Corey Crawford G CHI 1 Hr
Crawford (upper body) skated on his own Saturday back in Chicago and is expected to do so again Sunday, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports.
The Blackhawks haven't ruled Crawford out from playing when the team returns home for Sunday's game against the Senators, but it seems highly unlikely that coach Joel Quenneville would turn to Crawford just a day after he returned to the ice. Instead, it's expected that No. 3 goalie Scott Darling will step in to make the start Sunday, with Crawford on track to return for the game after that on Tuesday versus the Ducks.
Mike Smith G PHO 1 Hr
Smith will start Saturday's game against the Panthers, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Smith has lost his last two starts, allowing eight goals in the process. He'll get a chance to get back on track Saturday against a rather anemic Panthers offense.
Nikita Zadorov D BUF 1 Hr
Zadorov will be a healthy scratch Saturday against the Sharks, reports Paul Hamilton from WGR Sports Radio 550.
The Sabres will go with the traditional six-man defensive corps against the Sharks after dressing seven defensemen in a 2-0 loss against the Kings on Thursday. Sam Reinhart will draw in for Zadorov, who played a little over six minutes against the Kings. The big Russian defenseman's future is in limbo at the moment as the Sabres try to decide what to do with him. They cannot send him to the AHL due to his age, so he will remain with Buffalo for the time being.
Anders Lindback G DAL 1 Hr
Lindback is expected to backstop the Stars for Saturday's game against the Islanders, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Lindback was off the ice early during Saturday's optional skate, so it's expected that he'll spell regular starter Kari Lehtonen for the evening. An official confirmation on the Stars' starter likely won't come until pregame warmups, but it looks like both teams will go with backups, as Chad Johnson is slated to man the net for the opposition. Lindback took the loss in his only other appearance this season, giving up three goals on 32 shots in a Oct. 11 loss to the Predators.
Marc-Andre Fleury G PIT 1 Hr
Fleury will start in net Saturday against the Predators
Fleury allowed four goals on 32 shots to the Flyers in his last start, and will have to face a red-hot Predators team that has yet to lose in regulation.
Marcus Foligno LW BUF 1 Hr
Foligno will line up at center against San Jose on Saturday, reports Paul Hamilton from WGR Sports Radio 550.
The Sabres will try Foligno at center in an effort to spark the team after getting shut out 2-0 by the Kings on Thursday. The team has struggled on offense this year, scoring just eight goals in eight games and have been shut out three times in their past four games. Foligno is currently tied for the team lead with three points. The move to center means added responsibility for Foligno, and also means Cody Hodgson will move back to the wing.
Evgeni Nabokov G TB 2 Hrs
Nabokov will be in the crease Saturday against the Wild, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
There was some thought that coach Jon Cooper might turn to top netminder Ben Bishop for both ends of the Bolts' weekend back-to-back after the goalie was rested earlier in the week, but Nabokov dependability might have swayed the coach. Nabokov has stopped 44 of the 47 shots he's faced (.936 save percentage) in his previous two starts, guiding Tampa to a win over the Flames and a close loss to the Devils. However, with the red-hot Darcy Kuemper in the opposite net for the Wild and playing better than any goalie in the league, Nabokov may be hard-pressed to come away with a victory Saturday.
Sam Reinhart C BUF 2 Hrs
Reinhart will play his seventh NHL game Saturday against San Jose, reports Paul Hamilton from WGR Sports Radio 550.
After sitting out as a healthy scratch against the Kings on Thursday, Reinhart will draw into the lineup against the Sharks, who have lost three games in a row. Reinhart has yet to register a point this season and all signs point to him returning back to the WHL after his nine-game audition. He'll likely see limited minutes yet again on the team's fourth line.
Marian Gaborik RW LA 2 Hrs
Gaborik (undisclosed) skated on his own Saturday morning, Helene Elliott of the LA Times reports.
Gaborik has been sidelined since October 12 with the mysterious injury, but it looks like he's progressing in the rehab process. He's likely not close to returning, and will have to return for a couple practices before he gets back in the lineup.
Michal Neuvirth G BUF 2 Hrs
Neuvirth will start Saturday against the Sharks, reports Paul Hamilton from WGR Sports Radio 550.
Neuvirth will made his third start of the season as the Sabres hope to avoid a sweep by all three California teams. Neuvirth is 0-2 this season with a 4.00 goals-against average and .896 save percentage. The Sharks are coming off three straight losses and are 1-1-0 at home.