News: Jyrki Jokipakka was skating as part of the Stars' third pairing at morning skate and appears set to make his NHL debut Friday against the Devils, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Jyrki Jokipakka was recalled by the Stars on Sunday, after Patrik Nemeth was ruled out for the remainder of the regular season due to a severe arm laceration. The 23-year-old from Finland, who produced 21 points in 68 games for AHL Texas last season, will likely replace Kevin Connauton in Friday's lineup.
News: Lance Bouma scored his first goal of the season Thursday in a 5-0 victory against Carolina. Analysis: Amongst quite a bit of young scoring talent, Lance Bouma is not going to be expected to contribute all that much on the offensive end. He has two points in eight games thus far.
News: Mark Giordano notched an assist in a 5-0 win over Carolina on Thursday. Analysis: Mark Giordano's pace has slowed a little since a hot start to the season, but seven points in nine games for a defenseman is still stellar. There's no reason not to be starting Giordano at this point.
News: Scott Harrington was reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Friday. Analysis: Robert Bortuzzo (upper body) looks to be ready to go for the Penguins for their weekend tilt with the the Predators, so there wasn't much of a need for the team to carry Scott Harrington as an eighth defenseman. Harrington could be back up with the parent club if another long-term injury strikes the blue line at some point, but he'll otherwise spend most of his time this season in the minors.
News: Per GM Peter Chiarelli, surgery is not considered a likely option for Zdeno Chara, who sustained a tear in the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Thursday's game against the Islanders, the Bruins' official site reports. Analysis: While Chiarelli fell short of declaring that surgery has been 100 percent ruled out, at this stage it does not seem a likely outcome for Zdeno Chara, who the report confirms will be out 4-6 weeks. In the absence of Chara, at Friday's practice, the Bruins' top two defensive pairings appeared to be Dennis Seidenberg/Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug/Adam McQuaid.
News: Andrew Ebbett was reassigned to AHL Wilkes-Barre Scranton on Friday. Analysis: With all of the Penguins' forwards on the 23-man roster seemingly healthy heading into the weekend, Andrew Ebbett would have been forced to serve as a healthy scratch Saturday versus Nashville if he had stuck around. Instead, by returning to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, he'll be able to get in a few games before perhaps returning to the Penguins as an extra forward at some point next week.
News: Dennis Wideman scored a goal in Thursday's 5-0 pasting of the Hurricanes, his fourth in five games. Analysis: Ever since a benching early in the season, Dennis Wideman has caught fire. He has five points in his last five games and is finally showing why Calgary gave him such a big contract. Keep him rolling, as he and the Flames have been surprisingly good this season.
News: Calvin Pickard was assigned to AHL Lake Erie on Friday, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Calvin Pickard had been on hand for the last three games while Semyon Varlamov (groin) and Reto Berra (neck) dealt with injuries, but with both players now healthy, he'll head back to the minors. The 22-year-old Pickard predictably struggled in his first taste of NHL action, going 0-2 with a 3.65 GAA and .889 save percentage in his two appearances.
News: Nikita Zadorov played just 6:12 in his 2014-15 season debut as the Sabres' seventh defenseman in a 2-0 loss to the Kings on Thursday. Analysis: It was more an effort to take some rust off Nikita Zadorov than anything as head coach Ted Nolan used him sparingly in a game that would've been a blow out had Jhonas Enroth not turned in such a solid performance. The big hulking Russian defender is still in limbo as the team decides what to do with him. SKA St. Petersburg, the KHL team that owns his rights, have so far refused to release him to the OHL. At this point, Zadorov's only options are to stay in the NHL or go to the KHL, but the Sabres are reluctantly to let him go to Russia and develop in a league so far away.
News: Anthony Duclair practiced on the Rangers' third line Friday and appears set to return to the lineup Saturday against the Canadiens, Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: A healthy scratch for the previous two games, Anthony Duclair will get another chance to state his case for remaining with the Rangers on Saturday. The 19-year-old was the talk of training camp and has contributed three assists in five games, but his effectiveness had started to wane prior to his pair of healthy scratches. Coach Alain Vigneault has vowed to keep Duclair among his top-nine forwards anytime he plays, but if the young phenom fails to take advantage of the opportunity in subsequent games, a demotion to his junior team, the QMJHL's Quebec Ramparts, could be in the offing.