News: Evander Kane (lower body) returned to practice Friday, Paul Friesen of the Winnipeg Sun reports. Analysis: Evander Kane appeared on track to return before the week started until some pain started to resurface, keeping him off the ice until Friday. He's seemingly unlikely to play Saturday but should return soon after that time, barring any unforeseen setbacks.
News: Coach Alain Vigneault confirmed Henrik Lundqvist would start Sunday against the Flames. Analysis: Henrik Lundqvist is riding a four-game losing streak, with the latest defeat coming in particularly embarrassing fashion, as he surrendered three first-period goals before he was pulled from the game. Still, with the ink barely dry on his long-term contract extension, Lundqvist will receive the lion's share of the starts for the foreseeable future, even when he's not at his sharpest. Sunday's game against the lowly Flames would seem to be a good opportunity for Lundqvist to regain some confidence.
News: Jaroslav Halak will be between the pipes Saturday vs. the Blue Jackets, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: Jaroslav Halak received the past two games off due to a string of recent struggles, but he'll return to the net after Brian Elliott won in rather unimpressive fashion Thursday against the Maple Leafs. The support of a powerful Blues attack has played a large part in guiding Halak to a 15-5-2 record this season, but he's certainly been serviceable in his own right with a 2.24 GAA and .910 save percentage.
News: Carey Price will be in the net Saturday vs. the Islanders. Analysis: Carey Price turned in a solid effort Thursday against the Flyers but ended up losing his second straight game with Steve Mason outdueling him in the opposing goal. Such a scenario seems less likely to happen against the Islanders, who feature two goalies with GAAs over 3.00 in Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin.
News: Jamal Mayers announced his retirement from the NHL on Friday, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. Analysis: A member of last season's Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks squad, Jamal Mayers indicated during the offseason that he intended to keep his career going, but received little interest from NHL teams willing to help him achieve that goal. He retires with 219 points over 915 career NHL contests with the Blackhawks, Sharks, Flames, Maple Leafs, and Blues.
News: Bryan Bickell (lower body) was back at practice Friday for the Blackhawks, CSN Chicago's Tracy Myers reports. Analysis: Bryan Bickell will need to complete a few more sessions beyond Friday before the Blackhawks feel comfortable activating him from IR, but everything appears to be trending in a positive direction as of now. The forward appears to be targeting a return to the lineup Dec. 20 against the Canucks.
News: Derick Brassard (back) sat out Friday's practice. Analysis: The Rangers won't play again until Sunday, so Derick Brassard will still have another day to recover before the team makes a call on his status for that game. He sat out for the first time this season Thursday against the Blue Jackets with his back still troubling him.