News: Nikita Nikitin (upper body) is doubtful for Saturday's game against the Predators but may be able to return for Monday's game against the Stars. Analysis: Nikita Nikitin sustained an upper-body injury during Thursday's game and was not able to return to that contest. He traveled with the Blue Jackets to Nashville and is considered day-to-day.
News: Antti Niemi is expected to start Saturday's game against the Canadiens, David Pollak of the Mercury News reports. Analysis: Antti Niemi has struggled lately, posting an .887 save percentage over his last five games. While it's something to keep in mind, the Finnish netminder has a long history of success and figures to get back on track sooner rather than later.
News: Jaroslav Halak will start Saturday's game against the Coyotes, CSN Washington's Rob Carlin reports. Analysis: As expected, Jaroslav Halak will make his Caps debut against the Coyotes, in a matchup between two teams grinding for wild-card spots in their respective conferences. The Slovak netminder posted a 24-9-4 record, 2.23 GAA and .917 save percentage in 40 games (38 starts) behind the stout St. Louis defense this season. He'll have a tough time maintaining those numbers behind a shaky Washington blue line that has struggled on the PK all season. It's still unclear how the playing time will be divided between Halak and Braden Holtby, but a timeshare would make sense.
News: Jaromir Jagr scored his 20th goal of the season during the Devils' 7-4 loss to the Red Wings on Friday. Analysis: Though he's sitting on a minus-4 rating over his last five games, Jaromir Jagr has five points (three goals, two assists) over that span. It is Jagr's first 20-goal season since his last year with the Rangers in 2007-8 and he now has 54 points in 64 games this year.
News: Patrik Elias scored his 14th goal of the season during the Devils' 7-4 loss to the Red Wings on Friday. Analysis: Patrik Elias scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to put the Devils on the scoreboard and cut the deficit in half early in the second period. Though it sparked a Devils rally to take the lead, the Red Wings were just too much for them to handle. Elias now has 14 goals and 27 assists over 49 games this season.
News: Cory Schneider stopped just 26 of 33 shots during the Devils' 7-4 loss to the Red Wings on Friday. Analysis: The seven goals against were a career-worst for Cory Schneider who looked helpless against the Red Wings' high-octane attack. It was a rare disaster for the 27-year-old netminder who had allowed just 10 goals in his previous five games and had a 1.92 GAA prior to Friday. Though he seemed upbeat in coping with the loss, he'll probably take a seat in favor of Martin Brodeur for Saturday's game against the Hurricanes.
News: Jeff Skinner scored his 24th goal of the season during Friday's loss to the Rangers. Analysis: Jeff Skinner gave the Canes the lead again shortly after the Rangers tied the game in the third period on an unassisted play. New York quickly came back and the Canes were unable to repel a late-game comeback by the Blueshirts. Skinner now has 24 goals and 17 assists over 53 games this season.
News: Jordan Staal scored his 12th goal of the season during Friday's loss to the Rangers. Analysis: The goal was Jordan Staal's first in 12 games and just his third point in that span. He was ice cold just before the Olympic break and equally cold coming out of it, so hopefully this is a sign that he is ready to emerge from his slump. He now has 12 goals and 16 assists over 63 games this season.
News: Anton Khudobin stopped 40 of 43 shots during Carolina's 4-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday. Analysis: Anton Khudobin played an outstanding game Friday but could only do so much as the action stayed predominately in the Canes' end throughout the game. He's now faced 143 shots over his last four games and has allowed just 10 goals in that span. The 27-year-old Russian netminder is going to need a stronger defense in front of him so he isn't forced to take such beatings on a regular basis.
News: Carl Hagelin potted an empty-netter for his 13th goal of the season during Friday's win over Carolina. Analysis: Carl Hagelin capped off the Rangers' comeback with an easy tally and secured the victory, the Rangers' first since returning from the Olympic break. He now has 13 goals and 12 assists through 53 games this season.