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Saturday's Fantasy Roundup: Hat trick heaven

By Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Staff Writer

Just when we thought we had seen enough hat tricks from Friday night, three more players joined this season's exclusive hat trick club -- that's six hats in two days! From three shutouts to the three hat tricks, Fantasy Saturday was as eventful as ever.

This Saturday featured our busiest day in the League to date: 13 games with only the Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vancouver Canucks getting the night off. There was plenty to talk about, so let's get right to it:

Tuukka Rask made his first start in goal since the Bruins' season-opener -- he turned aside 27 of 30 shots in a 3-2 loss to the Rangers. Tim Thomas is clearly the No. 1 netminder in Boston for the time being -- it would be smart to own both if you have one or the other. On the other side of the ice, Henrik Lundqvist returned to goal and made a 35 saves, including this great stop on youngster Jordan Caron.

• Montreal's Carey Price continues to prove he should be owned in all leagues -- he stopped all 19 shots he faced for his first shutout since Nov. 8, 2008.

Andrei Kostitsyn should be a hot waiver-wire pick-up this weekend after scoring two goals against the Sens (he's now got four on the season) -- check out this beauty. Kostitsyn is currently playing on Montreal's top line with Michael Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec.

Martin Brodeur owners don't need to worry about Johan Hedberg stealing any playing time from the future Hall of Famer -- "The Moose" surrendered four goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Marty in the second period. Brodeur and the Devils will eventually snap out of this funk.

Tyler Myers, last season's top rookie, scored his second goal of the season. He has been a big disappointment so far, but improved his plus/minus to minus-8 on the season.

Mike Richards finally broke out of his early season slump with his first goal of the season and a pair of assists. Richards contributes in all fantasy categories, and hopefully this big performance will get him going. Despite five team goals, no other Flyer recorded more than one point.

Clarke MacArthur continues to impress -- he scored his sixth goal of the season. If he hasn't been scooped up in your league already, make the move now.

• If you want to own any Atlanta Thrasher, Evander Kane is clearly the guy you want. The 19-year-old forward scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season (this one tied the score with under a minute to go), and also added 7 shots on goal. Kane now has 5 goals this season -- and no assists.

Alexander Semin erupted for a hat trick, a plus-2 rating, and seven shots on goal in Washington's overtime win over the Thrashers. Semin is one of the most talented players in the league; he just needs to stay healthy.


• Speaking of hat tricks, former No. 1 overall draft pick, John Tavares notched his first NHL hat trick. Since returning from his concussion, Johnny T has 5 goals and 7 points in four contests. A breakout season was predicted by NHL.com, and so far, we're right on the money.

Rick DiPietro continues to struggle in goal for the Isles -- he stopped 26 of 30 shots and took the loss. Despite the defeat being his first regulation loss of the season, DiPietro's GAA is still not where we would like to see it. If you want to own one of the Islanders' goalies on your team, Dwayne Roloson is the guy you want, despite the uneven amount of playing time -- DP has started five games, Rollie has started just three.

• What a performance for a couple of superstars in Detroit: Henrik Zetterberg was arguably the star of the night with 2 goals, 2 assists, 1 PP point, a plus-3 rating and 7 shots on goal; Nicklas Lidstrom tallied 3 assists to go along with a plus-2 rating.

Curtis McElhinney started his second straight game for the Ducks and struggled -- he did make 36 saves, but he allowed five goals. It's safe to say Jonas Hiller will be back between the pipes for Anaheim in their next game.

Jaroslav Halak denied 31 shots and improved to 4-1-1 while recording his first shutout with the Blues in a 1-0 overtime victory over the Penguins. Erik Johnson scored the overtime winner -- his first goal of the season.

• Nashville center Cal O'Reilly scored 42 seconds into their game against Dallas, and that turned out to be the game's only goal. Pekka Rinne stopped all 30 shots he faced en route to his 15th career shutout (all in the last three seasons -- the guy is a shutout machine!).

Patrick Sharp is the hottest player in the League right now -- he scored his eighth goal of the season and added an assist.

• R. J. Umberger, and not Rick Nash, scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Umberger has five points on the season and could be helpful in deep leagues.

• The night's last hat trick came from the most unlikely of players -- Kings forward Brad Richardson. The gritty center had just 30 career goals going into the night, and the three tallies were his first goals in seven games this season. While this game was impressive, Richardson should remain in the free agency pool for the time being.


Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk each recorded 2 goals and an assist in Colorado's loss to the Kings. While Stastny should clearly be owned in all leagues, Hejduk isn't quite as obvious. However, the veteran winger is off to a nice start to his season with 4 goals and 3 assists in eight games.

• We've been waiting for three years for Phoenix center Kyle Turris to break out. It may have finally happened on Saturday night: Turris notched 2 goals and an assist, all in the final 16 minutes of regulation in the Coyotes' eventual overtime loss. Turris was Phoenix's first-round choice (No. 3) back in 2007, and the Coyotes have been waiting for him to blossom. While that seems like a long time ago, remember that Turris is just 21 years old. Yes, the two goals were his first of the season, but his breakout season could be nearing -- if not in 2010-11, next season he'll surely be on many fantasy owners' radars.

Joe Pavelski notched a goal and a pair of assists in San Jose's blowout win at Edmonton. Little Joe now has 3 goals and 2 assists in his last two games after being held pointless in three straight contests. The Sharks reunited their top two lines, and the break down was as follows: Thornton-Marleau-Heatley and Pavelski-Clowe-Setoguchi. All six forwards should be owned in nearly every league, with Setoguchi being the only borderline player.



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RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Alex Ovechkin
5. Evgeni Malkin

CUBETA'S COMPLETE TOP 100 FORWARD RANKS