News: Brett Bellemore scored his first goal of the season and collected five PIM in Friday's win over Washington. Analysis: Brett Bellemore now has six points and a plus-3 rating in 33 games on the season. Considering the defenseman averages just 15:32 of ice time and has only recorded 16 shots on goal, Bellmore is only valuable in the deepest of fantasy leagues.
News: Jamie Benn failed to record a point for the first time in eight games in Friday's loss to the Avalanche. Analysis: It's somewhat surprising that his streak ended on this night, as the Stars were able to put up a four-spot on Semyon Varlamov. Nonetheless, Jamie Benn is still one of the hottest players in the league with 13 points in his last nine games, and should continue to be his typically beasty self going forward, even without best buddy Tyler Seguin -- who remains out with a lower-body injury -- by his side.
News: Kevin Connauton (foot) is expected to miss both of the Blue Jackets' weekend games against the Devils and Penguins, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Kevin Connauton has yet to get back on the ice since hurting his foot in Tuesday's loss to the Sabres. The Blue Jackets are still considering him day-to-day, but it looks like his next realistic chance at playing won't come until this coming Tuesday against the Capitals.
News: Cody Eakin fired home two goals and added a helper in Friday's 5-4 loss to the Avalanche. Analysis: The fourth-year NHLer continues to quietly produce, as his 28 points are now within striking distance of the career-high 35 he put up last season.
News: Oscar Dansk was reassigned to AHL Springfield on Saturday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: With Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) ready to come off injured reserve ahead of Saturday's game versus the Devils, Oscar Dansk heads back to the minors, as was planned all along. The young goalie didn't see any action during his stint with the big club, and looks to be a year or more away from making a serious run at a more permanent deployment in the NHL.
News: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) was activated from injured reserve Saturday, but will serve as the backup goalie for the game later in the evening against the Devils, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Sergei Bobrovsky appears fully healthy after resuming full practice earlier this week, but coach Todd Richards will give No. 2 goalie Curtis McElhinney one more turn before handing the net back over to his franchise netminder. Look for Bobrovsky's return to action to come Sunday against the Penguins, in what will be the second game of a back-to-back set. The groin injury and a broken finger suffered in late October have limited Bobrovsky to 33 games this season, during which he's compiled a 16-15-2 record, 2.85 GAA, and .913 save percentage.
News: Curtis McElhinney will be in the crease for Saturday's game against the Devils, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: This could be Curtis McElhinney's last start for a while, as the Blue Jackets will activate Sergei Bobrovsky (groin) from IR to serve as the backup goalie for Saturday's tilt. Bobrovsky is then expected to man the net Sunday against the Penguins, and should assume the bulk of the duties thereafter as the Blue Jackets cling to fleeting playoff hopes. To his credit, McElhinney has been generally serviceable in place of Bobrovsky for the past month, going 6-5-1 with a 2.51 GAA and .923 save percentage since the All-Star break. However, he's taken losses in each of his last three turns, and may have difficulty coming away with the win with one of the game's better goalies in Cory Schneider manning the opposite net.
News: Nate Guenin scored his second goal of the year and chipped in two assists in a 5-4 shootout win over the Stars on Friday. Analysis: An unlikely source of offense, the trio of points gives the stay-at-home defenseman a total of just 12 on the season. Nate Guenin (25 points in 125 career games) doesn't figure to have too many more nights like these, so we'll chalk this up as an anomaly for the 32-year-old.
News: Gabriel Landeskog scored his 16th goal of the season and added an assist in a 5-4 shootout win over the Stars on Friday. Analysis: The resurgence continues for Landy, who's now rattled off six goals and nine points in the last eight games. The Avs' captain is certainly doing his best to redeem himself with owners who have been saddled with one of the biggest fantasy disappointments of the year, as his 40 points and minus-5 rating are still well off the mark of his 65-point, plus-21 campaign from 2013-14. Gabriel Landeskog does, however, have 11 power-play points, surpassing last year's 10, so if he can continue his run of strong play, his ledger may not wind up being that disappointing, after all.
News: Dalton Prout (upper body) will return to the lineup Saturday against the Devils, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Dalton Prout, who had missed the previous nine games with the injury, resumed practicing Wednesday and appears to be back to full health. He'll slot in on the third pairing in place of Kevin Connauton, who will sit out Saturday with a foot injury.