News: Cam Talbot stopped all 26 shots he faced to blank the Flyers on Friday. Analysis: That gives Cam Talbot back-to-back shutouts against the Flyers, who failed to get one by the netminder when the two teams met last week. Despite his extraordinary success against Philadelphia, coach Alain Vigneault will resist the temptation to go back to him in Saturday's rematch, as Henrik Lundqvist has already been announced as that game's starter. In any case, the back-to-back positive turns amount to a nice confidence boost for Talbot, who had mostly struggled in his other outings this season.
News: Frederik Andersen led the Ducks on to the ice and will make the start in goal Friday versus the Blackhawks. Analysis: Frederik Andersen has reeled off three straight wins on the heels of a five-game losing streak, but he'll face a stiff test at home against Chicago. Friday's game will mark the first of a back-to-back set for the Ducks, so it's possible coach Bruce Boudreau will turn to backup Jason LaBarbera on Saturday.
News: Jesse Blacker was recalled from AHL Norfolk on Friday, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Clayton Stoner was officially diagnosed with the mumps virus and ruled out of Friday's game against the Blackhawks, forcing the Ducks to bring up Jesse Blacker for his NHL debut. The 23-year-old, who is considered one of the organization's better blue line prospects, has four points in 14 games with Norfolk.
News: Clayton Stoner (illness) has been officially diagnosed with the mumps virus and will not play Saturday against the Blackhawks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Clayton Stoner practiced Friday and seemed well on his way to returning to action, but apparently some late-emerging symptoms of the mumps will knock him out of action. The setback has to be concerning for the Ducks, who now might have to worry about further players potentially being infected by Stoner. Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin previously missed multiple games with the illness.
News: Mike Green (upper body) will not play Friday against the Islanders, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: Jack Hillen will spell him in the Capitals' lineup for the second straight game. It hasn't been reported that Mike Green has resumed skating since suffering the injury, so it's not clear when he might rejoin the lineup.
News: Johnny Boychuk will miss Friday's game against the Capitals with an upper-body injury. Analysis: Johnny Boychuk had been missing practices recently with a suspected knee issue, so the fact that he'll sit out Friday with an upper-body injury comes as a surprise. The blueliner, who has been highly productive since coming over in a trade with the Bruins late in training camp, will be considered day-to-day for the time being. Brian Strait takes his spot in the lineup Friday.
News: Chad Johnson will be in the crease Friday against the Capitals. Analysis: Chad Johnson will spell the red-hot Jaroslav Halak in goal, but only because the Islanders are playing the first game of a back-to-back set. The move from Boston to Long Island hasn't proven overly kind for Johnson, despite the 5-2 record he carries into Friday's contest. His 3.33 GAA and .876 save percentage rank 38th and 42nd, respectively, among the 42 qualifying goaltenders.
News: Calvin Pickard will be in the net Saturday against the Stars, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Semyon Varlamov (groin) is making rapid progress and is targeting a return to the net Monday against the Canadiens, so Saturday's start could be Calvin Pickard's last chance to make a case for sticking with the Avs. It should be noted that coach Patrick Roy said that if Varlamov had been ready to play Saturday, Pickard wouldn't be sent back to AHL Erie, implicitly saying that Reto Berra now ranks third on the goalie depth chart. If Pickard can merely turn in a competitive showing against a strong Stars offense -- as he did during his 42-save effort versus the Blackhawks on Wednesday -- he'll likely solidify himself as the Avs' No. 2 goalie going forward.
News: Anton Khudobin is slated to start in goal Saturday against the Penguins. Analysis: Coach Bill Peters said heading into the weekend back-to-back with Pittsburgh that he would split the starts between his two goaltenders. With Cam Ward being named Friday's starter, Anton Khudobin will therefore man the net Saturday by default. Khudobin is still winless (0-4-2) over his six starts this season, producing a 2.97 GAA and .898 save percentage. It seems doubtful that he'll pick up his first victory in a matchup against the league's highest-scoring team.
News: Cody Goloubef (leg) skated with full gear Thursday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Cody Goloubef has been skating for several days now and seemed to be optimistic about his progress, saying after Friday's session that he'd be back "sooner rather than later." Since Goloubef suffered the injury, the Blue Jackets have added Jordan Leopold and Kevin Connauton to their blue line corps, which may not offer room for the 24-year-old to earn back a regular spot in the Columbus lineup.