News: Jacob Josefson tweaked his groin in Wednesday's loss to the Senators and was forced out of practice early Thursday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Jacob Josefson wasn't forced to miss significant time due to the injury Wednesday, but he didn't feel right while skating at practice the following day. He's still optimistic about his chances of playing Friday against Tampa Bay, but his availability won't be known until the Devils complete their morning skate that day.
News: Jonathan Quick left the ice first at Thursday's morning skate and is thus in line to start against the Blues, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports. Analysis: Jonathan Quick performed woefully his last time out against the Blues on Tuesday, making just 18 saves on 22 shot attempts. He'll oppose Blues backup goalie Martin Brodeur in this one, but will clearly need to improve his play if the Kings hope to escape with a victory. Quick has taken the loss in four of his last five outings.
News: Tye McGinn will be scratched in favor of John Scott for Thursday's game against Edmonton, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. Analysis: Tye McGinn has been a disappointing signing for San Jose. He's been useful due to the injuries they're fighting through, but it's likely that McGinn will find himself scratched more often than not if the team gets healthy. That's doubly true if the team manages to get Raffi Torres back in January.
News: John Scott will draw back into the San Jose lineup on Thursday against Edmonton, reports Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. Analysis: John Scott has been out of the lineup since the Sharks' home-and-home against Edmonton on Dec. 7 and 9. He retains limited fantasy value, as he's typically only useful for PIM and is a frequent healthy scratch.
News: Antti Niemi will be in the crease Thursday against the Oilers, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports. Analysis: With Edmonton entering play Thursday with losses in 15 of their 16 games, Antti Niemi couldn't ask for a more favorable matchup than this. He returned last weekend in dominant fashion after dealing with an undisclosed injury earlier in the week, submitting a 29-save shutout to silence an excellent Predators squad.
News: Coach Paul Maurice announced Thursday that Mark Stuart will be out until February with a lower-body injury. Analysis: Winnipeg's situation on defense has turned from troubling to dire, as Mark Stuart's absence means that all of the Jets' top four blueliners are now out with significant injuries. Though Stuart offers the least offensive ability of those four players, he's arguably the most feisty, as he leads the team in blocked shots (74) and ranks fifth in hits (74). He apparently suffered the injury during a fight in Tuesday's 5-1 rout of the Sabres.
News: Craig Anderson will make the start in the crease Friday against the Ducks, Wayne Scanlan of the Ottawa Citizen reports. Analysis: Craig Anderson came through with a much-needed shutout Wednesday against the Devils, which followed a three-game stretch where he surrendered 10 goals. While his hold on the No. 1 job remains tenuous, Anderson can carry some value when the matchup favors him. It doesn't appear that will be the case Friday against a superior Ducks squad.
News: Kyle Palmieri (shoulder) is aiming to return to the Anaheim lineup Dec. 27 in Arizona, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Though Kyle Palmieri is set to undergo further testing to determine the full extent of his shoulder injury, he didn't sound concerned about a long-term absence being in play. He could be cleared to practice at some point next week.
News: Joey Crabb is being isolated from his teammates at AHL Hartford on Thursday and will be evaluated for the mumps virus. Analysis: Acquired from the Panthers near the end of training camp, Joey Crabb has spent all season with Hartford, where he's produced seven points in 22 games. The mumps outbreak hasn't hit the minor leagues to the same extent it has in the NHL, but the organization obviously wants to take every precaution against further contamination if Crabb is confirmed to have the virus.
News: Josh Gorges (undisclosed) expects to return to the lineup Saturday against the Avalanche, John Vogl of the Buffalo News reports. Analysis: Josh Gorges missed the last two games due to the injury, but a three-day break in the Sabres' schedule looks like it will provide the defenseman with enough time to return to full health. His impending return would likely bump Andrej Meszaros out of the Buffalo lineup.