News: Steven Stamkos will move over to right wing for Thursday's game vs. the Panthers, Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Analysis: It's likely just a temporary lineup shakeup from coach Jon Cooper, with the hope that a new arrangement allows the Bolts to end their five-game losing streak. The switch from center to wing has the secondary benefit of relieving some of the stress on Steven Stamkos' right leg, while perhaps squeezing a little more offense out of him. He has yet to record a point in his three games since returning from IR.
News: Cory Schneider will be in the crease Friday vs. the Panthers, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: Cory Schneider has been a spectator for the Devils the last two games since his seven-goal debacle against the Red Wings, but he'll get the call Friday. With a full week to reflect on the embarrassing outing, Schneider should be highly motivated to deliver a strong performance against the slumping Panthers.
News: Ray Emery (groin) was on the ice for Thursday's practice and believes he will be available over the weekend, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Analysis: The Flyers have a home-and-home series lined up with the Penguins on Saturday and Sunday, making it likely that Ray Emery gets the starting nod on one of those two days, if his groin holds up. Emery hasn't appeared in a game since Feb. 27.
News: Daniel Alfredsson did not practice Thursday, but it is a maintenance day to get some immigration issues sorted out, Ansar Khan of MLive reports. Analysis: Daniel Alfredsson is healthy and should slate into the lineup Friday against Edmonton. However, he is in the midst of his biggest scoring drought of the season, with no points in five March games. He should break out of the slump soon, but use him at your own risk.
News: Zac Rinaldo (upper body) says he will play Saturday vs. the Penguins, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Analysis: After Zac Rinaldo was able to practice Thursday without incident, it appears coach Craig Berube is content to insert him back in the lineup after missing just one contest. With 170 hits and 117 penalty minutes on the campaign, Rinaldo provides needed physicality on the fourth line for the Flyers.
News: Jimmy Howard will take over in goal Friday against the Oilers, Ansar Khan of MLive reports. Analysis: Petr Mrazek received the start in net Thursday after Jimmy Howard came down with the flu, but Howard will resume his starting duties Friday. The Red Wings, more than ever, need Howard to start earning his contract down the stretch with so many players injured. He is 13-15-10 with a 2.65 goals against average, and has lost three straight, allowing 10 goals in that stretch.
News: GM Don Maloney said the Coyotes hope to have Martin Erat (upper body) back in the lineup within a week, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Martin Erat has officially been ruled out of Thursday's game vs. Boston and appears unlikely to play Saturday as well, but it doesn't sound like a long-term absence is in the works for the forward. He was reported that he's already noticed some improvement from his injury since Tuesday's game and could start skating on his own within the next couple of days.
News: Daniel Cleary (knee) is still not skating and has no timetable for return, Ansar Khan of MLive reports. Analysis: Daniel Cleary wasn't playing much before he got injured, but with all the Red Wings out, if he was healthy he would likely own a spot in the lineup. When he starts practicing, he should need a couple more days before getting into game shape.
News: Martin Hanzal (lower body) will miss his sixth straight game Thursday vs. the Bruins, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Though he'll once again be unavailable for the Coyotes, Martin Hanzal has resumed skating and looks to be progressing towards a return. If he's able to practice Friday, he could be an option for Saturday's game vs. Calgary.
News: Vladimir Sobotka (knee) will be activated from injured reserve and play Thursday vs. the Oilers, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: After first resuming practicing with the team Wednesday, it was believed that Vladimir Sobotka would need a few more days of full-contact work before being activated from IR, but coach Ken Hitchcock was apparently pleased enough with where the forward was at in his recovery. He's slated to center the third line Thursday and will be flanked by T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko.