News: Stephen Weiss (shoulder) said Thursday that he hopes to return to the Detroit lineup when eligible Sunday versus the Avalanche, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: Stephen Weiss rotated in during line rushes at Thursday's practice, but he said that he's taking a "wait-and-see approach" to his status for Sunday based on how he progresses over the next few days. The Red Wings should have a better idea about his availability for the Avalanche game following Saturday's practice.
News: Johan Franzen (illness) has been cleared to play Friday against the Islanders, Chuck Pleiness of the Macomb Daily reports. Analysis: After skipping Tuesday's game with the illness, Johan Franzen returned to the ice for Thursday's practice and looked to be feeling significantly better. The forward said he's been battling the stomach flu off-and-on for the past three weeks, but passed all tests for the mumps conducted by the team's medical staff. The illness has surely impacted his play of late, as he's gone 12 games without a goal after potting six in his first 13 contests. Now that he's seemingly recharged, Franzen will likely form a trio with Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco on Friday.
News: Adam Larsson (mumps) is being labeled as day-to-day and his status for Friday's game against the Lightning will be a "coach's decision," Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: After battling the mumps for the previous week, Adam Larsson was cleared to rejoin the team Wednesday. He's skated each of the last two days and appears to have regained stamina after the virus resulted in him losing considerable weight. With the Devils announcing Thursday that Damon Severson (ankle) would miss the next four-to-five weeks, there's a ready-made lineup spot waiting for Larsson should coach Pete DeBoer decide to play him.
News: Mike Cammalleri (lower body) skated on his own Thursday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Mike Cammalleri didn't participate in the Devils' optional practice later in the morning, however, which may prevent him from making his return to the lineup Friday against Tampa Bay. Friday will mark the first game of a back-to-back set in any event, so it's possible the Devils might prefer to save Cammalleri for Saturday's tilt with the Capitals, rather than having him play two games immediately upon his return from injury.
News: Damon Severson was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his ankle Thursday and will miss the next four-to-five weeks, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Though his offensive production has tailed off dramatically since the end of October, Damon Severson was still an important cog on the Devils' top pairing, averaging 23:02 of ice time per game. The rookie apparently first suffered the injury after taking a shot to his ankle in a Dec. 6 game against the Capitals, playing through the fracture until he began to experience significant swelling Wednesday. Though he won't require surgery, Severson will still be out until mid- or late-January, forcing coach Pete DeBoer to turn to Eric Gelinas, Seth Helgeson and Adam Larsson to assume more prominent roles on the New Jersey blue line.
News: Dainius Zubrus (leg laceration) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: The Devils are still considering Dainius Zubrus day-to-day after he was able to skate earlier in the day, but was moved to IR to create some roster flexibility. Since he's already missed the minimum seven days required for an IR stint, he'll be eligible for activation immediately once he becomes healthier.
News: Carey Price will be in the crease Thursday against the Ducks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Carey Price has been spectacular in claiming three consecutive wins, stopping 84-of-88 shots (.954 save percentage) to bring his record up to 17-8-1 for the season. The Ducks, who recently saw a seven-game winning streak come to an end, figure to be a stiff test for Price, but it's probably worthwhile to use him while he's playing impressively and on home ice.
News: The Ducks will give Frederik Andersen the start in net Thursday against the Canadiens, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Frederik Andersen was pulled early in the third period of Tuesday's outing against the Maple Leafs after surrendering four goals, allowing Ilya Bryzgalov to make his team debut. Bryzgalov could make his first start for the Ducks on Friday in Ottawa, but because Andersen didn't see a full 60 minutes his last time out, coach Bruce Boudreau will roll with his No. 1 netminder for the 20th straight time. Despite his heavy usage, Andersen had generally played well prior to Tuesday's debacle, winning in his previous seven starts.
News: Colton Sceviour grabbed his second goal of the year in a win over Vancouver on Wednesday. Analysis: Colton Sceviour had a big impact in limited time last year, scoring eight goals and four assists in 26 games last season. In 25 games this season he has just two goals and four assists. However, those two goals came in the last five games and he may be finding his touch again.
News: Vernon Fiddler had an assist, a plus-2 rating, and a pair of shots in Dallas' win over Vancouver on Wednesday. Analysis: Vernon Fiddler has two goals and seven assists through 30 games. He's about on pace for where he's been in recent years, a little behind, but Fiddler has been about what you'd expect this season.