News: Ben Scrivens will man the net again Thursday against the Sharks. Analysis: Ben Scrivens has turned in back-to-back credible outings for the Oilers against the Rangers and Coyotes, but he's been cruelly handed the loss on both occasions. If it's not Edmonton's horrid defense that lets him down, Scrivens has too often seen the Oilers' offense fail to provide him with much support. Simply put, the team is a disaster right now and could struggle mightily over the remainder of the season, making its goalie situation one to avoid whenever possible.
News: Derick Brassard (mumps) will resume practicing with the Rangers on Friday, Andrew Gross of The Record reports. Analysis: The Rangers put Derick Brassard under a five-day isolation period after he was diagnosed with the mumps last Sunday, and it appears the virus is no longer wreaking havoc on his body. Though ostensibly healthy, Brassard is no sure bet to return to the lineup Saturday against the Hurricanes, as it will likely hinge on how he looks during Friday's skate. J.T. Miller has been absorbing most of Brassard's ice time over the last two games.
News: Stefan Noesen (Achilles) posted on his personal Twitter account that he was able to resume skating Thursday. Analysis: Stefan Noesen isn't projected to return until mid-to-late February due to the Achilles injury, so he still has significant hurdles to clear in the recovery process. He'll likely work out on his own for the next several weeks before the Ducks allow him to practice with AHL Norfolk.
News: Karri Ramo missed Thursday's practice with an illness. Analysis: Coach Bob Hartley said that Karri Ramo called in sick prior to practice, but is expected to return to the ice for Friday's morning skate. He's slated to serve as the backup for Jonas Hiller later that evening against the Stars, but the Flames will bring a goalie up from the AHL ranks if Ramo fails to notice improvement with his condition by that time. Hartley said there's no indication at this time that Ramo is dealing with the mumps, but the Flames are taking precautions nonetheless, according to NHL.com's Aaron Vickers.
News: Jonas Hiller will receive the start in goal Friday against the Stars. Analysis: With Karri Ramo absent from Thursday's practice due to an illness and uncertain to be availalbe Friday, it was an easy decision for coach Bob Hartley to tap Jonas Hiller for his third start in four games. While Hiller has been unable to snap a losing streak for the Flames that now sits at six games, he's at least outperformed the struggling Ramo recently, stopping a respectable 91.8 percent of the shots he's faced over his last four appearances. The Flames will play their second game of a back-to-back set Saturday, but if Ramo's not healthy by then, look for Hiller to get the call again.
News: Jacob Josefson tweaked his groin in Wednesday's loss to the Senators and was forced out of practice early Thursday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. Analysis: Jacob Josefson wasn't forced to miss significant time due to the injury Wednesday, but he didn't feel right while skating at practice the following day. He's still optimistic about his chances of playing Friday against Tampa Bay, but his availability won't be known until the Devils complete their morning skate that day.
News: Jonathan Quick left the ice first at Thursday's morning skate and is thus in line to start against the Blues, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports. Analysis: Jonathan Quick performed woefully his last time out against the Blues on Tuesday, making just 18 saves on 22 shot attempts. He'll oppose Blues backup goalie Martin Brodeur in this one, but will clearly need to improve his play if the Kings hope to escape with a victory. Quick has taken the loss in four of his last five outings.
News: Tye McGinn will be scratched in favor of John Scott for Thursday's game against Edmonton, according to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. Analysis: Tye McGinn has been a disappointing signing for San Jose. He's been useful due to the injuries they're fighting through, but it's likely that McGinn will find himself scratched more often than not if the team gets healthy. That's doubly true if the team manages to get Raffi Torres back in January.
News: John Scott will draw back into the San Jose lineup on Thursday against Edmonton, reports Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. Analysis: John Scott has been out of the lineup since the Sharks' home-and-home against Edmonton on Dec. 7 and 9. He retains limited fantasy value, as he's typically only useful for PIM and is a frequent healthy scratch.
News: Antti Niemi will be in the crease Thursday against the Oilers, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports. Analysis: With Edmonton entering play Thursday with losses in 15 of their 16 games, Antti Niemi couldn't ask for a more favorable matchup than this. He returned last weekend in dominant fashion after dealing with an undisclosed injury earlier in the week, submitting a 29-save shutout to silence an excellent Predators squad.