The Caps have been absolutely horrendous and are proving to be pretty weak team during Ovechkin's short absence. They have lost 8 of their last 10 in which only 2 have have been OTL. They have lost 5 in a row and are having serious trouble mustering up some offense. Michal Neuvirth did well last night and Braden Holtby has returned to form, letting in just 5 goals in three games. Jason Chimera was the only goal scorer for the Caps, which pretty much explains their scoring woes in a nutshell. Fantasy owner's must be feeling the burn, as the Cap now sit second last in the Metropolitan Division.
The Devils have been a pleasant surprise this season, especially for a team that was completely written-off at the start of the year. Jaromir Jagr has been having a great season for the Devils and continued his impressive performance last night. He assisted on both goals by Stephen Gionta and Adam Henrique to tie Mario Lemieux on the all-time NHL assist list. Cory Schneider put in another solid performance with 30 saves to come away with the hard-fought win.
The Red Wings took it to the Canadiens last night in a solid performance from their top players. Niklas Kronwall, Gustav Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg finished the game with a goal and an assist each. Jonas Gustavsson had another great performance, letting in just one goal on 31 shots. He improves his record to 13-3-2 and should be a solid play as he continues to fill in for the regularly injured Jimmy Howard. If he is available in your league, I would recommend picking him up as he could steal some starts once Howard returns.
The Montreal Canadiens have dropped three straight and are 4-5-1 in their last 10. With how competitive the Eastern Conference has become, it is imperative for them to rebound back from these losses or suffer a serious drop in the standings. Brendan Gallagher was the only goal scorer for the Habs with David Desharnais and P.K. Subban picking up the assist. Carey Price had a night to forget, letting in 4 goals on just 26 shots.
The Avs have been nothing short of spectacular this season and have won 8 of their last 10. Ryan O'Reilly had a great game scoring a goal and adding an assist. The offenively-gifted Matt Duchene continued his rise to stardom with 2 assists in the game. There are several players who remain fantasy relevant on the surging Avs and owning any of them is a fantasy blessing. Alex Tanguay made his return and contributed an assist. Paul Stastny also chipped in with his 14th goal of the season.
The story for the Panthers was Scottie Upshall. After being down 3 goals going into the third, Upshall tried to get his team back in it with 2 third period goals. While it proved to be too little too late, the Cats need offensive help from every player on the roster. This was a great showing for the veteran Upshall and hopefully he continues to help his team score. This performance does not warrant a pick-up, but if he continues to score at this pace, you could do a lot worse.
In a very high scoring and exciting game, the Flames were down by 2 goals before coming back and tying it in the third. There are few fantasy relevant players on the Flames, but Mark Giordano continued his impressive season as captain with a PPG. The Flames will continue to be a fantasy irrelevant team, but if you own any of their players, you can only hope for more games like this. David Jones scored twice while Mikael Backlund chipped in a goal and an assist.
On a team with very few stars, the Preds are likely the team with the fewest fantasy-owned players. Nonetheless, if you possess similar powers to Ms. Cleo, picking up Eric Nystrom would have been a solid play last night. The 30-year-old veteran scored a whopping 4 goals and now has 7 points in his last 5 games. However, he has scored a total of 11 goals and 15 points all season, 4 of which came last night. I would consider this nothing more than a player getting back at the team that drafted him. At the same time, I would not blame you for taking a chance on the usually absent Nystrom. Both Matt Cullen and Roman Josi contributed 2 assists a piece.
The Yotes took it to the Oilers by scoring 4 goals even before the halfway point. Mike Ribeiro had a solid outing, scoring a goal and adding a powerplay assist. He is now riding a three-game point streak and has contributed 2 goals and 2 assists in that span. He currently has 36 points in 51 games but can improve on those numbers if he continues this pace. Mikkel Boedker and Radim Vrbata also scored for the Coyotes.
Where to start. The Oilers have continued to have trouble but have several fantasy relevant players. With the recent trade for Ben Scrivens, the goaltending situation has opened up quite a bit in terms of fantasy, and taking a chance on their goalies could help you get some starts. David Perron and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins contributed in the goal column, while Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall picked up assists. The Oilers have no trouble mustering up some offense, but prevent other teams from scoring is a whole other story.
Fantasy Play of the Night
While there were a plethora of goals to choose from last night, I have to hand it to the New Jersey powerplay. This is the closest thing to music on the ice, and watching every player work to make that goal happen is truly something special. This was the game-winning goal and Jagr's cross-crease pass was quite the cherry on top.This was also the assist that tied him with Lemieux on the all-time list, truly a work of art.
Fantasy Stars of the Night
First Star - Eric Nystrom: 4 G, +3, 7 Shots, 2 Hits, 1 Blocked Shot
Second Star - Henrik Zetterberg: 1 G, 1 A, 1 PPP, +2, 2 PIM, 2 Shots, 2 Hits, 2 Blocked Shots
Third Star - Jaromir Jagr: 2 A, 1 PPP, +1, 2 PIM
Enjoy the Saturday games folks, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!