage in his final five turns, tarnishing what had been a very productive run with the Blues up until that time.
News: Keith Aucoin was reassigned to AHL Chicago on Thursday, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: With the Blues getting many of their injured regulars back for the first game of their playoff series with the Blackhawks beginning Thursday, Keith Aucoin was no longer needed with the parent club. He appeared in the final two games of the regular season for the Blues, going minus-3 with a lone shot on goal.
News: T.J. Oshie (upper body) will not play in Thursday's Game 1 against the Blackhawks, Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports. Analysis: Coach Ken Hitchcock was gracious enough to rule T.J. Oshie out following morning skate, rather than waiting until pregame warmups before his unavailability became apparent. Fortunately, the Blues will get right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (broken hand) back into the lineup after he missed the last month, taking away some of the sting of Oshie's absence.
News: Patrik Berglund (upper body) will not play in Game 1 of the Blues' first-round series against the Blackhawks, Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports. Analysis: Patrik Berglund hasn't been practicing in full over the last couple days, so he wasn't expected to return right away for Game 1. He can be viewed as day-to-day for the time being, but it wouldn't be overly shocking if he missed further games in the series.