A limited night of NHL action gets the weekend started tonight with some top teams and players on the ice this evening. In spite of the dearth of options, let’s take a look at some of the best superstar and bargain buys for tonight’s slate of games:
Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,100) – Fleury is riding a five-game winning streak where he either allowed three goals against or more, or posts a shutout. He shutout the Hurricanes, allowed three goals to the Flyers, four to the Canucks, shutout the Devils and then allowed five goals to the Senators. His offense is playing strong in front of him and I think he’s due for a better performance despite a tough test tonight against the Lightning. Even if he allowed around three goals, with the level the Penguins offense is clicking at I think Fleury has a great chance to capture the “W” tonight. If this helps your decision about Fleury, the game is on the road in Tampa and this season his GAA away from home is 2.19 compared to 2.49 in Pittsbugh.
Frederik Andersen ($7,100) – With the Ducks coming off a win last night with John Gibson in net, look for Andersen to get the nod tonight against the Coyotes. After a slow start to the season Andersen has turned things around and has helped the Ducks back into playoff contention in the West and re-formed the formidable goaltending duo with Gibson that the pair was last year. In his last nine appearances, seven starts, Andersen has allowed on 14 goals against which is good for a 1.98 GAA and has posted a .927 SV% to boot. He’s 5-1-1 in those seven starts and is currently riding a four-game winning streak dating back to January 13. They face the struggling Coyotes tonight who are also on the second night of back-to-backs after falling in OT to the Blackhawks last night and who are 2-5-2 in their last nine games. With the Ducks having turned things around, and their goalies playing as well as they are, roll Andersen tonight at a very modest price.
Others to Consider: Connor Hellebuyck ($7,300), Karri Ramo ($7,500), Ben Bishop ($7,700)
Kris Letang ($6,400) – Letang picked up Tuesday right where he left off before the All-Star break. The high-scoring Penguins d-man posted a goal, an assist, a blocked shot and six SOG for an 8.5 fantasy point night to help power the Pens to a win. He’s been on fire in his last nine games with a 3-8-11 stat line, 18 BS and 22 SOG. There are some high-powered defensemen playing tonight, but if I’m paying up for one of them it’s Letang.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($6,100) – Mired in a scoring slump since mid-January, posting only a single goal since January 16, OEL single-handedly almost took down the Blackhawks last night. He broke out in a big way with a goal, two assists, two PPP and six SOG. Despite not scoring much he has been fantasy-relevant due to his shot totals. His 41 SOG in his last 10 games makes him worth a flier every night due to the anemic offense of the Coyotes, meaning a bulk of their offense when he’s on the ice will run through him. His 15 goals on the season are second only to Brent Burns among defensemen league-wide and he’s easily on his way to a second consecutive 20+ goal year.
Dougie Hamilton ($4,800) – Hamilton has not had the offensive impact many were expecting of him when the Flames acquired him this past off-season. Still he has had a solid year with 21 points, 62 blocks and 99 SOG. A third of his points have come in a recent outburst of offensive with seven points in his last 10 games. He capped that span with a multi-point night on Wednesday against Carolina with a goal and an assist. Both points came on the Flames power-play and he added two SOG as well. The Flames have another weak opponent tonight when they face the Blue Jackets, who are on the second night of back-to-backs, and with Hamilton near the top of the moderately-priced defensemen, he’s a solid play tonight.
Others to Consider: Justin Faulk ($6,200), Dustin Byfuglien ($6,600), Mark Giordano ($6,800), Victor Hedman ($5,900), Seth Jones ($4,600)
Sean Monahan ($5,900) – I wrote about Monahan earlier this week and he went on to post a four-point game as well to come out of the All-Star break with a bang. He netted a goal and set up three others against the Hurricanes on Wednesday night which broke a three points in 14 games slump he had been riding. Two of the points came by way of the power-play and he added three SOG to cap his 10.5 fantasy point evening. The Flames have another defensively weak opponent tonight when they welcome the Blue Jackets and Monahan has done his best damage at home with 23 of his 33 points coming in Calgary.
Sidney Crosby ($7,800) – Remember early this season when Crosby wasn’t putting up really good numbers? Well those days are over and Sid the Kid is out to prove every nay-sayer wrong. The Penguins star has found the scoresheet in eight straight games and has put up 14 points in the process. He has eight goals on 30 shots (26% shooting) and six assists in that span. He posted his fourth multi-point game during this run on Tuesday night against the Senators with a hat-trick and an assist to go along with eight SOG. He is almost back to a point-per-game on the season with 45points in 48 games and has crept his way back into the top-15 in the league in scoring. Roll the Kid tonight while he’s hot and will be picking up the offensive slack left with Evgeni Malkin out of the Pens lineup for a few days.
Nikita Kucherov ($6,500) – After having his eight-game point streak snapped right before the All-Star break, Kucherov got right back to starting a new streak with a multi-point outing against the Red Wings on Wednesday night. Both points came on the Lightning’s potent power-play unit and he added two SOG on top. The young Russian is enjoying quite the follow-up season to his 64-point outbreak last year. He has 43 points in 50 games and has a 7-6-13 line in his last 10. The Lightning face the Penguins tonight in Tampa Bay and in one game against Pittsburgh this season, Kucherov has an assist and a SOG.
David Perron ($4,300) – This is the David Perron that the Penguins had hoped they would see all year, and the Ducks hope keeps it up. After the trade to Anaheim in mid-January, Perron hit the ground running with his new team. He opened on a four-game point streak and in two games this week he already has three points and four SOG. That gives him points in five of his first six games in a Ducks uniform. He is coming off one of his best games all season, a three-point night last night against the Kings with a goal, two assists and two SOG. The game was his second multi-point outing in his last three. So far with Anaheim he has eight points in six games skating on a line primarily with Ryan Getzlaf and Chris Stewart.
Others to Consider: Johnny Gaudreau ($7,100), Steven Stamkos ($7,000), Blake Wheeler ($6,900), Patric Hornqvist ($6,600), Brandon Saad ($5,800), Andrew Ladd ($5,100), Tyler Johnson ($5,000), Mikkel Boedker ($4,700), Chris Kunitz ($4,500), Rickard Rakell ($4,400), Jiri Hudler ($4,000), Jordan Martinook ($3,300)
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey