News: Raffi Torres (knee) skated Friday morning, David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Analysis: It was the first time Raffi Torres has been on the ice since August, when it was determined he would need to undergo another surgery to repair his ACL. This is just a preliminary step in the recovery process, so he shouldn't be considered close to returning.
News: The Sharks dealt Jason Demers and a future third-round draft pick to the Stars on Friday in exchange for Brenden Dillon, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Jason Demers will help the Stars fill a need in adding a right-handed defenseman with some puck-moving ability to their ranks, which should only help the team's speedy forwards start to pick up their production. The 26-year-old, who was off to a slow start with the Sharks with only three points in 20 games, could also see some time on the power-play.
News: The Stars traded Brenden Dillon to the Sharks on Friday in exchange for defenseman Jason Demers and a future third-round draft pick, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Though he doesn't offer as much puck-moving ability as Demers, the 26-year-old Brenden Dillon's ample size (6-foot-4, 225 lbs.) will add some bulk to a Sharks blue line that figures to carve out a regular role for him. After missing much of training camp in a contract dispute, Dillon was rough to rotten start to the season with the Stars, generating no goals and one assist over 20 games.
News: Mike Brown (hand) resumed practicing with the Sharks on Friday, Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com reports. Analysis: Mike Brown has been sidelined since mid-October with the hand injury, but his presence at practice would make it seem that he's nearing the end of his recovery timetable. He'd likely fill a role in the Sharks' bottom six once he's activated from injured reserve.
News: Pavel Datsyuk (groin) has been ruled out from playing Saturday against the Maple Leafs, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. Analysis: There was some hope that Pavel Datsyuk might suit up Saturday after he was able to get in a skate Thursday morning, but it appears the forward still needs some additional time to get back to full health. He'll miss his third straight game with an injury and turn his attention to returning Monday against Ottawa.
News: Jimmy Howard will be in the crease Saturday against the Maple Leafs, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. Analysis: Jimmy Howard was rested Thursday in favor of youngster Petr Mrazek, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that he'll step back into the net Saturday. He's played like one of the very best netminders in the league this season, ranking in the league's top 10 in both GAA (1.97) and save percentage (.924).
News: Jonas Hiller will start in net Tuesday against the Ducks, Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun reports. Analysis: The Flames laid out their goalie plan through next Wednesday, slotting in Jonas Hiller on Tuesday. He will carry a a 2.45 GAA and .914 save percentage into the matchup, looking to reach a double-digit win total on the season.
News: Alex Tanguay has been ruled out indefinitely with a facial fracture, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Coach Patrick Roy noted that Alex Tanguay avoided a fractured jaw in Thursday's loss to the Capitals, but he's still be forced out action for an undetermined length of time as a result of the fracture. The Avs will have to wait and see how much progress Tanguay makes in the next few days before having a clearer idea of when he might return. In any event, it looks like the Avs could be without their leading goal scorer for multiple games.
News: Robert Bortuzzo will skate against the Islanders on Friday, Root Sports in Pittsburgh reports. Analysis: The rugged blueliner, who sat out the team's last game in Montreal, will take the place of Simon Despres in the lineup. Robert Bortuzzo has scored three points (1G,2A) in six games, registering 20 hits and eight blocked shots.
News: Simon Despres is not in Friday's lineup against the Islanders, according to Root Sports in Pittsburgh. Analysis: Robert Bortuzzo will take Simon Despres' spot in the lineup. There was no immediate word as to whether Despres is injured or is simply serving as a healthy scratch.