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Fantasy buzz: Drouin, Weber set to return for Canadiens

Top-line center, first-pair defenseman missed previous game with injuries

by James Harding / NHL Fantasy Correspondent

All season long,'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.


DraftKings value picks for Saturday

Projected starting goalies for Saturday

Center: Brandon Dubinsky, CBJ ($3,500 @ DET) - Dubinsky enters the Columbus Blue Jackets' game at the Detroit Red Wings with points in four of his past five games. Dubinsky is centering the second line between two other value targets: Boone Jenner ($4,800) and Oliver Bjorkstrand ($3,800). He has two goals, two assists, three blocked shots and eight shots on goal in his past five games, averaging 3.1 fantasy points per game on DraftKings in that span.

Spend up for: Sean Couturier, PHI ($6,800 vs MIN)

Video: CAR@CBJ: Dubinsky roofs backhand for breakaway goal

Wing: Justin Williams, CAR ($4,500 vs CHI) -- Williams has been a fantasy beast for the Carolina Hurricanes recently, scoring points in five of his past six games. Williams has points in back-to-back games (two goals, one assist) with seven shots on goal. He has seven points and 13 shots on goal in his past six games. Williams is averaging a point per game at home, with six points in six games at PNC Arena.

Spend up for: Blake Wheeler, WPG ($7,900 @ ARI)

Video: CAR@CGY: Williams beats sprawling Smith for PPG

Defenseman: Joel Edmundson, STL ($4,000 vs NYI) -- Edmundson has been a very good source of category coverage points on DraftKings for DFS owners. In 17 games for the St. Louis Blues he has 51 blocked shots and 33 shots on goal, to go along with five goals and one assist. His 3.5 fantasy points per game average on DraftKings is tied for ninth among defensemen available on Saturday. Edmundson has five points in his past eight games and has averaged 3.9 fantasy points on DraftKings in that span.

Spend up for: Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI ($5,600 vs MIN)

Video: TOR@STL: Edmundson buries rebound to put Blues ahead

Goaltender: Charlie Lindgren, MTL ($7,800 vs BUF) -- Despite taking the first loss of his NHL career Thursday against the Minnesota Wild, Lindgren has been sensational while filling in for the injured Carey Price. In three starts he has allowed four goals, with a 1.35 goals-against average and .961 save percentage. He has a very favorable matchup against the Sabres, who rank 29th in the NHL in scoring with 2.4 goals per game.

Spend up for: Steve Mason, WPG ($8,300 @ ARI)


Buchnevich continues stellar play for Rangers

Pavel Buchnevich continued his impressive play for the New York Rangers on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. Buchnevich (43 percent owned on Yahoo), who has been skating with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider on the first line, scored his eighth goal of the season; it came during a second-period power play. He finished the 4-2 victory with five shots on goal. Buchnevich has 15 points and eight power-play points this season.

The goal was his seventh in eight games since Oct. 26, most in the NHL during that span. Buchnevich, who is dual-eligible LW/RW in Yahoo, is a must-own fantasy asset because of his first-line role at even strength and on the power play. The Rangers have won their past six games; and Buchnevich has points in four of the six, with three multipoint games.

Video: EDM@NYR: Buchnevich snaps in a one-timer for a PPG


2:30 p.m.
Weber, Drouin expected to play for Canadiens

Forward Jonathan Drouin and defenseman Shea Weber are expected to play Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. Each was injured in Montreal's 3-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday and missed the 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Drouin, who is tri-eligible C/LW/RW in Yahoo leagues, will center the top line between Max Pacioretty and Andrew Shaw. He was practicing on the team's first power-play unit Saturday, with Weber at the point. Drouin had six points in his past eight games before his injury.

Weber will be in his normal spot on the first defense pair and first power-play unit. He had been held scoreless in the two games before his injury, but had nine points in his six games before he slumped. Drouin ($5,500 on DraftKings) and Weber ($6,200) will be great targets Saturday against Buffalo in DraftKings DFS contests. The Sabres are allowing 3.6 goals against per game and playing on the second night of a back-to-back after losing to 4-1 at home to the Florida Panthers on Friday.

Nashville lineup changes ahead of Turris debut

Center Kyle Turris, who was acquired in the three-way trade that sent center Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators, will make his debut with the Nashville Predators against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Turris (66 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) has been practicing on the second line, centering Kevin Fiala (3 percent) and Craig Smith (14 percent).

They've also been skating on the second power-play unit with Viktor Arvidsson and Mattias Ekholm. Fantasy owners and DFS players could expect Nashville to re-form the first line of Ryan Johansen between Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg after the trade.

Turris ($5,500 on DraftKings) had nine points (three goals, six assists) in 11 games this season with the Ottawa Senators before the trade. Along with Fiala ($3,400), who has seven assists this season, and Smith ($3,500), who has three of his five points on the power play, the second line will be a great play as a value line stack against the Penguins. Pittsburgh is playing the second of back-to-back games on the road and will likely turn to backup goalie Tristan Jarry to start.


10 a.m.
Haula, Perron continue point streaks for Golden Knights

Forwards Erik Haula and David Perron each extended his point streak to four games for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets.

Haula is centering a line with Perron on left wing and James Neal on right wing, and he also centers the Golden Knights' top power-play unit. He had an assist against the Jets to extend his point streak to four games. Haula (5 percent owned in Yahoo leagues), who's dual-eligible C/LW, has three goals and three assists during his streak. He has nine points (five goals, four assists) in 12 games.

Video: VGK@MTL: Haula buries Marchessault's sweet feed

Perron extended his point streak to four games with a goal and an assist; he has points in six of his past eight games. Perron (28 percent owned) is also dual-eligible in Yahoo as LW/RW. He has one goal and five assists during his four-game streak, and leads Vegas with nine assists and 14 points in 16 games. Fantasy owners will want to watch Haula and Perron going forward in all season-long and DFS formats.

Video: WPG@VGK: Perron fires home great feed from Engelland


Low-ownership defensemen have big games

There were a number of good fantasy performances Friday from defensemen who are scarcely owned in the majority of fantasy hockey leagues, but should be on owners' radars going forward.

Samuel Girard, making his debut for the Colorado Avalanche after being acquired in the three-way trade that sent center Matt Duchene to the Ottawa Senators, made his impact felt immediately. (2 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) skated on Colorado's second pair with Tyson Barrie at even strength against Ottawa in their NHL Global Series game in Stockholm, Sweden. He played 21:55, third among Colorado defensemen, and had his fourth point of the season, an assist, on Alex Kerfoot's goal in the second period.

Esa Lindell of the Dallas Stars had a solid game against the New York Islanders; he and fellow defenseman John Klingberg had multipoint games. Lindell (6 percent owned in Yahoo) scored his fourth goal of the season and had an assist on Jason Spezza's power-play goal. He finished with two shots on goal and had 2:25 of power-play time. Lindell is skating on the first defense pair at even strength and on the second power-play unit. He has seven points (four goals, three assists) in 16 games, including two goals and three points on the power play.

Victor Antipin has moved up in the Buffalo Sabres' lineup with the injury to Rasmus Ristolainen and has seen an increase in power-play time. Antipin (less than 1 percent owned in Yahoo) had his first power-play point of the season Friday against the Florida Panthers. He's been skating on the second power-play unit, but was on the first unit against Florida when he recorded his assist. Fantasy owners should view him as more of a value play in DFS contests on DraftKings in the short-term until Ristolainen returns.

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