Here are the national morning papers:
- William Houston of the Globe & Mail tells readers that there are some signs of life for U.S. hockey viewership.
- Mark Spector of the National Post examines the question of steroids in hockey.
- A.J. Perez of USA Today has the details behind Alexander Ovechkin's new contract extension.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- The Thrashers blew a late third period lead and ended up losing 3-2 in a shootout; Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the story. Meanwhile, Bill Tiller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells readers that he just doesn't like the shootout.
- The Canadiens dominated the Bruins last night, handing them a 5-2 defeat on at Banknorth Garden. Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe tells readers that the Habs' skills were on display last night. While the Bruins are struggling as a team, rookie Milan Lucic has continued to progress nicely all season long.
- After last night's shootout loss, the Sabres have now lost eight games in a row, writes Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News. Buffalo was without three of their top players last night as Derek Roy, Maxim Afinogenov, and Tim Connolly missed last night's contest.
- "We were gross," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said after his team's 4-1 loss to the Devils on Thursday night. The Canes were without a number of players last night because the team has been bitten hard with the flu.
- Nathan Horton called the result last night, as the Panthers came back to defeat the Thrashers 3-2 in a shootout. Recently acquired Magnus Johansson suited up for his new squad last night.
- As Pat Hickey tells us, the Habs capitalized on the man-advantage last night and easily defeated the Bruins 5-2. In other Habs news, down on the farm, Carey Price is keeping a positive attitude with his demotion to the Hamilton Bulldogs.
- Coach Brent Sutter has been stressing success away from the Prudential Center and last night the Devils satisfied their coach with a 4-1 road victory over Carolina. The fact that the Devils scored four goals last night should be considered a breakout offensive game, writes Mark Everson of the NY Post.
- Henrik Lundqvist continued to struggle last night in his team's 6-2 loss at home to the Flyers; however, don't expect Lundqvist to point any fingers, writes Larry Brooks of the NY Post.
- Mark Herrmann of Newsday gives readers some background information on Islanders prospect Kyle Okposo.
- The Senators defeated the Sabres 3-2 in a shootout last night, gaining some momentum heading into their clash with the NHL leading Red Wings on Saturday night.
- The Flyers demonstrated their depth last night as they defeated the Rangers 6-2 on the backs of Scott Hartnell and Antero Nittymaki.
- Jordan Staal looked like the Jordan Staal of last season on Thursday as the youngster scored twice leading the Penguins to a 4-1 victory over the Lightning.
- The Lightning can't seem to win consecutive games and the team has been struggling so much that coach John Tortorella has limited his defense's aggressiveness in the neutral zone to limit chances against.
- After last night's 5-2 drubbing at the hands' of the Kings, Damien Cox of the Toronto Star is calling this season's version of the Maple Leafs the worst in a decade.
- Tarik El-Bashir provides readers with everything you need to know about Alexander Ovechkin's new contract.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- Ryan Getzlaf is on his way to the All-Star Game for the first time later this month in Atlanta, writes Dan Wood of the Orange County Register.
- With Alexander Ovechkin under contract for the next decade and more, Flames defenseman Dion Phaneuf is surely seeing dollar signs, writes Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun.
- "There's a strong possibility there will be a trade shortly," Hawks GM Dale Tallon said on Thursday.
- It hasn't taken long for Paul Stastny to follow in his dad's footsteps, writes Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.
- Prospect Derick Brassard will make his NHL debut tonight for the Blue Jackets as they take on the Blues. Here are the Columbus line combinations for tonight's game. (Writer's note: Don't expect Brassard to stay on the fourth line for long.)
- The Stars continue to have trouble beating the Blues, as Dallas was defeated 4-2 in the Gateway City on Thursday night.
- Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press thinks the Red Wings are so good that they spoil their fanbase. Rosenberg's colleague George Sipple gives readers the recap of last night's crazy 6-5 shootout loss for the Wings.
- The Oilers made it three in a row last night after they dominated the streaking Coyotes 5-2. Meanwhile, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal profiles Ilya Brygalov who has almost single-handedly turned around the Coyotes' season.
- Nothing like the Leafs coming to town when you need to cure a losing streak; the Kings learned that lesson last night as they defeated Toronto 5-2.
- Michael Russo of the Star Tribune provides readers with a profile of the new Wild owner.
- John Glennon of the Tennessean gives the Nashville perspective on Craig Leipold becoming the new owner of the Wild.
- Last night was one of those tough nights for the Coyotes, writes Jim Gintonio of the Arizona Republic.
- Evgeni Nabokov got the better of Roberto Luongo last night as he led his Sharks to an impressive 3-1 victory over the Canucks.
- Since coach Andy Murray called for more scoring earlier this week, the Blues have scored ten goals in two games, writes Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- The Canucks loss to the Sharks last night makes them 0-4 versus Joe Thornton and company on the season, writes Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province.
For Illegal Curve, I'm Richard Pollock.