News: Marian Gaborik picked up an assist in Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Blackhawks. Analysis: Marian Gaborik has helpers in consecutive games. He is best known for putting shots on goal, though he's been relatively idle in that department with only four shots in his last three contests. Gaborik is generally a safe option at the forward spot.
News: Ilya Bryzgalov was the first goalie off the ice at the Ducks' morning skate and is expected to start Thursday against the Sharks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: The Ducks will kick off a back-to-back set Thursday, presenting Ilya Bryzgalov with the rare opportunity to pick up a start while Frederik Andersen prepares for Friday's game against the Blackhawks. The Ducks have lost just one of their nine January contests, so the team may not even need Bryzgalov -- who owns an awful 3.71 GAA and .854 save percentage over four outings -- to be especially sharp to dispatch the Sharks.
News: Pekka Rinne (knee) joined the Predators on the ice for Thursday's morning skate. Analysis: The Predators suggested just two days earlier that Pekka Rinne was expected to miss another 2-to-4 weeks due to the knee injury, so his presence on the ice Thursday shouldn't signal a forthcoming return. He could rejoin the team for full practice at some point next week, at which point the Predators will be able to provide another update on his progress in recovering from the injury.
News: Jake Muzzin delivered the game-winning goal against the Blackhawks on Wednesday. Analysis: Jake Muzzin handled a soft pass from Anze Kopitar late in third period and triggered the lamp from just inside the blue line. He's been a pleasant surprise this season with six goals and 17 assists in 42 games.
News: Cory Schneider will be in the crease for Friday's game against the Penguins, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Cory Schneider will lead off the Devils' weekend back-to-back set, but he'll probably need to quiet the Penguins and face a minimal amount of shots in order to pick up another start Saturday against the Panthers. The netminder dazzled in his first start since the All-Star break Wednesday night, holding the Leafs to one goal on 30 shots in a shootout victory.
News: Mike Cammalleri is nursing some soreness and was unable to practice Thursday, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: The practice appeared to be optional, so it could be the case where Mike Cammalleri was taking a maintenance day more than anything. However, because of the myriad injuries Cammalleri has dealt with the past two seasons, it's still worth following up on his status after Friday's morning skate just to be certain that he'll suit up for the game later that evening against the Penguins.
News: Jiri Tlusty returned to practice Thursday, with coach Bill Peters confirming afterward that the forward would be available for Friday's game against the Blues, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Peters acknowledged that while Jiri Tlusty isn't quite feeling 100 percent healthy, he's in good enough condition to play through whatever it is that's ailing him. Tlusty, who has tallied 12 goals and seven assists over 40 games, figures to slot in on his usual top-line spot next to the Staal brothers.
News: Dylan Olsen was placed on waivers Thursday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: The writing was on the wall for Dylan Olsen to be dropped from the roster after Alex Petrovic was recalled from AHL San Antonio following Olsen's poor performance Tuesday against the Red Wings. The 24-year-old Olsen has only eight points in 44 games this season, but his relative youth, ample size, and first-round pedigree might offer enough intrigue for a team to scoop him up off waivers.
News: Colby Robak was placed on waivers Thursday, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Analysis: His placement on waivers is likely connected to the impending return of blueliner Eric Brewer, who is finally healthy after suffering a broken foot back on Dec. 1. Colby Robak had appeared in just one game since Dec. 19, spending most of his stay with the Ducks as a healthy scratch. Expect him to report to AHL Norfolk once he clears waivers.
News: Antti Niemi was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate and is expected to receive the start in goal against the Ducks on Thursday, according to Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. Analysis: Antti Niemi is the go-to guy for the Sharks right now, who are fighting to stay in playoff contention. The goalie controversy that was supposed to exist with Niemi and sophomore netminder Alex Stalock hasn't been relevant for much of the season.