News: Nikita Nikitin (upper body) is doubtful for Saturday's game against the Predators but may be able to return for Monday's game against the Stars. Analysis: Nikita Nikitin sustained an upper-body injury during Thursday's game and was not able to return to that contest. He traveled with the Blue Jackets to Nashville and is considered day-to-day.
News: Antti Niemi is expected to start Saturday's game against the Canadiens, David Pollak of the Mercury News reports. Analysis: Antti Niemi has struggled lately, posting an .887 save percentage over his last five games. While it's something to keep in mind, the Finnish netminder has a long history of success and figures to get back on track sooner rather than later.
News: Jaroslav Halak will start Saturday's game against the Coyotes, CSN Washington's Rob Carlin reports. Analysis: As expected, Jaroslav Halak will make his Caps debut against the Coyotes, in a matchup between two teams grinding for wild-card spots in their respective conferences. The Slovak netminder posted a 24-9-4 record, 2.23 GAA and .917 save percentage in 40 games (38 starts) behind the stout St. Louis defense this season. He'll have a tough time maintaining those numbers behind a shaky Washington blue line that has struggled on the PK all season. It's still unclear how the playing time will be divided between Halak and Braden Holtby, but a timeshare would make sense.
News: Zack Kassian has been suspended three games for his hit on Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon in Thursday's loss to the Stars, CBC's Elliotte Friedman reports. Analysis: Zack Kassian was previously suspended for the first five games of the season, after he broke the jaw of Edmonton's Sam Gagner with a high stick in preseason play. With just 18 points through 59 games, Kassian has drawn more attention for his disciplinary hearings than his play. Assuming he serves the suspension immediately, Kassian will be back for next Friday's game (Mar. 14) in Washington.
News: Craig Anderson will start Saturday's game in Winnipeg. Analysis: Craig Anderson will start for the fourth game in a row, after surrendering four goals on 28 shots in Wednesday's loss to the Flames. The Sens haven't been playing well lately, but the same is true of Saturday's opponent in Winnipeg.
News: Clarke MacArthur (hand) is out for Saturday's game and doubtful for Monday. Analysis: While details are unavailable, Clarke MacArthur is now known to be dealing with a hand injury and appears to be in danger of landing on injured reserve. Given that he logged just 7:40 of ice time in Wednesday's game, he likely suffered the injury during that contest.
News: St-Frederic Denis will be recalled by the Blue Jackets on Friday, the Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline reports. Analysis: As a 28-year-old with just 17 NHL appearances to his name, St-Frederic Denis doesn't offer much promise for fantasy owners. He'll provide the Blue Jackets with blue line depth while Ryan Murray (lower body) and Nikita Nikitin (upper body) deal with injuries, but both Nikitin and Murray appear to just be day-to-day.
News: Brandon Gormley was recalled from AHL Portland on Friday, the Coyotes' official site reports. Analysis: The 22-year-old Brandon Gormley, a former first-round draft pick, has six goals and 28 assists in 52 games for AHL Portland this season. One of the Coyotes' better blue line prospects, he may make his NHL debut in the coming days. Gormley's promotion indicates that David Schlemko (lower body) probably won't play against the Capitals on Saturday.
News: Shawn Matthias impressed in his Canucks debut on Thursday, leading all players with seven shots on goal, while logging 16:24 of ice time. Analysis: Though the Canucks lost 6-1, coach John Tortorella praised Shawn Matthias, saying the 26-year-old was probably the team's best forward on Thursday. He centered the third line against Dallas, winning nine of 14 draws. Matthias has nine goals and 16 points in 60 games this season, and should give a boost to a Canucks team that has lost 11 of their last 12 games.
News: Sam Gagner picked up a pair of assists Thursday in an overtime win against the Islanders, giving him points in three straight games. Analysis: All those points have been assists, as Sam Gagner hasn't scored a goal since way back on Jan. 14. With nine assists in his last 15 games and ever-unreliable plus-minus, he's looked far less exciting than he did during his lockout-shortened breakout last year.