This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.
Around the Rink
If you didn't have a good start to the year, at least you aren't the Buffalo Sabres.
Sabres went 0-for-January.— Joe Yerdon (@JoeYerdon) January 31, 2015
It's been 14 straight losses for Buffalo, who didn't pick up a point in the month of January. They were also outscored by 33 this month and haven't won a game since Boxing Day. The Sabres have played 50 games this season, yet no player on the team has over 30 points.
Tyler Ennis, who is leading the team with 30 points, has fired an impressive 119 shots on goal. It's kind of saddening when you think what the 25-year-old could be doing if he wasn't playing for a lackluster Sabres' team. Without a single player among the leagues top 80 scorers, the Sabres are on pace for their worst season ever. Just remember, whenever your team is struggling, at least you aren't a Buffalo Sabres fan.
Let's look ahead to Saturday's action.
Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
Capitals (Braden Holtby) vs. Canadiens (Carey Price*), 1:00
Islanders (Jaroslav Halak) vs. Wings (Petr Mrazek*), 2:00
Coyotes (Mike Smith*) at Senators (Robin Lehner*), 3:00
Stars (Kari Lehtonen*) at Jets (Michael Hutchinson), 7:00
Leafs (Jonathan Bernier) at Flyers (Steve Mason), 7:00
Hurricanes (Anton Khudobin) at Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist), 7:00
Panthers (Roberto Luongo) at Devils (Cory Schneider), 7:00
Kings (Jonathan Quick) at Bruins (Tuukka Rask), 7:00
Blue Jackets (Curtis McElhinney) at Lightning (Ben Bishop), 7:30
Oilers (Ben Scrivens) at Flames (Jonas Hiller), 10:00
Blackhawks (Antti Raanta) at Sharks (Antti Niemi), 10:30
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check out our Projected Goalies Grid.
Injury News For Teams Playing Saturday
Lauri Korpikoski, LW – Missed Friday's practice with an unspecified injury, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Martin Hanzal, C – Missed Friday's practice with an undisclosed injury, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Joe Vitale, C – Coach Dave Tippett said Friday that Vitale is doubtful to play in either of the Coyotes' weekend matches, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Mikkel Boedker, LW (ruptured spleen) – Will rejoin the team in Arizona on Thursday, but will remain out for another 3-to-5 weeks, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Simon Gagne, LW (personal) – Was placed on unconditional waivers, likely for the purpose of his release, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports.
Curtis Glencross, LW (lower body) – Coach Bob Hartley said Thursday that Glencross suffered a minor setback in his recovery from injury, Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Sun reports.
Kris Versteeg, RW (hand) – Isn't expected to play during the Blackhawks' six-game road trip that kicks off Wednesday in Los Angeles, Eric Lear of Blackhawks TV reports.
Borna Rendulic, D (broken leg) – Could be out until March, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports.
Jesse Winchester, RW – Coach Patrick Roy suggested Tuesday that the Avalanche could shut Winchester (concussion) down for the remainder of the season, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports. "He's not doing well," Roy said of the injured winger.
Jamie McGinn, LW – Coach Patrick Roy acknowledged Tuesday that McGinn (back) would be out for the remainder of the season, Mike Chambers of the Denver Post reports.
Erik Johnson, D (knee) – Was placed on injured reserve Monday.
Jeremy Morin, LW – Morin, who was placed on IR on Wednesday with what was labeled an upper-body injury, required hospitalization Tuesday night due to an elevated heart rate, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Ryan Murray, D (knee) – Will not play Thursday against the Panthers, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Matt Calvert, LW – Has been playing through a sinus infection for the last couple of weeks, the Columbus Dispatch reports. "I've never had it like this before," Calvert said.
Sergei Bobrovsky, G – The Blue Jackets have placed Bobrovsky (groin) on IR, retroactive to Jan. 21, the team's official site reports.
Erik Cole, RW (upper body) – Is expected to sit out Thursday's game against the Senators, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Brett Ritchie, RW (undisclosed) – Returned to practice with the Stars on Wednesday and will be a game-time decision on Thursday, according to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
Valeri Nichushkin, LW – Returned to the ice for some light skating this week, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Rich Peverley, C (chest) – Remains without a return timetable, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Patrick Nemeth, D (arm) – Is hopeful to return to action at some point in March, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Jonas Gustavsson , G(shoulder) – Will play a conditioning stint game with AHL Grand Rapids on Saturday, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Jimmy Howard, G – Skated for about 15 minutes before Monday's practice, and he said afterward that he hasn't suffered any setbacks, The Detroit News reports.
Johan Franzen, RW (concussion) – Didn't practice Monday, and he still doesn't have a timetable to return, The Detroit News reports.
Jakub Kindl, D (elbow) – May still be a few days away from being activated from injured reserve, The Detroit News reports.
Taylor Hall, LW (lower leg) – Will travel with the Oilers to Calgary for Saturday's game but remains uncertain to play, Matthew Iwanyk of TSN 1260 reports.
Nikita Nikitin, D – Left Thursday's win over the Sabres in the third period with a shoulder injury, Matthew Iwanyk of TSN 1260 reports. Coach Todd Nelson said postgame that Nikitin "will be out for a while."
Tanner Pearson, LW – Coach Darryl Sutter said Tuesday that the Kings are operating with the assumption that Pearson (leg) won't be available in time for the postseason, Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider reports.
P.A. Parenteau, RW – Is still out due to a concussion and will not play Tuesday night against Dallas, the Montreal Gazette reports.
Mike Cammalleri, LW – Is nursing some soreness and was unable to practice Thursday, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer reports.
Casey Cizikas, C (foot/ankle) – Missed practice Friday, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple.
Lubomir Visnovsky, D – Coach Jack Capuano said Visnovsky (upper body) could be a lineup option for Saturday's game against the Red Wings, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.
Kyle Okposo, RW – Okposo, who is expected to miss six-to-eight weeks with an upper body injury, has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan. 19, according to Newsday's Arthur Staple.
Craig Anderson, G (hand) – Wasn't on the ice for Friday's practice, Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun reports.
Alex Chiasson, RW (undisclosed) – Will not play in Saturday's game against the Coyotes, Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun reports.
Mark Borowiecki, D (leg) – Will not play in Thursday's game against the Stars, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
Kimmo Timonen, D – Flyers general manager Ron Hextall refuted coach Craig Berube's claims that Timonen (blood clots) was set to return later in the season, suggesting a decision on the blueliner's status hasn't been made yet, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "Kimmo communicated with us: 'I'm coming back?' I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'Well, it's on TV," Hextall said. "Kimmo and myself don't know whether Kimmo is coming back."
Michael Raffl , RW (illness) – Did not practice Friday, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Scott Laughton, G (concussion) – Took part in Friday's practice, but will remain out of the lineup Saturday against the Maple Leafs, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Nicklas Grossmann, D (shoulder) – Hasn't been ruled out as a lineup option for Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs, Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Zac Rinaldo, RW – Has been suspended for eight games by the NHL Department of Player Safety for boarding and charging Kris Letang in Tuesday's game against the Penguins.
Christian Ehrhoff, D – Is undergoing tests for a concussion back in Pittsburgh and will not be available for Friday's game against the Devils, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Evgeni Malkin, C - If Malkin (lower body) skates over the weekend, then he will probably accompany the team on its West Coast road trip.
Blake Comeau, LW (wrist) – Skated prior to Monday's session but remains 5-to-7 days away from returning to practice.
Tyler Kennedy, RW – Is dealing with a lower body injury, according to David Pollak of the Mercury News.
Mike Brown, LW (leg) – Has yet to receive clearance to skate, Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area reports.
Tommy Wingels, RW – Wingels, who suffered a broken finger in his left hand on Jan. 19, hopes to return to action in three-to-four weeks, csnbayarea.com reports.
Justin Braun, D (finger) – Will miss the next four-to-six weeks, csnbayarea.com reports.
Patrick Maroon, LW, ANA – Okay, so the guy who is playing with Corey Perry and Ryan Geztlaf has caught fire. Go figure. Maroon is riding a six-game point streak and has scored a goal in four of those games. Also skating on the top power-play unit, Maroon is now up to six goals and 25 points in 42 games on the season. If he continues to play alongside the league's top two players, he will continue piling up the points. He's averaging significant minutes, recently logging 18:02 of ice time in Friday's loss to Chicago. As long as remains on the top line, he's worth riding until he cools down or gets bumped down the depth chart.
Sean Monahan, C, CGY – The 20-year-old is having an impressive season, compiling 15 goals and 31 points in 49 games. He's now got six points in his last games, making him the highest-scoring centre on the Flames this season. Considering he contributes in almost every fantasy category and is still so young, Monahan is s great keeper pick and a currently reliable fantasy option. Since mid-October, Monahan has never gone more than four games without a point, appearing on the scoresheet most nights. He hasn't racked up a ton of multi-point games, but his top-line role and gushing potential makes him worth a look in almost all formats.
Jeff Skinner, C, CAR –Skinner has now gone six straight games without a point, giving him 10 goals and 19 points in 43 games on the season. Considering he has just three points in his last 15 games and has been consistently inconsistent, it's hard to trust him in most leagues right now. Playing on the third line, the 22-year-old has seen reduced ice time, barely cracking the 14-minute plateau these past few games. The team is scoring, however, having suffered just three regulation losses in their last 11 games. Unless the youngster gets bumped back into the top-six, it's probably best if you look for a more consistent option up front.
Dan Boyle, NYR, D – Owned in 31.5 percent of ESPN leagues, Boyle is currently in the midst of an eight-game scoring drought. This slump comes right on the heels of a great stretch for Boyle in which he put up seven points in seven games. He's still logging good minutes, however, with Thursday's game against Montreal being an exception (16:18). Considering he's on the top power-play unit and has nine points in 30 games, Boyle should get back on track soon, but at age 38, he's not that 50-point-getter anymore.
Michael Del Zotto, D, PHI – Del Zotto is playing his best hockey of the season right now, recording a point in five straight games. He already has just as many points and he had last season split between the Predators and Rangers (16). His confidence continues to increase with the Flyers, as he averaged a whopping 25:21 of ice time Thursday against Winnipeg – the team's third straight victory. Considering he only 24 years of age and is just three seasons removed from a 40-point season, there is no reason you shouldn't gamble on him in deeper formats.