News: Darren Helm lit the lamp in a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday. Analysis: Darren Helm will score intermittently, with 20 points in 48 games, but often goes through stretches like five-game scoreless streak he carried into Thursday. He has settled into his role as a bottom-six center, however, and does more for the Wings than shows up on the stat sheet.
News: James Neal found the net on his only shot on goal in Thursday's loss to the Blues. Analysis: James Neal hasn't quite been the premier sniper the Predators thought they had acquired in June, but he's been plenty productive in his first season in Music City. He's notched 15 goals and 27 points in 40 games, with his plus-16 rating ranking 17th in the NHL.
News: David Backes recorded an assist and four shots on goal in Thursday's win over the Predators to improve his point streak to eight games. He's provided a goal or assist in 10 of his last 11 contests. Analysis: More impressive than the streak itself is how many of those games have been multi-point efforts (five). It's added up to seven goals, eight assists, and a plus-11 rating during that stretch. It's safe to say that kind of production plays in any league.
News: Vladimir Tarasenko recorded an assist but went minus-2 in Thursday's win over the Predators. Analysis: Vladimir Tarasenko was held without a point in his final two games before the All-Star break, but it's not anything to worry about for fantasy owners. Even in those scoreless games, he still fired off 12 shots on goal, demonstrating that he has no intention of slowing down.
News: The injury that resulted in Jori Lehtera's exit in Thursday's win over the Predators and out of Friday's game against the Hurricanes is believed to be an upper-body concern, KMOV.com reports. Analysis: Jori Lehtera sustained the injury in the third period of Thursday's game when he ran into the end boards. The center will travel with the Blues on their two-game road trip, suggesting the team is confident it's just a day-to-day concern, but he won't be available until the second match of that trip Sunday in Washington at the earliest. Ty Rattie was recalled from AHL Chicago to provide the Blues with some depth in the interim, but it's fourth liner Ryan Reaves that is expected to see the greatest influx of ice time with both Lehtera and Patrik Berglund out for at least one game.
News: Oscar Klefbom scored Thursday, contributing to a 3-2 win over the Sabres. Analysis: Oscar Klefbom hit the back of the net upon receiving a quick pass from Oilers center Anton Lander. It was his first goal of the season. Despite the big night, Klefbom is raw offensively and fantasy owners can safely overlook him for more established options at this early point in his career.
News: Cedric Paquette rattled off three goals -- the final one shorthanded -- for his first career hat trick Thursday against Detroit. Analysis: Well, no one saw that coming. Cedric Paquette's shown some flashes of offensive productivity, but has produced most of his fantasy utility through PIM and hits to this point. His 44 points in the AHL last year and seven points there in five games this year similarly suggest that Paquette has offensive upside that he's yet to realize.
News: Petr Mrazek allowed five goals on 15 shots and was pulled at the second intermission Thursday against Tampa Bay. Analysis: Tom McCollum then proceeded to make him look even worse by stopping all 17 shots he faced in the third period. Petr Mrazek's on shaky ground now, having struggled mightily in four straight starts. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Wings go with McCollum in their next game, Saturday against the Isles.
News: Michael Ryder will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game Friday versus the Penguins, Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger reports. Analysis: The returns of Tuomu Ruutu and Jaromir Jagr from illnesses have forced the Devils to drop a forward from their lineup since the All-Star break, and Michael Ryder has been the casualty on both occasions. The Devils like the tenacity Jordin Tootoo brings to the fourth line on a nightly basis, so it wouldn't be surprising if Ryder remains a press-box regular until an injury opens up another opportunity for the winger.
News: Robin Lehner made 35 saves on 39 shots in a loss to Dallas on Thursday. Analysis: Sure, he gave up four goals, but after he struggled through the first period, Robin Lehner settled down and played very well the rest of the way. The final 6-3 score didn't show how close this game actually was, and Lehner's final stat line doesn't show the 26 saves on 27 shots he made in the second and third periods.