News: Clayton Stoner (illness) is expected to play Saturday against the Blackhawks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: When Clayton Stoner fell ill over the past weekend, the Ducks feared that he was the latest victim of the mumps virus that has wreaked havoc in the locker room all season. Instead, it seems like his illness was something less severe, as he practiced Thursday with seemingly no restrictions. He'll slot back in for Francois Beauchemin, who will miss Saturday's game with a suspected hand injury.
News: Francois Beauchemin (upper body) is not expected to play Friday against the Blackhawks, NHL.com's Curtis Zupke reports. Analysis: It sounds like Francois Beauchemin's hand is still ailing him after he hurt it while blocking a shot Tuesday against Calgary. Clayton Stoner figures to return to the lineup in his stead.
News: Jason Akeson cleared waivers and was assigned to AHL Lehigh Valley on Friday. Analysis: The 24-year-old went unclaimed after failing to muster a single point over 12 games with the Flyers. Playing outside of a top-six role seemed to be his downfall with the Flyers, but he's proven to be a potent scorer in the AHL when he receives more consistent minutes.
News: Sergei Bobrovsky will be in the crease Friday against the Canucks. Analysis: Coach Todd Richards wasn't certain whether Sergei Bobrovsky would start Saturday's game against Nashville, but the goalie would likely make the decision easier for his coach with a strong outing Friday night. That's no easy task to come by, as the Canucks have been road warriors with an 8-3-0 mark away from Rogers Arena this season and boast one of the league's better offensive attacks.
News: Brendan Shinnimin was recalled from AHL Portland on Friday. Analysis: Brendan Shinnimin, 23, had four goals and 10 points over 19 games with Portland. It's not immediately clear if Shinnimin will be filling in for an injured regular or merely serving as a depth forward, but he's probably not worth tracking until he produces with the Coyotes, in any event.
News: Josh Gorges (knee) will not play Friday against the Canadiens and isn't likely to suit up in Saturday's rematch either, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports. Analysis: Josh Gorges was on the ice as an extra for Friday's morning skate, and while he feels like he's ready to go, the Sabres' doctors aren't signing off on his return just yet. Unless the doctors change their tune Saturday morning, it's looking likely that Gorges won't be activated until prior to next Tuesday's game against the Lightning.
News: Victor Hedman (hand) was skating as an extra at Friday's practice, suggesting he won't suit up Saturday versus the Senators, Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: Victor Hedman wore a regular jersey and took full contact, but it would appear that the Lightning want him to get another practice or two in before getting him back in the lineup next week. There's still a possibility that Hedman could talk his way into the lineup after Saturday's morning skate, so it's probably advisable to keep track of his situation in the event he ends up being a surprise activation prior to that evening's game.
News: Darcy Kuemper will start in goal Friday against Dallas, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: Darcy Kuemper will start despite giving up four goals and getting pulled in the first period in Wednesday's loss. Niklas Backstrom has a bad track record in Dallas and Kuemper has bounced back from poor outings this season, so the Wild will keep him in goal. Backstrom is likely to start Saturday in the second of back-to-back games.
News: Jussi Jokinen is battling the flu and is unlikely to play Friday against the Senators, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Analysis: Jussi Jokinen wasn't present at Friday's morning skate, so barring a dramatic recovery over the afternoon, it appears that he'll sit out for the first time this season. The veteran winger could probably benefit from the rest in any case, as he's cooled considerably since his hot start in November, going without a point and producing a minus-3 rating over his last four games. Jimmy Hayes figures to rejoin the lineup in Jokinen's place.
News: Jay Bouwmeester (lower body) is expected to miss his third straight game Saturday versus the Oilers, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Jay Bouwmeester wasn't present at the Blues' morning skate and hasn't resumed on-ice work since suffering a lower-body injury last weekend. Chris Butler is once again in line to replace him on defense. Bouwmeester would seem unlikely to play in Minnesota on Saturday, either.