News: Though he didn't take part in the Devils' morning skate, Jacob Josefson (groin) hasn't been ruled out for Friday's game against the Lightning, Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger reports. Analysis: Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said that Jacob Josefson is still a possibility Friday night, since the center took the option of sitting out the morning skate in attempt to aid his recovery. He'll officially be a coach's decision for the match, leaving Pete DeBoer to make the choice between Josefson or Tim Sestito as his fourth-line center.
News: Travis Hamonic (upper body) was activated from injured reserve Friday. Analysis: After he was able to practice over the last several days, Travis Hamonic will be cleared to rejoin the lineup following a six-game absence. He doesn't offer many contributions in the scoring categories, but his steady play on his own end will be welcomed by an Islanders squad that suffered from uneven play defensively in recent back-to-back losses to the Blues.
News: Johnny Boychuk (upper body) was activated from injured reserve Friday. Analysis: Johnny Boychuk will return to the lineup for Friday's game against the Red Wings for the first time since Nov. 26, an absence that spanned nine games. The Islanders will also get Travis Hamonic (upper body) back Friday, putting the team's top two defensive pairings back in tact.
News: Jaroslav Halak will be between the pipes Friday against the Red Wings. Analysis: While his recent 11-game winning streak is now kaput, Jaroslav Halak has rebounded from back-to-back dreadful outings against the Blues with strong efforts in wins over the Blackhawks and Devils, respectively. His play has the Isles looking like one of the Eastern Conference's better teams this season, as he enters Friday's tilt with an outstanding 16-6-0 record to accompany his 2.35 GAA and .917 save percentage.
News: Steve Mason left Friday's practice with what could be a significant injury, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports. The goalie was unable to leave the ice under his own power and required assistance to the locker room. Analysis: Details remain scarce regarding his condition, but it looked to be a non-contact injury, as Steve Mason fell to the ice after his body seemed to inexplicably lock up. The Flyers' training staff will likely examine him extensively to see what kind of injury he's dealing with, so it might not be until Saturday that the nature of the ailment is revealed. Even if Mason's issue proves to be more minor than anticipated, Ray Emery still looks like the favorite to start Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs, and quite possibly, many more contests to come.
News: Michael Hutchinson was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate and is in line to make the start Friday against the Bruins, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports. Analysis: No surprise here, as coach Paul Maurice has held steadfast to alternating starts between Michael Hutchinson and Ondrej Pavelec for the last several games. Hutchinson has been generally brilliant since working his way into the timeshare, but turned in a stinker his last time out against the Ducks, surrendering three goals on 30 shot attempts. Tuukka Rask is expected to make the start in the opposite net for the Bruins.
News: Tyson Strachan (lower body) missed his second straight practice Friday. Analysis: Coach Ted Nolan described Tyson Strachan's absence Thursday as being for "maintenance purposes," but back-to-back no-shows raise concern about his availability for Saturday's game against the Avalanche. His status likely won't be known until the Sabres conduct their gameday skate Saturday morning.
News: Brian Gibbons is dealing with an upper-body injury and will be evaluated Friday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Brian Gibbons supplied an assist and two shots on goal in Thursday's overtime loss to the Capitals, but suffered the injury at some point during the contest and was limited to just 9:05 of ice time. The Blue Jackets should have a better idea of his condition after the evaluation, so he'll remain questionable for Saturday's game versus the Blackhawks until the team provides more information.
News: Leo Komarov (concussion) skated with the Leafs' strength and conditioning coach prior to Friday's practice, David Alter of MapleLeafs.com reports. Analysis: It's just the second time that Leo Komarov has taken to the ice since suffering the concussion back on Nov. 29. The forward still remains under league protocol and hasn't been cleared to resume practicing with the team, likely making him at least a week away from a return to action.
News: Eric Tangradi was reassigned to AHL Hamilton on Friday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: The Habs activated Lars Eller (upper body) from injured reserve Thursday, leaving no incentive for the team to keep Eric Tangradi around. The winger has tallied no points across seven games with Montreal on the season.