News: Derick Brassard (illness) will play Saturday against the Hurricanes, Andrew Gross of The Record reports. Analysis: Coach Alain Vigneault signed off on Derick Brassard's return after he was able to take part in the team's morning skate. The center missed the Rangers' last two contests with the mumps virus.
News: Ryan Carter (upper body) was activated from injured reserve Saturday, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: After missing the Wild's previous three games, Ryan Carter was cleared to return after practicing Friday. He'll be reinserted on the fourth line for Saturday's game against the Predators.
News: Jonathan Quick led the Kings on to the ice for pregame warmups and will thus get the start Saturday against the Coyotes, Elliott Teaford of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Analysis: Jonathan Quick will likely be a heavy favorite to come away with the victory against a Coyotes squad that has lost eight of its last 10 games, with its lone two wins during that stretch coming against the sad-sack Oilers. The netminder hasn't been particularly sharp lately, so this should represent a good bounce-back opportunity for him.
News: Matt Cooke (hip) was activated from injured reserve Saturday and will suit up against the Predators, Rachel Blount of the Minneapolis Stat Tribune reports. Analysis: He'll replace Justin Fontaine in the lineup, joining Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter on the Wild's third line. Matt Cooke last played on Oct. 28 before missing the last 22 games with a hip flexor.
News: Jonas Hiller will get the start in net Saturday, Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald reports. Analysis: Jonas Hiller and the Flames have hit the skids in December, as Calgary has lost seven straight and Hiller has lost six in a row. Until they right the ship, Hiller should be avoided, especially with his mates giving him a grand total of four goals combined in his last four outings.
News: Jake Allen will be between the pipes Saturday against the Sharks, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Things have started to turn ugly for Jake Allen here in December, despite the fact that he's won each of his last three starts. He's posted a horrid .884 save percentage in five outings this month, which has resulted in him yielding more work to Martin Brodeur than anticipated. Still, with a powerful offense and strong defense supporting him, the wins should keep coming rather steadily for the struggling netminder.
News: Antti Niemi will be between the pipes Saturday night against the Blues, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports. Analysis: Antti Niemi will take aim at his seventh straight victory Saturday, though he hasn't been as consistently sharp as the winning streak would suggest. During that stretch, he's surrendered three goals or more on three occasions, but did manage to capture his second shutout of the season. He'll have his work cut out for him against the Blues, who rank sixth in the NHL in goals and fifth in shot attempts per game.
News: Jannik Hansen left Saturday's game against the Flames after collapsing briefly on the bench shortly after taking a hit early in the second period, NHL.com reports. Analysis: Jannik Hansen was conscious and on his feet just a few moments later, but it was obviously a scary incident. He was helped to the locker room by the team's medical staff and remained in the dressing room for observation. We'll have more details as they become available.
News: Alex Tanguay scored two goals and added one assist in Saturday's 5-1 win over the Sabres. Analysis: He has five points (two goals, three assists) in his last four games and 10 in his last 10. He's delivering reasonable output for his fantasy owners in deep leagues.
News: Derrick Pouliot flicked a wrister past Roberto Luongo for his first NHL goal on his first shot Saturday against Florida. Analysis: The goal -- which also proved to be the game-winner -- came with a congratulatory post-game handshake from owner Mario Lemieux, who not only scored in his first game but also on his first shift. Derrick Pouliot, who skated 15:07 TOI, paired with Rob Scuderi and saw action on both of Pittsburgh's two power-play units. His spot in the starting lineup isn't guaranteed Monday and/or Tuesday with Robert Bortuzzo potentially returning from injury, but either way he's made a lasting first impression.