Toni Lydman is expected back in the Buffalo lineup tonight. That will leave just Afinogenov and Connolly and this team will be 100% and well rested for the playoffs. 

 

There is a small chance that Dany Heatley will miss Friday's game because of his sore ankle. 

 

Semin and Bryan Muir dropped their gloves and exchanged punches toward the end of yesterday's practice. The confrontation began after Muir checked Semin in the corner during a five-on-five drill. Neither player was injured during the fight, but Muir appeared to be bleeding from the nose. Ironically, it was enforcer Donald Brashear who broke up the scrap.

 

Paul Ranger's knee is far ahead of schedule and there is a chance that he will be back in the lineup on Friday. 

 

Gary Roberts has a sore knee and will likely not be in the lineup tonight. He took a shot by Crosby off of it. Nils Ekman may draw back into the lineup. They should probably give Roberts a rest anyway - they need him for the playoffs.

 

The Blues have failed to lock in rearguard Erik Johnson in time to have him play the end of this year, but they still hope to bring him in for the fall. That being said, the No. 22 fantasy prospect on my list, Patrick Berglund, is in St. Louis and is practicing with the team. Berglund is just getting a taste of NHL life and will still be playing in Sweden next season. The Blues are quite high on him though.

 

Travis Zajac has an eight game point streak. He has 10 points in that span.

 

Niklas Backstrom, the Wild goalie who leads the league in GAA and SV%, will be a UFA this summer. Just wanted to remind you of that.

 

Chris Osgood will get the start tonight, while Hasek will be between the pipes tomorrow night for Detroit. 

 

Henrik Zetterberg is practicing, but still not taking all the drills.  

 

Derek Armstrong should return to the Los Angeles lineup tonight after missing the last nine contests with a knee injury.

 

Jack Johnson will make his NHL debut tonight. I won the bidding for him in the ICE experts league - when I want a player, I never lose. I can finally put in a solid lineup for the last week of the season - Pronger and Hemsky are both healthy, while Johnson will also step in. Time for a last minute charge!

 

By the way, Johnson will play with his childhood hero - Rob Blake.

 

Dan Paille and Ales Kotalik returned to the Buffalo lineup last night and each of them scored. 

 

Peter Budaj will be back in net as the starter for the Avs tonight. There is talk in the Colorado media that Jose Theodore will be bought out this summer. 

 

Eric Belanger returned to action for Atlanta last night. 

 

Eric Lindros is hoping to be ready for the playoffs. He will start practicing again next week. He is suffering from a groin injury and it has cost him the last 10 games. 

 

Chuck Kobasew will not be in the Boston lineup tonight (post concussion).

 

After sitting out four straight games as a healthy scratch, rookie defenseman Alexandre Picard was back in the lineup last night against the Hurricanes.

 

Right winger Scottie Upshall was a late scratch because of soreness in his left shoulder. The Flyers played with seven defensemen as a result.

 

Blue Jackets have signed left winger Tom Sestito, their third-round pick last summer, to a three-year entry-level contract. Sestito has had a breakout season with 42 goals for the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League. On Tuesday, he had a hat trick in an OHL playoff game. He's just off my fantasy prospects list.

 

Paul Gaustad will likely not be able to play at all in the playoffs, although he did get on the ice for the first time yesterday since his ankle surgery.

 

Since Loui Eriksson was scratched for three straight games, he has four points in two contests.

 

 


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