News: Tomas Tatar did not skate Thursday after taking a knee to the head in Wednesday night's game, but doesn't expect to miss the season opener, the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: The Red Wings got a scare Wednesday, but it appears Tomas Tatar does not have a concussion and will be fine. They may hold him out of the exhibition games over the weekend but all signs point to him being in the lineup for the first game of the season.
News: Jordan Staal (broken leg) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Jordan Staal is still expected to miss three to four months after fracturing his right fibula in a preseason game Sept. 23. An early return around late December would be the best-case scenario here, however a more realistic expectation would be sometime in mid- to late-January.
News: Jimmy Howard saved 31 shots but fell to the Penguins 2-0 in preseason action Wednesday. Analysis: The Red Wings will rise or fall on the shoulders of Jimmy Howard this season, as the pressure mounts to prove last season was an aberration. Howard let up a bad rebound on one of the goals but played well for the most part. He is the unequivocal starter to begin the year but it remains to be seen what kind of leash he will be on should he struggle out of the gates.
News: Brock McGinn was assigned to AHL Charlotte on Thursday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Brock McGinn was a longshot to crack the Canes' roster this season, having only played four games at the AHL level two seasons ago. If he can show the same kind of scoring touch with the Checkers that he had in junior (171 points in 227 games over four seasons with the Guelph Storm of the OHL), he should be one of the first guys the Canes call up if they run into injury trouble.
News: David Pastrnak (shoulder) is back to absorbing contact in practice, the Bruins' official site reports. Analysis: The report notes that David Pastrnak could see action in one or both of the Bruins' remaining two preseason games, Friday against the Islanders and/or Saturday against the Red Wings. The youngster thus remains in the mix to potentially claim one of the team's remaining open forward spots, along with the likes of Craig Cunningham, Jordan Caron, Bobby Robins, Matt Fraser and Simon Gagne.
News: Haydn Fleury was returned to his junior team Thursday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Analysis: Haydn Fleury, 18, was the Canes' first-round draft pick this year and appeared in two preseason exhibition games for the Canes before his demotion. He had a solid camp and preseason, however the Canes have solid depth on the blue line coming into this season with eight defensemen who played 40 or more games at the NHL level last year. Fleury will get his shot someday, but may need to spend some time in the AHL before he lands in the NHL full time. For now, he will ply his trade for the Red Deer Rebels of the WHL.
News: Tyler Seguin has played in four of the Stars' preseason contests, accruing three goals and an assist. Analysis: All four of Tyler Seguin's points came in Monday's contest against the Panthers, with his hat trick keying the Stars' comeback victory. Seguin emerged as one of the NHL's premier scoring talents in his first season in Big D, and with Jamie Benn and talented youngster Valeri Nichushkin back beside him, it's possible he could make a run at his first Art Ross Trophy.
News: Valeri Nichushkin seems to be behind the groin injury that limited him last week, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Valeri Nichushkin has appeared in the Stars' last three preseason contests, supplying a goal and two assists during that span. He was skating on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin at Thursday's practice, and it's all but certain that he'll open the season with that duo. Nichushkin turned in an excellent campaign as a rookie (14 goals, 20 assists, plus-20 rating in 79 games) and looks poised to take a leap forward in his sophomore season.
News: Darren Helm (groin) is planning to play in one of the Red Wings' two remaining preseason games, Ansar Khan of MLive.com reports. Analysis: Darren Helm has not played since since the Red Wings' Sept. 22 preseason opener, but he is on track to return to action before the regular season begins, so it seems likely be will be available for Opening Night.
News: Nate Prosser was claimed off waivers by the Wild on Thursday, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reports. Analysis: With the Wild still in search of a seventh defenseman, they'll kick the tires on Nate Prosser, who already has extensive familiarity with coach Mike Yeo's system. Before signing with St. Louis in the offseason, 28-year-old Prosser appeared in 126 games across five seasons with the Wild, totaling 21 points and 127 penalty minutes.