My thanks again to Pete, who is always on top of this stuff - TJ Hensick has been very hot of late, after starting very slowly in the AHL. The Avs have recalled him and have sent down Brad Richardson. He will be in the lineup tomorrow night and is certainly capable of lighting up the scoresheet. I wouldn't expect too much from the rookie, but then again - he did tear it up during preseason... 

 

The Preds just announced that Dan Ellis will get the start tonight. Mason had made nine straight. 

 

Steve Wagner was a healthy scratch for the second straight game for the Blues. Kyle McLaren and Steve Bernier were healthy scratches for the Sharks last night. Fredrik Sjostrom was a healthy scratch for Phoenix.

 

Bryan Berard was a healthy scratch for the Isles, who made room for the return of Shawn Bates. 

 

Jaroslav Spacek is hot right now with four points in his last three games.  

 

Tomas Kopecky (shoulder) will be back in the lineup tonight. 

 

Chris Osgood will get the start tonight.

 

Fernando Pisani is hoping to get into the Oilers lineup this weekend for the first time this season. 

 

The Oilers are extremely happy with the play of Tom Gilbert. The rookie is getting 21 minutes of ice time a night now. He's producing like a 30-point player currently, but that will improve as the season goes on and it wouldn't surprise me to see him hit the 40-point mark come April. They are trying to sign him to a long-term contract much like Matt Carle did. 

 

Joe Sakic injured his groin in the third and did not return. The Avs say the injury is minor, but we shall see.

 

Jaroslav Hlinka got back into the lineup and played with Stastny and Hejduk. He got an assist and was a plus-1 so he'll probably stay there for now.

 

As I mentioned in a recent Hockey News article I think Budaj will gradually take over as No.1 but the transition will be slow. By the end of January, he should be the clear cut No.1. For now, Theodore has lost four straight starts, while Budaj won again last night. Although... he only faced 13 shots. At any rate, if the team plays better in front of him, then he'll eventually win out and that is what is happening.

 

Adrian Aucoin is questionable for tonight's game with a shoulder injury. You knew what you were getting when you picked him up.

 

Drew Stafford was back in the Buffalo lineup last night.

 

It took Martin Havlat 43 seconds to score his first goal since joining the lineup. His second goal came 12 seconds into the second. His return also sparked Patrick Kane (three points), Patrick Sharp (two points) and Jonathan Toews (one). Jason Williams also had a point. Nikolai Khabibulin had two assists (?!)

 

James Wisniewski missed the game with a suspected concussion.

 

Filip Kuba was back in the Tampa lineup.

 

Pavol Demitra played 17:54 in his return.

 

James Sheppard still played just 10 minutes, but picked up two points last night. His production is reminding me of PM Bouchard's back in his rookie year - minimal ice time, occasionaly spurts of offense.

 

Here is a decent under the radar depth guy for roto leagues: career minor leaguer Aaron Voros has five points in nine games, is a plus-4 and has 22 PIM's. In his last six games he has five points, 15 PIMs and is a plus-5. He's playing with Sheppard (10 minutes), but he's also producing in the other categories, so even if he doesn't score he's helping out. Good for a short-term pickup if you need a winger.

 

Darren Haydar has been a healthy scratch for the last 10 games, but should get back in the lineup tonight. He will probably play with Little and Perrin.

 

Boston line combo: Metropolit with Sturm and Kobasew. Kobasew has 10 goals and is on pace for over 35 this season.

 

Another line: Nokelainen, Sobotka and Lucic.

 

Fernandez was on in practice yesterday, it was still Rask and Thomas out there.

 

Ron Hainsey has points in his last six games. He is getting better every game, according to Hitchcock.

 

Philippe Boucher picked up his first point in 13 games last night.

 

Chris Conner was a healthy scratch for Dallas.

 

Radek Bonk leads Nashville with nine goals. Those are words I didn't expect to say this season. I would be surprised if he reached 25, but he will have his best season offensively in a long time. He is getting PP time this year.

 

Sergei Gonchar, who missed the third period of the Penguins' 5-0 victory Saturday against Atlanta because of a sore groin, skated before practice yesterday and has not ruled out playing when the Penguins face Dallas tomorrow. He will be a game time decision.

 

Maxime Talbot (high ankle sprain) hopes to play next Wednesday, but it is not looking promising.

 

Here we go again - Alexander Semin left the overtime period when he aggravated his - you guessed it - ankle. He is listed as day-to-day. I told you not to activate him until you watched him for a couple of games... he didn't quite make it through those games.

 

Chris Clark left in the third period with an undisclosed injury but it was reportedly minor. He will reportedly practice today.

 

Mike Cammalleri was a last minute scratch last night, suffering from a groin injury. With the added ice time available, Patrick O'Sullivan picked up a goal. Cammy is day to day.
 


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