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The Daily Puck: Slumping Avs

Kevin King

Kevin is a suffering Tottenham supporter living in Buffalo, New York, where also suffers from being a Buffalo Bills fan. He covers Major League Soccer and the English Premier League for Rotowire.

The Daily Puck
by Kevin King

- An unlikely hat trick from Villie Leino could not help the scuffling Flyers who lost once again on Saturday, falling 5-4 in overtime to the Thrashers.
- And that Thrashers/Flyers game did nothing to help owners of either team's goaltenders. Ondrej Pavelec was yanked after letting in three goals on 12 shots, and Sergei Bobrovsky, well, he let five pucks in. There seems to be an inordinant amount of uncertainty between the pipes in the NHL. Except of course in New Jersey, where Marty and the boys grabbed two more points and they continued their improbable surge back into the playoff hunt with a 3-2 overtime win over the Isles.
- Remember, as always, to check-in with the starting goalie grid on the site for up-to-the-minute news on official starters. It's always difficult to project starters, even more so when there are puck drops from 12:30 all the way through 8:00

Chicago (Corey Crawford) vs. Washington (Braden Holtby), 12:30 p.m

Chicago injuries:

Brian Campbell (D) - Questionable but more on the hopeful side of things after lower-body injury that has kept him out since Wednesday.
Dave Bolland (C) - Doubtful with concussion that was suffered earlier in the week.

Washington injuries:

Nicklas Backstom (C) - Out for Sunday due to a thumb ailment.
Semyon Varlamov (G) - Out. He is back to skating, an as is usually the case with the Caps -- there is no clear word on when he can be expected back.
Mike Green (D) - Out with concussion and not eligible to return until March 22 at the earliest.

Edmonton (Devan Dubnyk) vs. Pittsburgh (Marc-Andre Fleury), 3:00 p.m

Edmonton injuries:

Sam Gagner (C) - Out and will miss the rest of the season with hand injury.

Pittsburgh injuries:

Nick Johnson (RW) - Out indefinitely with concussion.

Los Angeles (Jonathan Quick) vs. Dallas (Kari Lehtonen), 3:00 p.m

Los Angeles injuries:

No Significant Injury News

Dallas injuries:

Adam Burish (RW) - Questionable for Sunday after leaving Friday night's game early with an apparent lower-body injury.

Ottawa (Craig Anderson) vs. Buffalo (Jhonas Enroth), 5:00 p.m

Ottawa injuries:

Matt Carkner (D) - Out. Not sure if he will even make it back before the season ends due to a knee injury.
Milan Michalek (LW) - Out. Will miss about a month with a broken foot.
Peter Regin (C) - Out and is done for the season after undergoing successful shoulder surgery a week ago.
Daniel Alfredsson (RW) - Out. Trying to get past back spasms to return at some point before the end of the season.

Buffalo injuries:

Chris Butler (D) - Questionable after missing Saturday night's game in Toronto with an undisclosed injury.
Drew Stafford (RW) - Questionable, leaning towards doubtful after missing Saturday's game against the Leafs with a hamstring injury.
Paul Gaustad (C) - Questionable, and also closer to doubtful after sitting out on Saturday night with an upper-body injury.
Patrick Kaleta (RW) - Out and will be sidelined for about a week with a severe knee bruise.

Phoenix (Ilya Bryzgalov) vs. Anaheim (Dan Ellis), 8:00 p.m

Phoenix injuries:

Rostislav Klesla (D) - Questionable after missing Friday night's game with Calgary due to facial injuries suffered from taking a shot to the face against the Canucks on Wednesday night.
Ray Whitnery (LW) - Questionable for Sunday night as he deals with a lower-body injury.
Martin Hanzal (C) - Questionable for Sunday as well due to a groin injury that has kept him out of the team's last two games, despite the fact that he was expected to play in both of those games.

Anaheim injuries:

Jason Blake (LW) - Out for Sunday with hand injury but should return in the upcoming week.
Jonas Hiller (G) - Remains out as he battles vertigo and post-concussion symptoms.
Joel Perrault (C) - Doubtful for Sunday as he recovers from ankle injury.


Who's Hot

Carey Price (G) Montreal - Price has won five of his last six games, and none better than Saturday's shutout of the Penguins. It's not as if Price is having easy, Martin Brodeur-like nights either. In those five wins he has 169 saves on 173 shots. The dominant Price that we saw in the first part of the year has returned and will be putting money in the pockets of his owners if he stays hot down the stretch.
Mike Ribeiro (C) Dallas - With a good performance on Sunday, Ribeiro could be looking at earning one of the NHL's three stars of the week. He has three goals and three assists in Dallas' three games this week, all while posting a plus-5.
Erik Karlsson (D) Ottawa - Karlsson has been a nice find for the Sens this year, and for those who own him in fantasy leagues. He is seeing a ton of ice with the man advantage. Karlsson has two goals and four assists in the last seven games for the Sens and on Friday night he saw over eight minutes of ice-time with the man advantage.

Who's Cold

Ryan Smith (LW) Los Angeles - Smith had been maddeningly inconsistent, and barring a big game on Sunday, he will end up getting negative points in weekly leagues. He hasn't gotten a point in the last four games, contributing a minus-4 over that stretch, to add insult to injury.
Milan Hejduk (RW) Colorado - Worse than the aforementioned Ryan Smith, we have Hejduk, who has at least managed to get one point this week (an assist against the Wild on Tuesday night). The problem? Hejduk is a dreadful minus-8 in the last four games for the Avs, and left Friday night's game with an apparent shoulder injury.

Recommended Pickup

Andrew McDonald (D) NY Islanders - McDonald is probably the most unheralded of all of the young stars the Islanders have. He just seems to get better night in and night out. McDonald is consistently getting near 30 minutes of ice-time, and is tagging along on the powerplay with John Tavares. That should be all the reason you need to grab McDonald if you are short on defensemen.