News: Antti Niemi will start in net Thursday against the Kings, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports. Analysis: Thursday's start will be Antti Niemi's 31st appearance of the season, which leads the NHL. With a 2-3-1 record in his last six games, he's cooled off a bit since racking up six straight wins in late November, but should still be considered one of the top goaltenders in the league.
News: It appears that Martin Havlat will move up the Sharks' depth chart to the Logan Couture line for Thursday's game against the Kings, according to David Pollak of the Mercury News. Analysis: One game after he potted a goal and an assist, ending a six-game pointless streak, Martin Havlat is reaping the rewards, but there's no guarantee that this lasts more than a game. Coach Todd McLellan has been searching for some missing offense by playing musical chairs with the open wing spot opposite Patrick Marleau on Couture's line.
News: James Reimer will start in net for the Maple Leafs on Thursday against the Coyotes, Jonas Siegel of TSN 1050 reports. Analysis: James Reimer will start back-to-back games for the first time since late November, as Jonathan Bernier will play the backup role again. Reimer has a 7-5-1 record this season, and a .925 save percentage and a 2.83 GAA.
News: Erik Karlsson will get his regular defensive partner, Marc Methot, back Thursday against the Panthers. Analysis: Erik Karlsson was paired with rookie Cody Ceci Wednesday night against the Devils, as Methot was a surprise healthy scratch. Karlsson still managed two assists in that game, but finished with a minus-2 rating as well. Head coach Paul MacLean is hoping Methot's reinsertion in the lineup will help Karlsson defensively. Karlsson has nine goals and 24 assists in 36 games this season, and looks likely to lead all defensemen in points again for 2013-14.
News: The Blackhawks reassigned Kent Simpson to AHL Rockford on Thursday. Analysis: The Blackhawks never planned on bringing the 21-year-old goaltender up this season, but injuries to Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin forced them to use him as Antta Raanta's backup. He'll be replaced on the roster by veteran Jason LaBarbera.
News: The Blackhawks recalled Jason LaBarbera from AHL Rockford on Thursday. Analysis: The veteran net minder will be brought up to replace Kent Simpson as Antti Raanta's backup while Corey Crawford and Nikolai Khabibulin are both injured. Once Crawford or Khabibulin returns, Jason LaBarbera will almost certainly be returned to Rockford, but he might see some action for the time being.
News: The Rangers reassigned Dylan McIlrath to AHL Hartford on Thursday. Analysis: The blueliner suited up for just two games with the Rangers this year, recording seven PIM. He'll return to Hartford, where his line stands at three goals and four assists through 24 games, but his whopping 115 PIM at the AHL level could earn him another call-up if the Rangers need some more grit.