Ryan Pulock
Islanders' Ryan Pulock: Expected to play in Game 4
Ryan Pulock, D, NYI
1:27 PM
News: Pulock (upper body) was once again at practice Thursday for the Islanders, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.

It was thought that Pulock would return for Game 3 but he was given a few extra days off. He is expected to replace Marek Zidlicky in the lineup for Friday's pivotal Game 4. Pulock still has plenty of rough edges to grind down but he also possesses a rocket of a shot from the point and isn't afraid to let it go.

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Thomas Hickey
Islanders' Thomas Hickey: Likely to play Friday
Thomas Hickey, D, NYI
1:23 PM
News: Hickey practiced Thursday along with the rest of the Islanders, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.

Hickey took a big hit from Brian Boyle of the Lightning in overtime Tuesday and there was some concern that he may have suffered an upper body injury. Those concerns however seem to have been alleviated and Hickey should be good to go in Game 4 on Friday.

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Ivan Provorov
Flyers' Ivan Provorov: Named top defenseman in WHL
Ivan Provorov, D, PHI
12:27 PM
News: Provorov earned the distinction of being the WHL's top defensemen Wednesday, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Provorov was the Flyers' seventh overall selection in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. He figures to be an elite blueliner in the NHL before long, having shredded WHL goalies this past season to the tune of 73 points (21 goals, 52 assists), and a ridiculous plus-64 rating in 62 contests -- that output was the league-best among defensemen. If you want to get ahead in dynasty leagues, set your sights on Provorov.

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Kris Letang
Penguins' Kris Letang: Available for crucial Game 5
Kris Letang, D, PIT
10:01 AM
News: Letang has served his one game ban and is available for Game 5 on Saturday against Washington.

Letang was probably the happiest man in Pittsburgh last night as his teammates bailed him out and got the overtime victory. The defender has been logging ridiculous minutes in the postseason, 29:14 minutes per game including 4:26 with the man advantage. When he's on the ice for nearly half the game, its not surprising the 29-year-old has tallied seven points in eight playoff contests. In terms of fantasy value, there are not many blueliners that are going to put up bigger numbers. The question is whether or not you are willing to pay his high cost.

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Brian Dumoulin
Penguins' Brian Dumoulin: Dishes out two helpers Wednesday
Brian Dumoulin, D, PIT
2:15 AM
News: Dumoulin dished out two helpers in Wednesday's 3-2 overtime win over the Capitals.

Dumoulin provided the Penguins with some unexpected offensive production from the blue line, helping fill the void left by Kris Letang's one-game suspension. Don't expect a repeat any time soon, though, as the 24-year-old came in with just one assist in 13 career playoff games.

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Trevor Daley
Penguins' Trevor Daley: Scores in overtime win
Trevor Daley, D, PIT
2:05 AM
News: Daley scored a goal and skated to a plus-3 rating in 28:41 of ice time as his Penguins beat the Capitals 3-2 in overtime Wednesday.

Daley did his best Kris Letang impression with the fellow Penguins blueliner suspended, leading the team in ice time and plus/minus. Letang will be back for Game 5, which should relegate Daley back to the more defensive-minded role in which he has recorded no goals and four assists in eight games this postseason. Still, it's good to know the veteran is capable of a performance like this when called upon.

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John Carlson
Capitals' John Carlson: Extends point streak to four with goal
John Carlson, D, WAS
1:47 AM
News: Carlson scored a goal while taking two shots in 30:15 of ice time in Wednesday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins.

Carlson's ice time has risen in each of the last three games, as the Capitals have begun to lean on their top blueliner more as times get desperate. The Penguins now hold a commanding 3-1 series lead despite conceding a point to Carlson in every game, meaning the American defenseman will likely have to add even more offense to his game for the Capitals to stage a comeback. His two shots on goal marked a personal series low, but Carlson should be able to bounce back nicely with the series shifting back to Washington for Game 5.

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Olli Maatta
Penguins' Olli Maatta: Out Wednesday
Olli Maatta, D, PIT
5/4/2016
News: Maatta (head) isn't on the ice for pregame warmups, indicating he won't be in the lineup for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Capitals, NHL.com's Dan Rosen reports.

Maatta has yet to return to practice with his teammates, so it's hardly surprising that he won't be in the Penguins' lineup for Wednesday's Game 4 against Washington. The Penguins' depth at defense is sure to be tested Wednesday evening, as Pittsburgh's best blueliner, Kris Letang (suspension), also won't be an option for Game 4. Maatta will hope to return to Pittsburgh's lineup for Saturday's Game 5, but will likely need to log at least one full practice ahead of that contest in order for that to be a possibility.

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Roman Josi
Predators' Roman Josi: Picks up assist in third straight
Roman Josi, D, NSH
5/3/2016
News: Josi assisted on a power-play goal, adding two shots and two PIM in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Sharks in Game 3.

Josi is finding some consistency against the Sharks, notching points in three straight for a total of four. The blueliner struggled to finish out the series against Anaheim, failing to reach the scoresheet in five straight, but it seems the 25-year-old is back to his regular season form. Overall, the 2008 second-round pick has seven helpers -- two on the power play -- and six PIM in the playoffs to date.

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Shea Weber
Predators' Shea Weber: First multi-point outing of postseason
Shea Weber, D, NSH
5/3/2016
News: Weber registered a tally and a power-play assist in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the Sharks in Game 3.

After a solid series against the Ducks, Weber had gone silent coming into Tuesday's must-win contest. The 30-year-old must have needed to sleep in the comfort of his own bed, as the blueliner awoke at home and notched his first multi-point outing of the playoffs. Weber is now at three markers and four apples to date, and Nashville will need even more to tie the series Thursday.

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