News: Damon Severson was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his ankle Thursday and will miss the next four-to-five weeks, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Though his offensive production has tailed off dramatically since the end of October, Damon Severson was still an important cog on the Devils' top pairing, averaging 23:02 of ice time per game. The rookie apparently first suffered the injury after taking a shot to his ankle in a Dec. 6 game against the Capitals, playing through the fracture until he began to experience significant swelling Wednesday. Though he won't require surgery, Severson will still be out until mid- or late-January, forcing coach Pete DeBoer to turn to Eric Gelinas, Seth Helgeson and Adam Larsson to assume more prominent roles on the New Jersey blue line.
News: Dainius Zubrus (leg laceration) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: The Devils are still considering Dainius Zubrus day-to-day after he was able to skate earlier in the day, but was moved to IR to create some roster flexibility. Since he's already missed the minimum seven days required for an IR stint, he'll be eligible for activation immediately once he becomes healthier.
News: Carey Price will be in the crease Thursday against the Ducks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Carey Price has been spectacular in claiming three consecutive wins, stopping 84-of-88 shots (.954 save percentage) to bring his record up to 17-8-1 for the season. The Ducks, who recently saw a seven-game winning streak come to an end, figure to be a stiff test for Price, but it's probably worthwhile to use him while he's playing impressively and on home ice.
News: The Ducks will give Frederik Andersen the start in net Thursday against the Canadiens, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: Frederik Andersen was pulled early in the third period of Tuesday's outing against the Maple Leafs after surrendering four goals, allowing Ilya Bryzgalov to make his team debut. Bryzgalov could make his first start for the Ducks on Friday in Ottawa, but because Andersen didn't see a full 60 minutes his last time out, coach Bruce Boudreau will roll with his No. 1 netminder for the 20th straight time. Despite his heavy usage, Andersen had generally played well prior to Tuesday's debacle, winning in his previous seven starts.
News: Colton Sceviour grabbed his second goal of the year in a win over Vancouver on Wednesday. Analysis: Colton Sceviour had a big impact in limited time last year, scoring eight goals and four assists in 26 games last season. In 25 games this season he has just two goals and four assists. However, those two goals came in the last five games and he may be finding his touch again.
News: Vernon Fiddler had an assist, a plus-2 rating, and a pair of shots in Dallas' win over Vancouver on Wednesday. Analysis: Vernon Fiddler has two goals and seven assists through 30 games. He's about on pace for where he's been in recent years, a little behind, but Fiddler has been about what you'd expect this season.
News: Sergei Bobrovsky will make the start in goal Thursday against the Capitals, Jeff Rimer of FOX Sports Ohio reports. Analysis: While his workload has started to mount of late, Sergei Bobrovsky will likely assume every start for the Blue Jackets until he begins to cool off. He's almost single-handedly willed the Blue Jackets away from the Connor McDavid sweepstakes and into contention for an Eastern Conference playoff spot to this point in December, winning in all seven of his starts and posting a 1.64 GAA. Fantasy owners should roll with Bobrovsky in their lineups regardless of his opponent while he continues to sizzle.
News: Braden Holtby will be between the pipes Thursday against the Blue Jackets. Analysis: Braden Holtby missed out on his 13th victory of the season Tuesday against the Panthers by the narrowest of margins, falling in a shootout that lasted an NHL-record 20 rounds. The netminder has been mostly good of late with save percentages of .916, .869, .928 and .965 over his last four starts, but has taken two overtime losses during that span. He'll probably need to turn in another superb outing Thursday if he hopes to topple Columbus and their netminder, Sergei Bobrovsky, who owns a 7-0 record, 1.63 GAA and .950 save percentage thus far in December.
News: Braydon Coburn (general soreness) will play Thursday against the Panthers, Bill Meltzer of NHL.com reports. Analysis: Braydon Coburn was in some pain after he was hit into the boards during Tuesday's loss to Tampa Bay, but was able to recover sufficiently in advance of Thursday's morning skate. Coach Craig Berube will stick with the same six defensemen Thursday that he used two nights earlier.
News: Roberto Luongo will man the net Thursday for the Panthers on the road in Philadelphia, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Analysis: Coach Gerard Gallant will stick with the same lineup that came out on top in a 20-round shootout Tuesday against the Capitals, with no player being more instrumental in that victory than Roberto Luongo. The 35-year-old has won both of his last two outings while posting save percentages above .930, bring his record to 11-6-6 on the campaign. He should be a decent play against a Flyers attack that ranks in the middle of the pack league-wide in goals per game.