News: Nathan MacKinnon dished out a pair of helpers in Friday's win over Nashville. Analysis: The two points snapped a three-game scoring drought for Nathan MacKinnon, who now has nine goals and 29 points in 50 games. While he's been held off the scoresheet in seven of his last nine games, the Avs are playing good hockey right now, picking up at least one point in six of their last seven games. MacKinnon's only 19, so we wouldn't give up on him just yet this season. His whopping 152 shots on goal indicate more goals are on the way. Patience is a virtue.
News: Mike Ribeiro took a break from scoring Friday, racking up 22 PIM in a loss to Colorado. Analysis: While Mike Ribeiro has 43 points (33 assists) in 48 games this season, he is also now among the league's top-100 PIM leaders. Producing at basically a point-per-game pace and sporting a steady plus-15 rating, Ribeiro is worth owning in most formats.
News: Marek Mazanec gave up two goals on 27 shots in Friday's loss to Colorado. Analysis: It was a good effort from Marek Mazanec, who got no offensive support in the shutout loss. It was the first start of the season for the 23-year-old, who had been giving way to Carter Hutton in Pekka Rinne's (knee) absence. Considering Hutton has given up seven goals in his last two starts, Mazanec could be worth a temporary pick-up until Rinne returns.
News: Semyon Varlamov stopped all 23 shots he faced in Friday's shutout win over Nashville. Analysis: A perfect outing for the workhorse, who has started 14 of the Avs' past 15 games. Semyon Varlamov is now 13-10-7 on the season with a .922 save percentage and 2.62 GAA. He's delivered some consistency play of late, allowing more than three goals just once in his last 10 appearances. Considering he's starting almost every game for an Avs team that has picked up at least one point in six of their last seven games, Varlamov is a great own in almost all formats.
News: Alex Pietrangelo picked up an assist Friday in a shootout win over Carolina. He was plus-1 and added one shot, two hits, and a blocked shot in the game. Analysis: Like many of his teammates, January has treated Alex Pietrangelo well as he has picked up seven points in 11 games since the calendar flipped. He has been overshadowed by teammate Kevin Shattenkirk this year, but Pietrangelo is having a solid season with 28 points, an even rating, and 125 shots on goal through 48 games.
News: Ryan Reaves scored his fifth goal of the season Friday in a shootout win over Carolina. He was plus-1, took five shots, and laid six hits in the contest. Analysis: The goal sets a new career high for the rugged winger and his next point will set a career mark in that category too. Ryan Reaves will obviously never be an offensive force, but in leagues where you took him for his toughness the boost in production is gravy.
News: Marcel Goc picked up an assist Thursday in a win over the Canes. It was his first point since being traded to the Blues. He was plus-1 with three shots and a hit on the night. Analysis: Marcel Goc is centering the Blues fourth line and has played right around 13 minutes in his first two games with his new team. He has been a 20+ point scorer in the past, but has just seven point on the year and the move to the Blues will keep him primarily in a checking role.
News: David Backes picked up his 17th goal of the year Friday in a shootout win over Carolina to extend his point streak to nine games. He took three shots and added five hits and three blocks on the night. Analysis: David Backes has eight goals and 16 points during his streak, which is just outstanding. That pace over a full season would produce 145 points. He has accumulated nearly half of his season point total during the past month as he rips up the league.
News: Dustin Tokarski is the likely starter for Sunday's matinee game against Phoenix, the Montreal Gazette reports. Analysis: The Canadiens have back-to-back games at the Bell Centre this weekend beginning Saturday against Washington. Carey Price gets the start against the Capitals and we anticipate head coach Michel Therrien taking the usual course of getting Dustin Tokarski one of the starts in a back-to-back set.
News: Cory Schneider was outstanding Friday against the Penguins, stopping 41 of 43 shots in an overtime loss. Analysis: It was just Cory Schneider's first loss in four starts, as he has been a brick wall of late. He leads the NHL with 43 starts this season and his save percentage has climbed to .922 -- seventh best in the NHL. The workhorse, who owns a 17-19-5 record on the year, is playing like a top-10 NHL netminder right now. You know what to do.