News: Anthony Peluso (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Thursday. Analysis: Anthony Peluso was moved to IR to make roster room for Evander Kane (knee), who will return to the lineup Thursday. Since Peluso first sustained the injury a week ago during practice, he's already missed the seven-day minimum required for every IR stint and will be immediately eligible to return when healthy.
News: Anze Kopitar (upper body) didn't take part in line rushes during morning skate and is expected to be scratched Thursday against the Penguins, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports. Analysis: Along with fellow injured forwards Trevor Lewis and Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar remained on the ice for extra work following the morning session, suggesting he's not yet ready to return. While Kopitar will miss his second straight game, the cap-strapped Kings were fortunate enough to be granted an emergency recall Thursday to ice a healthy 20 skaters, an option that wasn't available to them Tuesday against the Flyers.
News: Coach Barry Trotz said Brooks Laich (upper body) could possibly play Saturday against the Lightning, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: The Capitals planned to place Brooks Laich on injured reserve last week, but ended up reversing course and keeping him on the roster as a scratch for each of the last four games. He's been doing some activity on his own in preparation for a return, but if he's unable to fully practice Friday, it would seem likely that the Capitals rule him out for a fifth straight contest.
News: Patrick Maroon (knee) is recovering faster than anticipated from his MCL sprain and could play at some point during the Ducks' current four-game road trip, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Patrick Maroon suffered the injury Oct. 14 and was expected to miss four weeks, but a return over the next few days would mean that he was able to cut that projected recovery timetable in half. The winger won't be an option for Thursday's game in St. Louis, but coach Bruce Boudreau indicated there's a good chance the winger will be available for Friday in Dallas or Sunday in Colorado. Maroon was previously deployed on the Ducks' first line prior to suffering the injury, but there's no guarantee he'll reclaim that role was activated from IR. Since Maroon has been out, all of Devante Smith-Pelly, Dany Heatley and Matt Beleskey have seen time on the top trio with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, and it's unclear if Boudreau will end up permanently settling on a player anytime soon.
News: Daniel Briere will be a healthy scratch Thursday against the Islanders, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: The 37-year-old Daniel Briere will be replaced in the lineup by Dennis Everberg, who was recalled from AHL Lake Erie on Wednesday. It's unclear whether the demotion to the press box will be a permanent one for Briere, as it will likely depend on how well the rookie Everberg meshes Thursday with John Mitchell and Alex Tanguay on the third line. Briere has two goals and three points over 10 games with the Avs on the season.
News: Nate Guenin will rejoin the Avs' lineup Thursday against the Islanders, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Zach Redmond has emerged as coach Patrick Roy's preferred replacement option for Ryan Wilson (shoulder) on the third pairing, but Nate Guenin will now receive the opportunity to make an impression of his own. Guenin hasn't played since Oct. 18 and hasn't provided a point in his four games this season.
News: Semyon Varlamov is set to make the start in goal Thursday against the Islanders, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Semyon Varlamov has helped the Avs come away with at least a point in his last five starts, but is still sitting on a losing record (1-2-3) for the season. He'll have a good shot at evening his record against the Islanders, who have struggled defensively for most of the season.
News: Jesse Winchester appears to have suffered a setback in his recovery from a concussion, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: After taking contact in practices earlier this week, Jesse Winchester was donning an orange non-contact sweater at Thursday's morning skate, a sign that he's noticed a downgrade in his recovery. The fact that the Avs haven't shut down his on-ice activities entirely offers some encouragement, but it no longer looks as though Winchester will be activated in the coming days.
News: Josh Jooris will be a healthy scratch for Friday's game against the Predators, Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun reports. Analysis: Josh Jooris has been quiet since recording a goal in his NHL debut, with his move to the bottom line likely contributing to his lack of impact. Brian McGrattan is expected to take his spot in the lineup Friday.
News: Coach Bruce Boudreau said Mark Fistric wasn't close to returning after leaving Thursday's contest with an upper body injury, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Mark Fistric's status for Friday's game is questionable at this point, which could open the door for Josh Manson to make his NHL debut. The team may reveal more information on the situation in the future, but for now Fistric should be considered day-to-day.