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Fantasy buzz: Krejci is game-time decision for Bruins

Boston center could sit because of upper-body injury

by James Harding / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

All season long, NHL.com's fantasy hockey staff will have you covered with daily lineup news, production trends and injury notes from around the League. We will identify how these developments affect fantasy owners in year-long (Yahoo) and daily (DraftKings) formats.

 
5 p.m.
Daily Fantasy Advice

Nikita Kucherov and Mikhail Sergachev of the Tampa Bay Lightning are good plays in DFS against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

Lundqvist, Hayes, Vesey strong for Rangers

The New York Rangers won their second game of the season defeating the Nashville Predators 4-2. Lundqvist made 23 saves for his first victory in almost two weeks, after losing four straight games and allowing eight goals against in his last starts.

Rangers center Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist and has scored in back-to-back games, with six shots on goal in that span. Jimmy Vesey assisted on Hayes' goal and scored an empty-net goal. The Rangers have been inconsistent but with a game against the San Jose Sharks at home on Monday, Hayes, Vesey and Lundqvist are DFS options to consider.

 

Fowler day to day for Ducks

Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said that top defenseman Cam Fowler is day to day with an injury he sustained against the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. Carlyle said Fowler (owned in 72 percent of Yahoo leagues) would have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury.

With Fowler out and the Ducks still without and Sami Vatanen, someone could be needed to fill the void on the power play. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who has yet to play this season, could return this week. Lindholm (6 percent owned) would slot in on the Ducks top pairing and could see some power-play time. Other in-house candidates for the first power play unit in the short term are Brandon Montour (5 percent owned) and Francois Beauchemin (1 percent owned).

 

Stewart category cog for Minnesota

Although the Minnesota Wild have opened the season with an injury-depleted lineup on offense, one player has stepped up. Wing Chris Stewart enters the game against the Calgary Flames on Saturday riding a five-game point streak to start the season.

Stewart (LW/RW) is owned in only 6 percent of Yahoo leagues and has five goals and seven points. He is getting solid category coverage with 10 shots on goal and five hits. He's is a great value play on Saturday. Stewart ($3,500 on DraftKings) is skating on the Wild's top line with Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker.

 

[RELATED: Fantasy projected goalie starters | Fantasy buzz: Bjork thrives on top line]

 

3:15 p.m.
Bergeron looks good to go, Krejci is game-time decision

The Boston Bruins' top two centers, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, each had a maintenance day Friday but took part in the optional morning skate before Boston's game against the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, MSG-B, NHL.TV). Fantasy owners will need to monitor the situation.

Bergeron, who had four points in his season debut Thursday after missing five games with a lower-body injury, is expected to be good to go and center the top line between left wing Brad Marchand and rookie right wing Anders Bjork.

However, Krejci ($5,400 on DraftKings) is considered a game-time decision with an upper-body injury. It could be a big blow to the Bruins if Krejci can't go; he's coming off a multipoint game against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and has three points in his past three games. Krejci is centering a line with left wing David Pastrnak, who is riding a three-game point streak, and ritht wing Jake DeBrusk. Paul Stastny ($5,500), Nick Schmaltz ($5,200), Alexander Wennberg ($5,700) and Aleksander Barkov ($5,600) are comparably priced centers on DraftKings for DFS players to consider if Krejci can't go.

Video: VAN@BOS: Bergeron scores PPG in 900th NHL game

 

Scheifele absent from Jets practice

Winnipeg Jets' first-line center Mark Scheifele wasn't present for the team skate on Saturday after a two-assist performance against the Minnesota Wild in the Jets' 4-3 win on Friday. Coach Paul Maurice said it was a maintenance day, so fantasy owners should monitor the situation but should not worry too much. Scheifele played 20:39 against Minnesota. He has eight points (three goals, five assists), including three assists in Winnipeg's past two games.

Video: WPG@EDM: Scheifele spins and scores on Talbot

 

Beauvillier steps in for Islanders, Ho-Sang scratched

New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier will dress against the San Jose Sharks at Barclays Center (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, NBCSCA, NHL.TV) after being a healthy scratch for the past three games. This will be Beauvillier's fifth game of the season. He has one goal and eight shots. The Islanders will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the second straight game; expect Beauvillier to play on the third line with center Brock Nelson, the Islanders' leading goal-scorer this season (four), and forward Jason Chimera. Beauvillier ($3,000) could be a sneaky-good value pick against a Sharks team that is playing the second of back-to-back games.

Joshua Ho-Sang will be scratched to make room for Beauvillier. Ho-Sang had four assists in his first four games before going scoreless against the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers, and he's taken just six shots on goal this season. Ho-Sang saw his ice time drop from a season-high 16:25 against the Sharks last Saturday to a season-low 10:59 against the Rangers on Thursday, and he did not see the ice during overtime of the Islanders' 4-3 shootout victory.

Video: BUF@NYI: Beauvillier jams in rebound to pad lead

 

11 a.m.
Connor thriving in Jets top six

Forward Kyle Connor continued his solid play in the Winnipeg Jets' top six in their 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Friday, giving fantasy owners yet another rookie to consider adding. 

Connor (6 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) has looked very good since his recall early in the week. He skated on the Winnipeg top line with Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler, taking the spot of the injured Mathieu Perreault, and is seeing time on the Jets second power-play unit with Bryan Little and Nikolaj Ehlers. Wheeler and Scheifele each had multi-point games Friday. Connor has points in each of his first two games, a goal and an assist with three shots on goal. He should be targeted in the short-term by fantasy owners in deep leagues until a long-term answer on his lineup position is confirmed, but should be on the fantasy radar in DFS formats as a great value player.

Video: CBJ@WPG: Connor one-times Scheifele's pass for goal

Connor Hellebuyck is beginning to pry the starting goaltender job away from Steve Mason, winning each of his past four starts for the Jets. Hellebuyck is owned in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues, meaning he's widely available. Patrik Laine had his biggest game of the season on Friday. The second-year wing scored two goals on eight SOG. He has six points and 25 SOG on the season, with points in five of the Jets first seven games, making him a top DFS player to target on a nightly basis.

 

Burakovsky has bounce-back game for Capitals

It has been a slow start to the season for Andre Burakovsky of the Washington Capitals. The talented forward has been skating in an enviable position to start the year on the Caps second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie, but has struggled with his consistency and production. He broke out of a four-game scoreless streak Friday with a multi-point game against the Detroit Red Wings, scoring his first goal of the season and had an assist with three SOG. His assist came on Oshie's power-play goal that tied the game late.

Burakovsky (54 percent owned) is dual eligible in Yahoo leagues as a LW/RW, but has been dropped in 11 percent leagues recently. He had a slightly down season last year, dropping to 35 points in 64 games after an NHL career-high 38 points in the 2015-16 season. As long as he continues to get exposure to Backstrom and Oshie at even strength, as well as see time on the Capitals second power-play unit, he will be a great player to target in all fantasy formats.

Video: WSH@DET: Burakovsky wires a wrister top shelf

 
Athanasiou worth adding to fantasy watch list

With Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou finally agreeing to a new contract Friday, he immediately becomes a player that deep-league fantasy owners should monitor. Athanasiou (C/LW) is 3 percent owned in Yahoo leagues but he cannot sign and get into the lineup until roster moves are made.

Fantasy owners, especially DFS players, should monitor when Athanasiou enters the lineup and who his linemates will be. Athanasiou had 18 goals and 29 points in 64 games last season. He is expected to be in the Red Wings' top-nine forward group and will be on the power play as well. Athanasiou was a fringe top-200 player in NHL.com's rankings to close last season.

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