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Fantasy hockey news, lineup, injury tracker

Wilson, Murray could return Friday; Green uncertain for Red Wings; Schwartz, Kase worth adding

by Fantasy Hockey Staff @NHLFantasy

NHL.com identifies daily fantasy hockey news, lineup and injury trends throughout the 2018-19 season. Follow this page before and after games for waiver wire advice, injury implications and notable production trends. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

 

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FRI. DEC. 14

Detroit Red Wings: Defenseman Mike Green (ankle) did not practice Thursday and is uncertain for the game against the Ottawa Senators on Friday. Green, who missed the first few weeks of the season with an illness, has been relevant in all fantasy formats since returning to the lineup by scoring 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) with a plus-10 and 52 shots on goal in 23 games. Rookie Dennis Cholowski (7 percent owned) has seen some time on the top pair with Green but has room for greater offensive usage in the veteran's absence. Cholowski has played more than 20 minutes once in his past nine games.

New York Rangers: Right wing Pavel Buchnevich (broken thumb) could return against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. Buchnevich (8 percent owned), who practiced Thursday on a line with left wing Chris Kreider and center Kevin Hayes, would be a DFS value play against the Coyotes, who will be on the second of back-to-back games.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Goalie Matt Murray has been activated off injured reserve and could start against the Boston Bruins on Friday. Murray's .877 SV% this season is well below his NHL career average (.913), but he still has upside with the Penguins' elite offensive talent. That said, backup Casey DeSmith is worth holding onto in deep leagues as a handcuff based on Murray's injury history.

St. Louis Blues: Left wing Jaden Schwartz (39 percent owned) returned to the lineup against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday and had two assists, two shots on goal and two hits in 17:29. Schwartz played mostly on a line with center Brayden Schenn and right wing David Perron, with elite right wing Vladimir Tarasenko moving back to a unit with center Ryan O'Reilly and left wing Alexander Steen. Schwartz is worth adding in standard leagues ahead of St. Louis' next game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Vegas Golden Knights: Center Paul Stastny (lower body) has been practicing this week and could return against the New Jersey Devils on Friday. Stastny, who has not played since Oct. 8, has no points and 10 shots on goal in three games this season but scored nearly a point per game (15 points in 17 games) for the Winnipeg Jets in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Stastny should eventually take Cody Eakin's spot on the second line with Max Pacioretty and right wing Alex Tuch and see power-play usage but could play on the third line to start.

Washington Capitals: Right wing Tom Wilson (67 percent owned) practiced in full Wednesday and could return against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Wilson, who sustained a concussion against the Vegas Golden Knights on Dec. 4, has missed the past three games but previously had a six-game goal streak and eight-game point streak totaling 13 points (seven goals, six assists) and a plus-8. He is expected to rejoin the top line with elite forwards Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, a spot where right wing T.J. Oshie played in his return to the lineup Tuesday. Oshie will likely shift to the second line with center Evgeny Kuznetsov and wing Jakub Vrana.

 

SAT. DEC. 15

Anaheim Ducks: Right wing Ondrej Kase (21 percent owned) is worth owning in all fantasy formats after scoring a hat trick on five shots on goal against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. Kase, who has been playing on the top line with valuable center Ryan Getzlaf and streaming option Pontus Aberg (LW/RW, 15 percent owned) over the past two games, has totaled six points (four goals, two assists), a plus-6, eight SOG and four hits in the span. Kase, who missed the first month of the season with a concussion, has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) and 51 SOG in 15 games since returning. Anaheim visits the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, and forward Rickard Rakell (sprained ankle) is expected to remain out until the NHL's mandatory holiday break (Dec. 24-26).

Calgary Flames: Goalie Mike Smith (undisclosed) left the game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday after allowing four goals on 14 shots faced and did not return. Smith has won six straight decisions but is uncertain for Calgary's next game at the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Backup David Rittich (45 percent owned) got the win, stopping four of five shots faced, in relief of Smith on Wednesday.

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