News: Coach Bruce Boudreau indicated that Francois Beauchemin was just on the Ducks' road trip to "get in shape" with the team, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: There had been a sliver of hope that Francois Beauchemin might play this weekend after it was announced he would travel earlier in the week. Instead, he'll start increasing his involvement in practice with an eye on returning from injured reserve perhaps at some point next week.
News: J.T. Miller was recalled from AHL Hartford on Friday, Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News reports. Analysis: J.T. Miller will give the Rangers an extra forward option while Derek Dorsett continues to nurse a wrist injury. The former 2011 first-round pick probably won't see anything more than fourth-line duty during his stay.
News: Phil Kessel (undisclosed) will play Saturday despite not practising Friday, reports the Toronto Star. Coach Randy Carlyle indicated that, "Phil's got various aches and pains," but characterized the snipers absence Friday as a "maintenance day." Analysis: There are rumors he's dealing with a right wrist injury, but nothing has been confirmed. "We're not worried about today's practice as much as we're worried about tomorrow night's game," continued Carlyle. Keep Phil Kessel rolling until he actually misses game time.
News: Alexander Edler is out indefinitely with what is now being reported as a knee injury, Team 1040 reports. Analysis: GM Mike Gillis can't predict the timeframe for Alexander Edler's return, but we should get some closure in the coming days. It may be time to cut ties with Edler in shallower formats. He has big time fantasy potential, but hasn't got it done this season, posting only nine points and a minus-12 rating in 27 games.
News: Pavel Datsyuk (concussion) was a participant in practice Thursday but will still sit out Friday's game against the Devils, Mike Brudenell of the Detroit Free Press reports. Analysis: Coach Mike Babcock hasn't officially ruled out Pavel Datsyuk for when the Red Wings return home Saturday to face the Panthers, but that seems to be a likely outcome after GM Ken Holland indicated as much earlier this week. For at least Friday's game, the Red Wings will be extremely compromised at center with Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Darren Helm all out with injuries.
News: Ryan Garbutt (lower body) was back at practice Friday morning, NHL.com's Mark Stepneski reports. Analysis: The Stars ended up ruling Ryan Garbutt out for Thursday's game against the Maple Leafs, but his return to practice just a day later indicates he probably won't be out for very long. He could be a possibility for Saturday's game against the Flyers if he experiences no setbacks before that time.
News: Interim coach Pete Horachek said he expects Aleksander Barkov (lower body) to play Saturday against the Red Wings, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Analysis: The lower-body ailment that Aleksander Barkov suffered in Thursday's win over the Jets is considered minor, a fortunate development for the team's prized rookie. Barkov will presumably fill his usual second-line center role Saturday.
News: Coach Claude Julien clarified Johnny Boychuk's injury as a back rather than a head issue, Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com reports. Analysis: This would appear to be positive news for Johnny Boychuk, as it seemingly rules out a concussion, an injury that typically results in a more volatile timetable. Boychuk will receive an MRI on Friday to determine the full extent of the back injury. Julien said the team would likely announce the results Saturday morning.
News: John-Michael Liles was recalled from AHL Toronto on Friday, Stephen Whyno of the Canadian Press reports. Analysis: Coach Randy Carlyle has expressed a desire for his defensemen to push the puck, and he believes John-Michael Liles can fulfill that request. He skated on the third pairing with Mark Fraser at Friday's practice and appears on track to get a shake in the lineup for at least Saturday's game against the Senators.
News: Although Devils' coach Peter DeBoer say they're taking goalie decisions "day-to-day," the odds are high that Martin Brodeur will start Saturday's contest against the Rangers, according to the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti. Cory Schneider is starting Friday against Detroit. Analysis: With the news that Schneider is starting Friday all likely signs point to Martin Brodeur manning the crease against his long-time foe, the Rangers, on Saturday. Schneider will have started four of the team's last five games after Friday.