News: Brett Bellemore scored his first goal of the season and collected five PIM in Friday's win over Washington. Analysis: Brett Bellemore now has six points and a plus-3 rating in 33 games on the season. Considering the defenseman averages just 15:32 of ice time and has only recorded 16 shots on goal, Bellmore is only valuable in the deepest of fantasy leagues.
News: Tyler Ennis (lower body) will not play Saturday afternoon against the Panthers. Analysis: Because of the 3:00 p.m. ET start time, the Sabres didn't hold a morning skate, which won't allow the team to get a proper gauge for Tyler Ennis' health heading into the game. Ennis will still be a participant in pregame warmups, but will head to the press box afterward to serve as a scratch for the second straight game. He appears to be firmly in the day-to-day camp with his injury, so there's a decent chance he could be healthy in time for Tuesday's game against the Lightning.
News: Michal Neuvirth will be between the pipes for Saturday's game against the Panthers. Analysis: Michal Neuvirth enters the crease Saturday looking to build on his first winning streak of the season, as he's captured back-to-back victories over the Blue Jackets and Canucks. Wins haven't come easy for an Sabres goalie the past two seasons, but Neuvirth has at least done a commendable job of keeping the team competitive since assuming the No. 1 gig in the wake of Jhonas Enroth's trade to the Stars. He's posted a .942 save percentage over eight starts in February, and looks like he might be a reasonable fantasy option against a Panthers squad that ranks 25th in goals per game.
News: Aaron Volpatti was placed on waivers Saturday, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports. Analysis: The move clears up a roster space ahead of Monday's trade deadline. Aaron Volpatti is expected to report to AHL Hershey if he goes unclaimed. Having only played in two games after spending most of the season recovering from offseason neck surgery, the British Columbia native has zero points and one shot while averaging 9:37 in ice time this season and remains largely irrelevant in terms of fantasy considerations.
News: Xavier Ouellet was recalled from AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday, MLive.com's Ansar Khan reports. Analysis: With Brendan Smith nursing a sore arm and Kyle Quincey still recovering from an ankle injury, Xavier Ouellet will be on hand as insurance on defense. In the event Smith is formally ruled out prior to Saturday's game against the Predators, Ouellet would likely draw in on the Red Wings' third defensive pairing. During his stay with the big club earlier this season, Ouellet generated two goals and an assist over 21 games.
News: Jesper Fast (knee) will not return to the Rangers' lineup Saturday against the Flyers, Steve Zipay of Newsday reports. Analysis: Jesper Fast is rapidly closing in on a return, but coach Alain Vigneault suggested after Saturday's morning skate that the forward needed one more practice Sunday before the team would feel comfortable inserting him back in the lineup. Assuming Sunday's session goes well, look for Fast to make his first game appearance since Feb. 7 when the Rangers take on the Predators on Monday.
News: Cam Talbot will be in the crease for Saturday's game against the Flyers. Analysis: Cam Talbot has been victorious in his previous three starts, posting save percentages above .900 on each occasions, including a shutout of the Flames on Tuesday. The netminder has been the beneficiary of some outstanding offensive support during his run as the Rangers' No. 1 goalie, which should allow the wins to keep flowing in with frequency.
News: Mark Pysyk, who was reassigned to the AHL on Friday, collapsed while playing basketball with a few of his Rochester teammates and was rushed to the hospital, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: According to the report, Mark Pysyk "was fairly alert" at the hospital and displayed "vital signs that were close to normal." Pysyk wasn't known to have any preexisting heart issues, but the episode will likely prompt the team to closely evaluate him over the next couple days to assess his medical records. The 23-year-old had played impressively during his latest stint with the Sabres and was expected to receive another call-up in the near future, but that may have to be delayed after these latest events. There is no timetable for Pysyk's return until an official diagnosis has been made. While everyone is hoping for a speedy recovery, Jake McCabe has become the next option.
News: Shawn Thornton posted a minus-1 with two shots on goal in 8:27 of ice time in Thursday's loss to the Blackhawks. Analysis: Shawn Thornton has only seen more than 10 minutes of ice time four times in 2015. He is not afraid to pick up penalty minuteshe has 48 in 35 games playedbut his inconsistent ice time and his inability to score pointshis last point came on Nov. 24gives him limited fantasy value.
News: Kris Russell picked up an assist while seeing 28:21 of ice time in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Islanders. Analysis: Kris Russell helped spoil goalie Jaroslav Halak's shutout bid with 21 seconds remaining in the third period, as he found Josh Jooris for the Flames' only tally of the evening. More notable than the helper was Russell's TOI, which was his second-highest mark of the season. It's no coincidence that it came on a night when Mark Giordano (upper body) was unavailable, with Russell absorbing most of the minutes that became available. Should Giordano's injury result in a long-term absence, Russell's fantasy value would likely notice a modest spike.