News: Coach Ken Hitchcock did not elaborate on the status of David Backes (head) for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Blackhawks, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: We do know that David Backes wasn't on the ice for the team's Wednesday morning skate, so his status for the Blues' evening tilt against Chicago remains cloudy. When asked if Backes might play Wednesday, all Hitchcock would reveal was, "he wasn't available for the pre-game skate."
News: Patrick Maroon scored a goal late in the first period of a 4-2 loss in Dallas in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday. Analysis: Patrick Maroon scored only 11 times during the regular season, but ended the season on a high note with three goals in the final three games. The Ducks will hope that Wednesday's performance is a sign that he is continuing his end of the season level of play, as the Stars now have the momentum and the series is tied at 2-2.
News: Bryan Allen scored the opening goal during the first period of a 4-2 loss in Dallas in the Game 4 of the Stanley cup playoffs on Wednesday. Analysis: While Wednesday's goal was a step forward for Bryan Allen, the fact remains that he also did not have a single goal during the regular season.
News: HIller stopped the only shot on goal against him when he was put in with 12:22 left in the third period of a 4-2 loss to the Stars in Game 4 of the playoffs on Wednesday. Analysis: After teammate Frederik Andersen's lackluster performance in his last two games, it looks like he will now get a chance to regain his role as the starting goalie for Ducks. He will have his work cut out for him should he get the opportunity, the Stars have taken the momentum in the series and the Ducks will have to win Game 5 if they are to have a realistic chance to move on to the next round of the playoffs.
News: Frederik Andersen stopped 21 of 25 shots on goal before being taken out with 12:22 left in the third period of a 4-2 loss to the Stars in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday. Analysis: Given that he was pulled and this was the most consecutive games that he's started all season, it seems unlikely that Frederik Andersen will begin Game 5 in net for the Ducks. While the last two games have been sub par, it should be noted that the first two games of the series were pretty solid for Andersen. Even if he is pulled as starter when the team returns to Anaheim, Andersen may still return to net, provided the season continues long enough.
News: Ondrej Palat has been named one of three finalists for this year's Calder Memorial Trophy, given to the NHL's top rookie. Analysis: He was a sensation this season, finishing second in rookie scoring with 59 points (81 games) and one goal behind the goal-scoring lead among first-year players with 23. He was nominated alongside fellow Bolt Tyler Johnson and the Av's Nathan MacKinnon.
News: Tyler Johnson was named a finalist for the Calder trophy for the NHL's top rookie. Analysis: Tyler Johnson tied fellow nominee Nathan MacKinnon for the rookie goal-scoring lead (24). And his 50 points were good for third among NHL rookies behind MacKinnon and fellow Bolt rookie and Calder nominee, Ondrej Palat.
News: Jonathan Toews, who scored a goal in Game 3 against the Blues on Monday, will remain with Patrick Kane on the top line for Game 4 on Wednesday against the Blues, the Chicago Tribune reports. Analysis: There is precedence for the postseason changeup. Hawks' coach Joel Quenneville went to the formula during the Western Conference finals against the Kings last season. "(Kane and Jonathan Toews) feed off each other, anticipating offensively, see plays (and) make plays," Quenneville said. "They're a threat off the rush. They're two pretty amazing players."
News: Matt Cooke has been suspended seven games for kneeing Avs' defenseman Tyson Barrie, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Following Wednesday's hearing, the NHL's Department of Player Safety has decided that seven games would be the appropriate suspension for Matt Cooke. His suspension history likely came into play here, as well as the fact that Barrie will miss 4-to-6 weeks due to a sprained MCL as a result. Cooke has the option to appeal the suspension with an independent arbitrator, but it's currently unclear whether or not he will go this route.
News: Patrick Kane was joined with Jonathan Toews on the same line in Game 3 and will again be together on the top line for Wednesday night, Game 4, the Chicago Tribune reports. Analysis: There is precedence for the postseason changeup. Hawks' coach Joel Quenneville went to the formula during the Western Conference finals against the Kings last season. "(Patrick Kane and Toews) feed off each other, anticipating offensively, see plays (and) make plays," Quenneville said. "They're a threat off the rush. They're two pretty amazing players."