News: Steve Downie is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Analysis: After not taking the ice Tuesday, Steve Downie is decidedly iffy for Thursday's playoff opener against the Rangers.
News: Brandon Prust (upper body) will be a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Habs' playoff series with the Lightning beginning Wednesday, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports. Analysis: Brandon Prust was able to take part in Tuesday's practice and skated on a regular line, but it's unclear if he's fully recovered from injury quite yet after missing the final 12 games of the regular season. The team could make a decision on Prust's status for Game 1 at the conclusion of Wednesday's morning skate.
News: Matt Duchene (knee) did not skate Tuesday, the Denver Post reports. Analysis: The report notes that Matt Duchene is not expected to play in the first two games of the Avs' upcoming series against the Wild (which opens Thursday), at a minimum.
News: Travis Moen (concussion) joined the Canadiens for a non-contact practice Tuesday, Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette reports. Analysis: Though Travis Moen will travel to Tampa for the team's first-round playoff series, he's seemingly unavailable for at least Game 1 after skating on the Habs' fifth line at Tuesday's session. He'll need to get some full-contact work before coach Michel Therrien considers using him in his postseason lineup.
News: Kris Letang practiced at the left point of Pittsburgh's top power-play unit Tuesday, the Penguins' website reports. Analysis: Kris Letang will serve as the lone defender on the No. 1 uit, with the right point being manned by Evgeni Malkin. Paul Martin has played well on the team's top unit, so placing Letang there over Martin means the team has confidence the stroke survivor is operating at 100 percent capacity.
News: Tyson Strachan was reassigned to AHL Hershey on Tuesday. Analysis: With the Capitals' season now completed, Tyson Strachan will head back to the minors to get some action before the AHL schedule comes to a close. Strachan supplied two assists and 28 penalty minutes over his 18 games with the Capitals this season.
News: Matt Niskanen skated on Pittsburgh's third-group pairing with Olli Maatta on Tuesday and manned the left point of the team's second power-play unit, the Penguins' website reports. Analysis: The return of Kris Letang and Paul Martin to the lineup don't do much to help Matt Niskanen and could, in fact, reduce his playing time and fantasy production. The right-handed shooting defender set a number of career marks in 2013-14, but he might have to wait for injuries to strike before taking a more prominent spot on the blue line.
News: Jan Hejda (upper body) is day-to-day, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: More on Jan Hejda's status Wednesday, but coach Patrick Roy noted Tuesday that he expects the blueliner to be ready for the team's series against the Wild, which opens on Thursday.
News: Jeff Zatkoff will serve as Pittsburgh's backup goalie in the playoffs, the Penguins' website reports. Analysis: Pens coach Dan Bylsma said that, while Tomas Vokoun will work with the team, Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff would get the bulk of practice time.
News: Jeff Zatkoff is expected to serve as Marc-Andre Fleury's backup in the playoffs, according to the Penguins' website. Analysis: Tomas Vokoun will continue to work with the team in practices and optional skates, but the bulk of practice work in the postseason will go to Fleury and Zatkoff. Of course, things have a way of playing out and it wouldn't be surprising to see Vokoun back in the mix at some point.