Description: Ottawa center Jason Spezza will return to action in Game 3 against the Penguins Sunday, according to Scott Burnside of ESPN.com.
Insight: Spezza has missed all but five games this season due to a back injury that required surgery. Ottawa coach Paul MacLean doesn't have a set plan for Spezza's minutes, but he expects him to play a big role on the power play.
Description: Detroit Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson (upper body) is questionable for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals Saturday against Chicago.
Insight: Samuelsson played only four games during the regular season, but in the past has been a solid fantasy winger who once scored 30 goals for Vancouver. He has a goal and an assist in five playoff games.
Description: Chicago center Michal Handzus is questionable for Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals Saturday against Detroit with a strained back.
Insight: Handzus played in Game 1, but missed Game 2 and the last three practices. He scored just eight points in 39 regular season games. We're not expecting him to be much of a factor after adding just two assists in the first round series with Minnesota.
Description: Toronto defenseman Cody Franson notched two goals Monday in a Game 7 loss to Boston.
Insight: What a crushing defeat for the Maple Leafs, who were ahead 4-1 with just over 11 minutes to play. For what it's worth, Franson had an excellent series (three goals, three assists, 15 shots on goal).
Description: Patrice Bergeron became a Boston sports legend on Monday night. The Bruins center forced overtime by scoring with 51 seconds left in regulation and then finished the job with a game-winner six minutes into OT.
Insight: The Bruins became the first team to come back from three goals down in the third period of a Game 7. Bergeron led Boston with six shots on net in just under 21 minutes of ice time. The Bruins will take on the sixth-seeded Rangers in round two.
Description: Penguins blueliner Paul Martin forced overtime with a goal late in the third period.
Insight: He also assisted on Jarome Iginla's goal in the first. Martin led all Pittsburgh skaters with 30 minutes of ice time on Saturday. The Penguins will play the winner of the Boston/Toronto series in the next round.
Description: Wild goalie Josh Harding will start Game 5 against the Blackhawks Thursday night.
Insight: Harding suffered a lower-body injury on a collision with Jonathan Toews in Game 4 and had to leave the game. He's playing due to the lower-body injury suffered by Niklas Backstrom during pre-game warmups for Game 1, so the Wild had to turn to third-string netminder Darcy Kuemper Tuesday. Minnesota trailed the series 3-1.
Description: Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne underwent hip surgery recently and will need four months to recover. SOURCE: The Tennessean
Insight: He's expected to be 100 percent for training camp, however. Rinne, one of the NHL's top workhorses, had an inconsistent season in which he went 15-16-8 with a 2.43 GAA and a .910 SV%. He tied for the NHL lead with five shutouts.
Description: Kings center Jeff Carter found the net twice Wednesday in a win over St. Louis.
Insight: Carter has now scored in back-to-back games after being held scoreless in the first three games of the series. The defending champs hold a 3-2 edge in the series with Game 6 coming up Friday night in Los Angeles.
Description: Bruins center David Krejci knocked home the game-winning goal in overtime Wednesday against the Maple Leafs.
Insight: Krejci is having a monster series. With three goals Wednesday, he now has five in his last four games to go along with five assists and a spectacular +7 rating. He's been the MVP of the playoffs so far.
Description: The Penguins will start Tomas Vokoun in net on Thursday in Game 5 against the Islanders.
Insight: He can't do any worse than Marc-Andre Fleury has done over the last three games. After shutting out New York in Game 1, Fleury has allowed 14 goals over the last three, including six in Game 4 Tuesday night.
Description: Wild goalie Josh Harding had to leave Game 3 Tuesday against the Blackhawks after colliding with Jonathan Toews.
Insight: Harding has an undisclosed injury. He already was playing in place of Niklas Backstrom, who suffered a lower-body injury during pre-game warmups for Game 1. The Wild had to turn to Darcy Kuemper, a rookie who just celebrated his 23rd birthday two days ago.
Description: Canadiens goalie Carey Price did not come out for overtime in Game 4 against the Senators Tuesday night due to an undisclosed injury.
Insight: Price made 30, but he allowed a game-tying goal to Cory Conacher at 19:37 in the third period, and Peter Budaj let in the game-winner at 2:32 in overtime as the Sens stole one to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
Description: Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe is questionable for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Monday against Washington with a head injury.
Insight: He skated in Friday practice, but wore a no-contact jersey which indicates he's not likely ready to play in a game. He scored 19 points and added 93 penalty minutes to become a useful fantasy option.
Description: Ducks blueliner Toni Lydman is doubtful for Monday's game with migraine and neck soreness.
Insight: Lydman was the victim of a brutal hit by Detroit winger Justin Abdelkader and had to come out of the game in the second period. He doesn't provide much for fantasy owners so this shouldn't change any lineups.
Description: Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader has been handed a two-game suspension for his hit on Anaheim forward Toni Lydman Saturday night in Game 3. SOURCE: Ansar Khan, MLive.com
Insight: The Ducks have a chance to eliminate Detroit in Game 5 so it's possible that Abdelkader has played his final game of the season. Danny Cleary is expected to replace Abdelkader on the first line Monday in Game 4.
Description: Ducks blueliner Toni Lydman may have suffered a concussion Saturday night against the Red Wings. SOURCE: Orange County Register
Insight: Lydman was the victim of a brutal hit by Detroit winger Justin Abdelkader and had to come out of the game in the second period. It's uncerain if he'll be able to compete in Monday night's Game 4.
Description: After not playing in the Bruins' final five games of the regular season, winger Nathan Horton has a goal in each of Boston's first two playoff games against Toronto, including the game-winner in Game 1.
Insight: Horton had an upper-body injury at the end of the season, but the layoff evidently was good for him. He had 13 goals and 114 SOG in 43 games in the regular season.
Description: Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been outdueled by Braden Holtby in New York's first-round series against the Capitals.
Insight: Lundqvist dropped Game 2 in overtime despite making 37 saves on 38 shots. The series will shift back to New York, but unless the Rangers find their offense it won't matter where the games are played.
Description: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is 2-0 with a 0.47 GAA in 128 minutes in two games against the Rangers this series.
Insight: Holtby shut out New York in 68 minutes Saturday afternoon to put the Capitals up 2-0 in the first-round series. He won 23 games with a 2.58 GAA and a .920 SV% during the regular season and was tremendous during the playoffs last season as well.
Description: Ducks defenseman Sheldon Souray will be a healthy scratch in Game 3 against the Red Wings, according to beat writer Eric Stephens.
Insight: Souray said that he is healthy and said that the change in "unexpected." "I'm a little surprised," he said. "But at this time of the year, it’s all about winning. Whatever we have to do to win, we’re on board with." Souray took two minor penalties that led to power-play goals for Detroit at the start of the third period and overtime in Game 2.
Description: Penguins left wing Jussi Jokinen was moved to the fourth line due to the return of Sidney Crosby in Game 2.
Insight: Jokinen filled in admirably for Crosby, producing seven goals and 11 points in 10 games after coming over to Pittsburgh from Carolina. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the switch does not reflect any unhappiness on the part of Dan Bylsma with Jokinen's performance, but rather is a testimony to Jokinen's versatility. "When and if you play a reduced amount of minutes, you're not as in the game as much, you're not on the ice as much," Bylsma said. "You have to be mentally prepared for those situations, and I think Jussi's actually done already that for us."
Description: Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe is doubtful for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday against Washington with a head injury.
Insight: He skated in Friday's practice, but wore a no-contact jersey which indicates he's not likely ready to play in a game. He scored 19 points and added 93 penalty minutes to become a useful fantasy option.
Description: Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference will miss Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Saturday against Toronto due to a suspension for hitting Toronto's Mikhail Grabovski.
Insight: Ference had four goals and nine assists in 48 regular season games and isn't proving to have much fantasy value.
Luca Sbisa, D
5/4/2013 9:36:00 AM
Description: Anaheim defenseman Luca Sbisa is questionable for Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals Saturday against Detroit with an lower-body injury.
Insight: Sbisa has totaled just one goal and seven assists in 41 games this season and has very little fantasy value. he missed the final six games of the regular season and still doesn't appear to be healthy enough to get on the ice.
Description: Wild goalie Josh Harding will start in net again in Game 2 against the Blackhawks.
Insight: Harding was forced into duty when starter Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower-body injury reaching for a rebound during pre-game warmups, and he took top-seeded Chicago to overtime in a 2-1 loss.
Description: Montreal left wing Max Pacioretty will miss Game 2 against the Senators Friday due to an upper-body injury.
Insight: The Canadiens will be missing two top-six forwards in Pacioretty and Brian Gionta (upper body), as well as Lars Eller. They'll need Michael Ryder, Tomas Plekanec, Rene Bourque and Alex Galchenyuk to step up after dropping Game 1 at home.
Description: Penguins center Sidney Crosby (jaw) will make his return to action Friday in Game 2 of the team's first-round playoff series against the Islanders, according to Penguins.nhl.com.
Insight: Crosby hasn't played since breaking his jaw after being hit with a puck on March 30 against these same Islanders. Crosby still finished third in the NHL in scoring with 56 points, but the injury most definitely cost him the title. His return adds more firepower to a team that just blew out the Isles 5-0 in Game 1.
Description: Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has a 1.81 GAA and a .940 SV% in two games against the Blues this postseason, but Los Angeles is down 2-0.
Insight: Quick allowed Alex Steen to steal the puck from him behind the net and score the game-winner in overtime in Game 1 and blew a 1-0 lead in Game 2 Thursday by allowing two goals in the third period. Quick only lost four games in all of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs en route to winning the Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup.
Description: Montreal center Lars Eller was taken off the ice on a stretcher after taking a big hit from Senators D Eric Gryba in Game 1 of their playoff series Thursday night.
Insight: Eller lost consciousness before hitting the ice and went down facefirst, leading to facial and dental fractures and a very bloody scene. Eller also is dealing with a concussion and was hospitalized overnight. The NHL is reviewing the play and will hold a hearing Friday.
Description: Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby made 35 saves on 36 shots to win Game 1 against the Rangers Thursday night.
Insight: Holtby had an up-and-down season but he finished strong with a 2.29 GAA in March and a 2.16 GAA in February to lead Washington to a division title and a No. 3 seed. He went 7-7 with a 1.95 GAA and a .935 SV% in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Description: Senators goaltender Craig Anderson put the team on his back again in its Game 1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, saving 48 of 50 shots in a 4-2 victory.
Insight: Anderson led the NHL in GAA and SV% this season but missed nearly two months with a sprained ankle. If he plays like he did in the regular season, he could take No. 7 Ottawa further than expected.
Description: Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo will start Game 2 of the team's first-round postseason series against the Sharks Friday with Cory Schneider still out.
Insight: Schneider didn't practice Thursday and is still day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. Luongo started zero games from March 19 to April 9, but he has started three straight with Schneider on the shelf, including the Canucks' 3-1 Game 1 loss.
Description: Rangers right wing Ryane Clowe's undisclosed injury, which is likely a concussion, will keep him out of Game 1 against Washington Thursday, according to the Bergen Record.
Insight: Rangers coach John Tortorella doesn't divulge injury information if he can help it, so we don't truly know what's wrong with Clowe. He didn't skate Thursday morning, but he traveled with the team on the trip to Washington and worked out off the ice.
Description: Chicago center Dave Bolland (groin) won't be ready for Game 2 of the Blackhawks' first-round playoff series against Minnesota, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Insight: Bolland also missed the final three regular season games and Game 1 of the series. "Bollie didn't skate but he's getting real close to getting on the ice," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said after practice.
Description: Jets left wing Evander Kane is set to meet with a specialist about his wrist injury. SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press
Insight: If Kane does end up needing surgery, he should have plenty of time to recover before the start of next season. Kane ended the 2013 campaign with 33 points (17 goals, 16 assists) in 48 contests.
Description: According to the Columbus Dispatch, Blue Jackets right wing Marian Gaborik needs surgery on his injured abdomen.
Insight: The operation should take place within the next 24 hours. Gaborik will probably need about 3-to-4 weeks to recover. Obviously, he'll be fine by the time training camp rolls around in September.
Description: Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower-body injury Tuesday while reaching for a rebound in pre-game warmups prior to Game 1 of the team's playoff series against Chicago.
Insight: Backstrom tied for the NHL lead with 24 wins and had a 2.48 GAA this season, so this is obviously a big loss for the eighth-seeded Wild. Josh Harding will start for the first time since allowing two goals in seven minutes Jan. 30 against these same Chicago Blackhawks.