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Fantasy: Senators' Smith should be added

Ottawa forward on five-game goal streak, owned in 15 percent of leagues

by Sean McCullen @McBrooklyn77 / Staff Writer

Last season, Ottawa Senators rookie forward Mark Stone scored 15 goals in 36 games after the All-Star break, including 10 in the final 17 and seven in the last six, on his way to a runner-up finish in Calder Trophy voting.

This season, it's Zack Smith who has caught fire in the second half for Ottawa. The 27-year-old has a five-game goal streak and has scored 12 times in his past 18 games.

Smith, eligible at center and owned in 15 percent of Yahoo leagues, has a career-high 21 goals in 69 games; his previous best was 14 in 81 games in 2011-12.

"I always thought I could (reach 20 goals), given the opportunity. If you were to ask me 20 games ago at the All-Star break if I was going to get 20, I probably would have said no," Smith told the Ottawa Sun on Friday. "… It's nice to get on a roll. Confidence is the biggest thing right now."

Smith is playing left wing opposite Stone, whose 24 points (11 goals) since the All-Star break are third in the NHL, on a line centered by Jean-Gabriel Pageau (C, 11 percent owned).

A natural center, Smith has grown more comfortable on the wing since being moved there last season.

"I'm thinking a lot less, which is a nice change," he said. "A lot of guys would say the same thing: You kind of get stuck in your own head and you might be your own worst enemy some games."

If Smith keeps this up, his short-term production could do wonders for your roster in the fantasy playoffs.

Video: OTT@CAR: Smith regains lead for Senators with SHG



Lee Stempniak, LW/RW, Boston Bruins (52 percent owned) -- He made this list in early November when he was on the low-scoring New Jersey Devils and owned in 8 percent of Yahoo leagues. Now that he's at right wing on the Boston Bruins' top line with center Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Stempniak is a must-own player in fantasy. He has a goal and five assists in seven games since moving to Boston on Deadline Day.

Jussi Jokinen, C/LW/RW, Florida Panthers (52 percent owned) -- Jokinen has two goals and 10 assists during a 10-game point streak, which matches his career-high. The 32-year-old is tied for ninth in the NHL in scoring since the All-Star break, having averaged more than a point per game (20 points in 19 games). Jokinen's linemates have been hot too; Reilly Smith (LW/RW, 23 percent owned) scored twice in a 5-4 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and has four goals and three assists in the past six games. Vincent Trocheck (C/RW, 44 percent owned) has a goal and seven assists in his past six.

Robby Fabbri, C, St. Louis Blues (4 percent owned) -- Fabbri has two goals and five assists in the past six games. The 20-year-old rookie arguably was the Blues' best player in a 3-2 shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, when he had an assist and five shots on goal in 15:55. He has 16 goals and 15 assists in 63 games. 


-- Jeff Carter has been skating at right wing with center Anze Kopitar and left wing Milan Lucic on the Los Angeles Kings' top line the past three games. Carter, who had one goal in 12 games Feb. 11-March 5, has three goals, one assist, a plus-3 rating and 17 SOG since being moved to the top line. 

-- Vincent Lecavalier (C, 5 percent owned) continues to center the Kings' second line, with Tanner Pearson at left wing and Tyler Toffoli at right wing. Lecavalier scored twice in three games last week and has seven goals and five assists in 28 games since being acquired from the Flyers.

-- Right wing Jaromir Jagr was on the ice with Trocheck and Jokinen at times in the Panthers' 6-2 win against the Senators on Thursday. Having the NHL's third all-time leading scorer in Smith's regular spot on his line, if only for a few brief stretches, seemed to do Trocheck some good; he matched a single-game career high in points with a goal and three assists, including one on the second of Jagr's two goals.

-- Nick Bonino (C, 4 percent owned) took injured center Evgeni Malkin's spot between wings Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel on the Pittsburgh Penguins' second line Sunday against the New York Rangers. Malkin is out 6-8 weeks because of an upper-body injury sustained in a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. The line was scoreless in a 5-3 win, but Bonino led the way with three SOG and three blocks. Hagelin and Kessel had one SOG apiece.

Video: PIT@NJD: Bonino pads the lead with goal in 2nd period

-- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C, 60 percent owned) had Lauri Korpikoski (LW/RW, less than 1 percent owned) at left wing and Nail Yakupov (LW/RW, 31 percent owned) at right wing in his return to the Edmonton Oilers lineup Saturday after missing 23 games with a broken hand. The Oilers lost 4-0 to the Arizona Coyotes, so it is likely coach Todd McLellan will again shuffle his lines when Edmonton hosts the Nashville Predators on Monday.

-- The Dallas Stars split up Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin for their game Saturday against the Blues. Benn was with center Cody Eakin (4 percent owned) and right wing Patrick Eaves (3 percent owned), and Seguin was at right wing with left wing Valeri Nichushkin (RW, 7 percent owned) and center Jason Spezza. Eakin scored the first Dallas goal at even strength on an assist from Benn, who later scored on the power play. Spezza had two even-strength goals.


-- There will be 52 games played across the NHL the week of March 14-20, the most for any week during the 2015-16 season. Fourteen teams each will play four games this week, and the remaining 16 each will play three.

-- The Devils and Blue Jackets will play a home-and-home series, Saturday in Columbus and Sunday in Newark, N.J. Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno (C/LW, 65 percent owned) scored three of his nine goals this season Feb. 25 against the Devils and had two assists in the first three games. Columbus forwards Matt Calvert (LW, less than 1 percent owned) and William Karlsson (C, less than 1 percent owned) each has a goal and three assists against New Jersey. Devils forward Travis Zajac (C, 9 percent owned) has two points this season against the Blue Jackets.

-- The Arizona Coyotes and San Jose Sharks will play each other twice, Thursday in Glendale, Ariz., and Sunday in San Jose, but each team plays a game in between. Forward Chris Tierney (C, less than 1 percent owned) has two goals in two games against Arizona to lead San Jose. Center Joe Thornton, defenseman Brent Burns and forward Melker Karlsson (C/RW, 1 percent owned) each has two assists against Arizona. No Arizona player has more than one point in the two games.

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