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The Daily Puck: Devilish Turnaround

Projected Goalie Starters

Islanders (Al Montoya) at Carolina (Cam Ward), 7:00 p.m. ET
Washington (Braden Holtby) at New Jersey (Martin Brodeur), 7:00 p.m. ET
Montreal (Carey Price) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00 p.m. ET
Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) at Vancouver (Roberto Luongo), 10:00 p.m. ET

Injuries for Teams Playing Friday

Day-to-Day (Includes DL players close to returning)
Nicklas Backstrom (C) Washington – (Thumb) Questionable to play Friday, but a Tuesday return is more likely.
Jason Arnott (C) Washington -- (Undisclosed) Out until next week.
Eric Fehr (W) Washington – (Upper body) Questionable to play Friday.
Jeff Halpern (C) Montreal -- (Lower body) Questionable to play Friday.
Tomas Plekanac (C) Montreal -- (Lower body) Questionable to play Friday.
Martin Hanzal (C) Phoenix -- (Lower body) Questionable to play Friday.
Kevin Bieksa (D) Vancouver -- (Foot) Out for Friday, targeting a return next Wednesday.

Long Term or IR
Semyon Varlamov (G) Washington -- (Knee) Practicing but won't play until next week.
Zach Parise (W) New Jersey – (Knee) Close to practicing, but would not be able to play for 2-3 weeks after practicing. Seems Parise would only play if the Devils still had a chance at the playoffs.
Rick DiPietro (G) Islanders – (Face) Activated off of the IR, should play Friday or Saturday.
Tom Poti (D) Washington – (Groin) Out for Friday, hopes to play by the end of the month.
Max Pacioretty (W) Montreal -- (Neck) Could return at some point in the playoffs.

Transactions

Ryan O'Marra (C) Edmonton – Recalled from the AHL.
Alexandre Giroux (C) Edmonton – Recalled from the AHL.
Chris Vande Velde (C) Edmonton –Recalled from the AHL.
Roman Wick (C) Ottawa – Recalled from the AHL.
David Hale (D) Ottawa – Recalled from the AHL.
John McCarthy (W) San Jose– Recalled from the AHL.
Victor Oreskovich (W) Vancouver -- Recalled from the AHL.
Dany Heatley (W) San Jose -- Suspended two games.
Anton Blomqvist (D) Columbus -- Signed an entry-level contract.
Brad Marchand (W) Boston -- Suspended two games.
Yann Suave (D) Vancouver -- Re-assigned to the AHL.
Jesse Joensuu (W) Islanders -- Recalled from the AHL.

Hot

Travis Zajac (C) New Jersey – Zajac was a hot draft pick before the season began, but was a huge disappointment, as was every other Devil, during the first half of the season. Well like so many of his teammates, his play has picked up dramatically over the past few weeks, as he is scoring goals at a pace that is exceeding what was expected of him. The Devils may lose their adrenaline once they realize they won't make the playoffs, but for now the entire team seems to be riding this high.

Erik Karlsson (D) Ottawa – Karlsson had some bumps in the road earlier this season (what young defenseman doesn't?), but he has turned around his season lately, and those fantasy owners that stuck with him have been rewarded over the past two weeks with three goals and seven points. Sure his +/- leaves something to be desired - okay, a lot to be desired - but until the team improves you're just going to have to count on baby steps.

Cold

Tomas Kaberle (D) Boston -- Kaberle hasn't been quite the boon to the Bruins defense as was expected when he was acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline. He has only three points, all assists, since coming over. Granted, it can take a player a while to get acclimated to his new teammates and surroundings, but his fantasy owners can't afford to wait, as their playoffs start now, not in mid-April.

Ryan Smyth (W) Los Angeles – Smyth has been in a pretty big slump lately with only one goal since Feb. 1. That's not a misprint: one goal. Smyth is 35 years old and the long season could be catching up with him. The Kings as a whole have had trouble off and on with quite a few players. Dustin Brown has been cold for a while now and Anze Kopitar has been up and down, but nothing like Smyth. It may be time to cut bait.

Recommended Pickup

Darren Helm (C) Detroit – Another shot in the dark here, but that is probably all that is left on your waiver wire at this point. Helm can fly on the ice, so he puts tremendous pressure on the defense. If they make a mistake, he will skate right by them. He has 11 goals and 30 points this season, but has played better than those numbers would indicate lately. The one problem with Helm is that he will see little to no power-play time, so if it's power-play goals you're after, you need to look somewhere else.

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