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Saturday Daily Puck: Horton Hears A Win

Jason Chen

Consistently fires muffins. Blue Line Buzz on Mondays, Daily Puck and DFS on Sundays.

Around the Rink

Bobby Ryan’s snub from Team USA will be a topic over the weekend, and perhaps rightfully so with the January 7 deadline for all countries to name their rosters quickly approaching. But, forget about Ryan and the Olympics, which is still a month away – the reinforcements are coming.

After signing a seven-year, $37.1 million deal, Nathan Horton made his Columbus Blue Jackets debut in Phoenix on Thursday, and scored his first goal of the season in a 2-1 win. The Jackets will likely miss the playoffs yet again, but the return of Horton coincides with Ryan Johansen and Brandon Dubinsky playing their best hockey, giving general manager Jarmo Kekalainen a good chance to assess his roster at full strength.

Captains Ryan Callahan and Ed Jovanovski, of the Rangers and Panthers, respectively, return from injury as they try and help their teams clinch a playoff birth. Callahan was held pointless in his return, a 5-2 loss against the shorthanded Penguins, as the Rangers dropped back to .500 for the first time. Jovanovski will make his season debut Saturday night against Nashville after a lengthy rehab from hip surgery. The 37-year-old played just six games last year, and at this point in his career has much more value in the dressing room than on the ice.

The Penguins will also get Kris Letang back to aid their transition offense, while the Blues keep getting better with Jordan Leopold getting activated off the injured reserve. The Pens have a comfortable lead in a lackluster Metropolitan Division, while the Blues are challenging the Blackhawks and Ducks for the first place while keeping the Kings, Canucks and Avalanche at bay. We’ll see how much the teams push for the stretch drive before the Olympic break, when ailing non-Olympians can rest and gear up for the conclusion of the season.

Games to keep an eye on include the Sharks visiting Colorado, Cory Schneider against Ryan Miller since the squad’s reveal, Bobby Ryan’s hat trick against Carey Price (calling it now), and the Kings playing host to the Canucks, with the winner claiming the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

Winnipeg Jets (Ondrej Pavelec*) at Boston Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 1:00 PM
San Jose Sharks (Antti Niemi) at Colorado Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov*), 3:00 PM
New Jersey Devils (Cory Schneider*) at Buffalo Sabres (Ryan Miller), 7:00 PM
New York Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Toronto Maple Leafs (Jonathan Bernier), 7:00 PM
Ottawa Senators (Craig Anderson*) at Montreal Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:00 PM
Nashville Predators (Carter Hutton) at Florida Panthers (Scott Clemmensen), 7:00 PM
Carolina Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at New York Islanders (Evgeni Nabokov), 7:00 PM
Columbus Blue Jackets (Curtis McElhinney) at St. Louis Blues (Brian Elliott*), 8:00 PM
Detroit Red Wings (Jonas Gustavsson) at Dallas Stars (Kari Lehtonen), 8:00 PM
Washington Capitals (Braden Holtby) at Minnesota Wild (Niklas Backstrom*), 8:00 PM
Philadelphia Flyers (Steve Mason) at Phoenix Coyotes (Mike Smith), 8:00 PM
Vancouver Canucks (Roberto Luongo) at Los Angeles Kings (Martin Jones), 10:00 PM


For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Injury News For Teams Playing Saturday

Winnipeg Jets
Jim Slater, C - (sports hernia) resumed skating Thursday morning, Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press reports. (12/5/2013)
Matt Halischuk, RW - (forearm) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 14 by the Jets on Monday. (12/16/2013)
Grant Clitsome, D - undisclosed injury is a back ailment, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports. (12/27/2013)
Paul Postma, D - (blood clot) took part in some light skating at Wednesday's practice, according to TSN's Sara Orlesky. (12/12/2013)

Boston Bruins
Dennis Seidenberg, D - tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee and will be out for the remainder of the season, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports. (12/28/2013)
Shawn Thornton, LW - chose not to file a second appeal for his 15-game suspension, Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe reports. (12/31/2013)
Loui Eriksson, RW - was back on the ice Wednesday for practice. (1/1/2014)
Chris Kelly, C - (leg) remains on track in his recovery from a broken right fibula. (1/2/2014)

San Jose Sharks
Martin Havlat, RW - placed on IR, according Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. (12/31/2013)
Raffi Torres, RW - still undergoing rehab from right ACL surgery, according to CSN Bay Area. (12/29/2013)
Adam Burish, RW - will undergo back surgery in the coming days and is out indefinitely, CSN Bay Area's Kevin Kurz reports. (10/16/2013)
Tyler Kennedy, LW - will not travel with the Sharks on their current road trip due to the flu, David Pollak of the Mercury News reports. (1/3/2014)
Tommy Wingels, RW - will not play in Saturday's game against Colorado, according to the Mercury News. (1/3/2014)
Tomas Hertl, LW - A former NHL trainer familiar with Hertl's type of injury told that a best-case scenario for Hertl's return would be approximately 12 weeks, but he'll likely miss six-to-nine months. (1/1/2014)

Colorado Avalanche
Alex Tanguay, LW - Coach Patrick Roy said Tanguay (knee/hip) could resume skating by the end of week, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. (12/26/2013)
P.A. Parenteau, RW - has been placed on injured reserve. (1/2/2014)

New Jersey Devils
Peter Harrold, D - (foot) was placed on injured reserve Thursday, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. (12/12/2013)
Adam Larsson, D - (knee) has been practicing with the Devils, but likely will not play in either of the team's two games this coming weekend, as Devils coach Peter DeBoer told the The Record's Tom Gulitti. (1/2/2014)
Damien Brunner, RW - (knee) placed on injured reserve Friday, Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record reports. (12/27/2013)
Patrik Elias, LW - (upper body) will not play Saturday against the Sabres in addition to Friday, Tom Gulitti of The Record reports. (1/3/2014)
Anton Volchenkov, D - (general soreness) was placed on injured reserve by the Devils on Friday, Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger reports. (1/3/2014)

Buffalo Sabres
Henrik Tallinder, D - Tallinder is dealing with an undisclosed injury he sustained Sunday against the Capitals and could miss about two weeks. (12/31/2013)
Cody McCormick, C - has a broken finger, reports WGR 550 SportsRadio. (12/21/2013)
Drew Stafford, RW - Stafford left Thursday's game with an upper-body injury and will not return. (1/2/2014)
Patrick Kaleta, RW - suffered a torn right ACL with AHL Rochester, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports. He will miss the rest of the season. (11/30/2013)
Kevin Porter, C - (leg) expected to miss at least another week. (12/29/2013)
Cody Hodgson, C - (finger) was place on injured reserve Wednesday, WGR 550 Sports Radio's Brian Koziol reports. (1/1/2014)
Ville Leino, C - Leino was forced out of Tuesday's game against the Jets with a lower-body injury. (12/31/2013)

Toronto Maple Leafs
Dave Bolland, C - (ankle) continues to rehabilitate his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon and probably won't be back in a Leafs jersey until after the Olympic break, reports the Toronto Sun. (12/31/2013)
Trevor Smith, C – (broken hand) Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Smith suffered a broken hand, David Alter of Sportsnet 590 The Fanreports. (12/17/2013)

Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza, C - (lower body) will not play Thursday against the Jets, the Ottawa Citizen reports. (12/31/2013)
Chris Neil, RW - Senators coach Paul MacLean isn't optimistic that Neil (lower body) will be able to play in the team's next couple of games, the Ottawa Citizen reports. (12/31/2013)

Montreal Canadiens
George Parros, RW - (concussion) left the team Thursday morning to visit a specialist in Michigan, Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette reports. (1/2/2014)
Ryan White, LW - left Thursday's game with an upper-body injury and will not return,'s Arpon Basu reports. (1/2/2014)
Davis Drewiske, D - Drewiske will miss the next five-to-six months following shoulder surgery, Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette reports. (10/16/2013)

Nashville Predators
Pekka Rinne, G - (hip) will remain under limited activity for the next two weeks. (12/20/2013)

Florida Panthers
Jesse Winchester, LW - (hand) is expected to miss three-to-four weeks, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. (12/18/2013)
Dylan Olsen, D - Olsen was placed on injured reserve by the Panthers on Friday with an upper-body injury retroactive to Dec. 31. (1/3/2014)
Erik Gudbranson, D - Grandbranson is expected to return to action in roughly two weeks, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. (1/3/2014)

Carolina Hurricanes
Joni Pitkanen, D - (heel) was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (10/1/2013)
Cam Ward, G - Ward will miss the next two games due to a lower-body injury, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (1/1/2014)
Jay Harrison, D - (concussion) was placed on injured reserve by the Hurricanes on Friday. (12/27/2013)
Jiri Tlusty, LW - Tlusty underwent an emergency appendectomy Tuesday and will miss the next 2-to-3 weeks, Michael Smith of the Hurricanes' website reports. (12/27/2013)
Riley Nash, C - Nash (lower body) has been ruled out for a week to 10 days, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. (1/1/2014)

New York Islanders
Josh Bailey, LW - (upper body) is likely to miss the game Tuesday, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple. (12/30/2013)
Lubomir Visnovsky, D - (concussion) still has no timetable for a return to the ice, according to the Newsday. (12/16/2013)
Radek Martinek, D - The Islanders placed Martinek on injured reserve Thursday with a back injury, Newsday's Arthur Staple reports. (12/12/2013)

Columbus Blue Jackets
Derek MacKenzie, C - suspended for three games as a result of a hit on Coyotes' defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (1/3/2014)
Jack Skille, RW - (upper body) was placed on injured reserve by the Blue Jackets on Friday. (1/3/2014)
Marian Gaborik, RW - ruled out for 6-8 weeks with a broken left collarbone, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (12/23/2013)
Jared Boll, RW - will miss the next 3-4 months after undergoing surgery on his ankle Monday. (12/17/2013)
Matt Calvert, LW - (shoulder) was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. (1/1/2014)

St. Louis Blues
Alexander Steen, LW - Steen is out indefinitely due to a concussion, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. (12/28/2013)
David Backes, C - (upper body) will not play Thursday against the Kings. (1/2/2014)
Roman Polak, D - will miss at least two weeks with an ankle injury, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. (12/21/2013)
Jaroslav Halak, G - still sick and did not start Thursday's game against the Kings, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. (1/1/2014)

Detroit Red Wings
Stephen Weiss, C - Weiss has chosen to undergo surgery for a sports hernia and will be out until late-February,'s Ansar Khan reports. (12/21/2013)
Patrick Eaves, RW - (dislocated jaw) is expected to play in Saturday's game against the Stars, Ansar Khan of reports. (1/3/2014)
Johan Franzen, LW - (concussion) did not play in Wednesday's Winter Classic against the Maple Leafs, Ansar Khan of reports. (12/30/2013)
Jonathan Ericsson, D - (ribs) was placed on IR on Friday. (12/27/2013)
Darren Helm, C – sat out Wednesday's Winter Classic due to a groin issue, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. (1/1/2014)
Jonas Gustavsson, G - (groin) will not play Monday against the Predators, Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News reports. (12/29/2013)
Danny DeKeyser, D - (lower body) is considered day-to-day with what is believed to be a groin injury, reports. (1/3/2014)

Dallas Stars
Tyler Seguin, C - Seguin missed practice Friday for the Stars with the flu. (1/3/2014)
Rich Peverley, C - Peverley missed Friday's practice for the Stars with the flu. (1/3/2014)
Stephane Robidas, D - underwent surgery to repair a broken fibia and will be out for the next four to six months, TSN's Darren Dreger reports. (11/30/2013)
Trevor Daley, D - (ankle) skated without pads at Friday's morning session, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. (12/27/2013)
Sergei Gonchar, D - (concussion) was a full participant in Friday's practice for the Stars. (1/3/2014)
Shawn Horcoff, C - (flu) did not play Thursday against the Canadiens, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. (1/2/2014)

Washington Capitals
Jack Hillen, D - Hillen (leg) was placed on long-term injured reserve by the Capitals on Monday, the Washington Post's Katie Carrera reports. (10/8/2013)
Michael Latta, C - Latta (lower body) was placed on long-term injured reserve Wednesday. (1/1/2014)

Minnesota Wild
Zach Parise, LW - An MRI revealed Parise has a fracture in his left foot, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. (12/30/2013)
Josh Harding, G - (illness) is day-to-day, according to coach Mike Yeo. Harding did not skate with the team Friday. (1/3/2014)

Philadelphia Flyers
Erik Gustafsson, D - (knee) is expected to return for the Flyers in about a week, Sarah Baicker of CSN Philadelphia reports. (1/3/2014)
Matt Read, RW - (upper body) will be a game-time decision for Saturday's game against the Coyotes, Sarah Baicker of CSN Philadelphia reports. (1/3/2014)
Michael Raffl, LW - left Thursday's game with a concussion, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. (1/2/2014)

Phoenix Coyotes
Zbynek Michalek, D - (lower body) does not have a timetable for a return, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (12/27/2013)
Gilbert Brule, RW – Coyotes are contemplating terminating Brule’s contract after failing to report to the AHL, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. (01/03/2014)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D - Following Thursday's loss to Columbus, Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett said that Ekman-Larsson (upper body) can be considered day-to-day. (1/2/2014)
Shane Doan, RW - (illness) has been cleared by the medical staff to play in Saturday's game against the Flyers. (1/3/2014)

Vancouver Canucks
Andrew Alberts, D - Alberts left Sunday's game against the Flames to be evaluated for a possible concussion and will not return, Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sunreports. (12/29/2013)
Alexandre Burrows, RW - Updating a previous report, Burrows underwent successful surgery on a broken jaw Monday and will be out for four weeks, News 1130 reports. (12/3/2013)
Alexander Edler, D - Edler took the ice to test out his injured knee Monday morning, the Vancouver Sun reports. (12/30/2013)
Jordan Schroeder, C - (ankle) had successful surgery on his broken ankle in early November and is expected to return in eight-to-nine weeks, News 1130reports. (11/5/2013)
Ryan Stanton, D - Coach John Tortorella said Stanton would miss multiple weeks with an ankle injury, Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun reports. (12/19/2013)

Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Quick, G - (groin) will not take part in a rehab assignment with AHL Manchester this weekend, Jon Rosen of reports. (1/2/2014)

Kyle Okposo, RW, NYI – Okposo’s late bid for a spot on Team USA fell short after 17 points in 14 games in December, and admittedly felt hurt by comments made by the selection committee in regards to his skating. Okposo is riding an eight-game hot streak with 13 points, including consecutive 3-point efforts on the road. We’ll have to see if the snub motivates the bruising power forward and help elevate his game to new levels. The former seventh overall pick from 2006 will establish a new career high in points this season.

Brent Burns, RW, SJ – It took Burns a little longer to get back into a groove, but the former defenseman has eight points in his past five games. Joe Pavelski has filled in for Tomas Hertl quite admirably, and the Sharks’ top line with Joe Thornton as the anchor is still one of the league’s best. Burns is firing the puck a lot more recently, averaging 5.6 shots per game over the past five contests, two more than his season average of 3.5. Good things happen when you shoot the puck.

Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI – Simmonds has 18 points in his past 11 games, helping the Flyers claw their back way up to the top of the Metropolitan Division. Simmonds is on pace to establish a career high in points, but will have to score a lot more if he wants a shot at cracking 30 goals for the first time in his career. The Flyers re-grouped under head coach Craig Berube and have gone 20-14-4, a points percentage of .579, which would rank fifth in the Eastern Conference.


Dustin Brown, RW, LA – The Kings captain has been held pointless since his return from injury and he’s minus-5 in that span. With just 13 points this season, Brown was not named to Team USA to score goals. However, this is Brown’s worst offensive season since his rookie year. A subject of trade rumors not too long ago in 2012, the emergence of young players such as Tyler Toffoli, Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson may deem Brown expendable. The Kings don’t score a lot, and often don’t need to, so Brown’s poor production may last all season.

Alex Galchenyuk, LW, MTL – Galchenyuk entered the conversation very briefly in the selection for Team USA, but he certainly will be a bigger part of it in the future. Head coach Michel Therrien must not be happy with Galchenyuk’s play of late, watching his ice time slowly dip and his power play opportunities disappear. He took a slashing penalty early in the first period and finished minus-1 in a 6-4 win over Dallas, playing just 10:29, ahead of only Michael Bournival and Ryan White.

Joffrey Lupul, LW, TOR – Since scoring against Detroit in a 5-4 loss on December 21, Lupul has gone four games without a point, and lucky that he escaped a suspension after dislocating Patrick Eaves’ jaw in the Winter classic. Line mates Nazem Kadri and Mason Raymond should be able to create some offense, but neither player are playing with much aggression. Another pointless game will match his season-long pointless streak, which was from November 21 to December 12, all of which were losses.

Recommended Pickup
Jakob Silfverberg, LW, ANA – Like the Loch Ness Monster, Dustin Penner is either never seen or the top headline of the night, with his penchant for scoring big goals. With Penner taken off the Ducks’ top line, Silfverberg has been given a chance to show off his offensive ability. Traded for Bobby Ryan, one of the league’s best goal scorers in his own right, Silfverberg missed nearly 25 games with broken hand, and has just five goals in 18 games. Given his upside, the former Brynas captain who won the Swedish league’s regular season and playoff MVP is a great gamble.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.