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Fantasy All-Access: Stars' Hemsky could help

Dallas forward seeing time on top line with Seguin and Benn

by Sean McCullen @McBrooklyn77 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Monday, NHL.com staff writer Sean McCullen identifies potential waiver-wire pickups and points out lineup moves and schedule impacts for fantasy hockey.

Ales Hemsky has nine goals and 14 assists in 53 games. Those aren't exactly eye-catching fantasy numbers, but he might be worth a look if you need a fill-in at forward this week.

The Dallas Stars had Hemsky, a right wing owned in four percent of Yahoo leagues, on their top line with center Tyler Seguin and left wing Jamie Benn on Saturday. The Stars lost 7-3 to the Boston Bruins, but Hemsky scored the Stars' first goal to give him three in the past four games and four in nine. 

There's also his schedule this week. The Stars and Winnipeg Jets will play a home-and-home set, and Hemsky has a goal and three assists in two games against Winnipeg this season. 

Coach Lindy Ruff has used many players on the top line with Seguin and Benn, among them Valeri Nichushkin, Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza. So adding Hemsky to your fantasy team could be a risky move. But if he can stick with the Stars' dynamic duo it would be well worth having him on your roster this week, and perhaps even beyond. 

WAIVER-WIRE WATCH
Benoit Pouliot, LW, Edmonton Oilers (21 percent owned) -- It's remarkable that Pouliot hasn't become more popular in fantasy given he's tied for fifth in points since the NHL returned from the All-Star break. The 29-year-old, playing on a line with Connor McDavid and Jordan Eberle, has four goals, nine assists, a plus-3 rating and 21 shots on goal in the past 10 games. One negative to owning Pouliot, and anyone on the Oilers, is Edmonton has four games during the final two weeks of the NHL regular season, two fewer than any other team in the League. 

Rickard Rakell, C, Anaheim Ducks (13 percent owned) -- Rakell is enjoying playing with Corey Perry to his right. The 22-year-old is on a four-game point streak and has at least one point in 10 of 15 games since Jan. 17. During that 15-game span he has seven goals and seven assists.

Video: ANA@VAN: Rakell opens the scoring early in 2nd period

Jannik Hansen, RW, Vancouver Canucks (8 percent owned) -- After a two-goal game Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche, Hansen has four goals, two assists and a plus-4 rating in his past six games. You could do worse than using the right wing, who's been on a line with center Henrik Sedin and left wing Daniel Sedin.  

Matt Dumba, D, Minnesota Wild (20 percent owned) -- It's not often you can add a top-10 scoring defenseman to your fantasy lineup, but that's exactly what Dumba's been since the All-Star break. The 21-year-old has four goals and five assists in the past 10 games. His nine points are tied for seventh among NHL defensemen and his 30 shots on goal since Feb. 2 are tied for fifth. 

Jason Pominville, RW, Minnesota Wild (16 percent owned) -- Pominville has been rejuvenated under interim coach John Torchetti, who was hired to replace Mike Yeo on Feb. 13. In four games under the new coach, the 33-year-old has three goals and three assists. 

LINE CHANGES 
-- Evgeny Kuznetsov has centered Justin Williams (RW, 54 percent) and Alex Ovechkin on the Washington Capitals' top line the past two games, with Nicklas Backstrom playing between Andre Burakovsky (LW, 19 percent owned) and T.J. Oshie. Kuznetsov, Williams and Ovechkin have combined for eight even-strength points since the change; Backstrom, Burakovsky and Oshie have one. 

-- The Tampa Bay Lightning's "Triplets" line was reunited for three games last week before Nikita Kucherov missed the Lightning's 4-2 win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday because of a lower-body injury. Kucherov, who is day-to-day, was replaced on the line by Jonathan Marchessault. In the three games before Kucherov was injured, left wing Ondrej Palat (46 percent owned), center Tyler Johnson and Kucherov combined for three even-strength points. 

-- Before Claude Giroux sustained an upper-body injury Friday against the Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers had Brayden Schenn (51 percent owned) at left wing and Wayne Simmonds at right wing with Giroux, who is day-to-day, in back-to-back games. That left Jakub Voracek at right wing on a line with rookie center Nick Cousins and left wing R.J. Umberger. Cousins (less than 1 percent owned) had a goal in each of his first two games with Voracek to his left but was kept off the score sheet Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sam Gagner (C, 1 percent owned) had a goal replacing Giroux as the Flyers' top-line center against Toronto. 

-- The Oilers reunited Taylor Hall, Leon Draisaitl and Teddy Purcell for three games last week. Hall had played with center Mark Letestu and right wing Zack Kassian on Feb. 13 against the Jets; Draisaitl and Purcell were with Nail Yakupov.  

Video: COL@EDM: Hall gets to the rebound, lights the lamp

SCHEDULE NOTES 
-- The Capitals, Oilers, Wild, Hurricanes, Arizona Coyotes, Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues each will play four games this week. 

The Avalanche, Canucks, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins each will play two, and the rest of the League has three games apiece. 

Colorado and Detroit will play at Coors Field in Denver in the second game of the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2). 

-- The Jets will host the Stars on Tuesday and play in Dallas on Thursday. 

Like Hemsky, defenseman John Klingberg and forwards Seguin, Vernon Fiddler (C/LW, 1 percent owned) and Antoine Roussel (LW, 4 percent owned) have put up good numbers in the Stars' three games against the Jets. Klingberg has two goals and two assists, Seguin has three goals and two assists, Fiddler has two goals and an assist, and Roussel has two goals. 

Benn has one goal, and Spezza has no points. 

On the Jets side, forward Nikolaj Ehlers (LW/RW, 16 percent owned) has three assists, and defensemen Tyler Myers (28 percent owned) and Jacob Trouba (37 percent owned) each has a goal and an assist.

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