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Fantasy: Late-season value by association

Nick Schmaltz, Alexandre Burrows among productive forwards with notable linemates

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

Entering Friday, NHL teams have anywhere from 17 to 22 games remaining. That means it's officially crunch time in head-to-head fantasy leagues with the playoffs approaching.

Even this late in the season, plenty of forwards have gained fantasy value by association. Many fantasy owners don't have roster spots to play with, but others in deeper leagues certainly do because of injuries and/or underperforming players. Here are some players with low Yahoo ownership and notable linemates to consider adding:

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: NHL TRADE DEADLINE ROUNDUP | POSITIONAL RANKINGS

 

Ondrej Palat, LW, TBL (29 percent owned)

Games remaining: 19

This is not Palat's best fantasy season by any stretch, but he has 10 power-play points, one off his NHL career high (11 in 2013-14 and 2014-15). Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson have fueled the Tampa Bay Lightning's top line of late, and Palat has three multipoint games in his past eight, totaling seven points, a plus-4, two PPP and 16 SOG in the span. The Lightning will play 11 of their final 19 games at home, where Palat has 22 points in 26 games. Kucherov (10th in Yahoo) has 13 points in his past fivegames, so adding Palat gives you a piece of that elite-level production.

Video: EDM@TBL: Palat nets Johnson's perfect pass for second

 

Alexandre Burrows, LW/RW, OTT (3 percent owned)

Games remaining: 20

There always seems to be a surprising NHL Trade Deadline beneficiary; last season, it was Patrick Maroon (Edmonton Oilers) and Devante Smith-Pelly (New Jersey Devils). The early returns Thursday have Burrows emerging as a potential waiver wire add. Burrows, in his 12th NHL season, scored two goals on three SOG for the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday -- his first game he's played for a team other than the Vancouver Canucks. Even with the Senators playing 12 of their final 20 games on the road, Burrows, a four-time 25-goal scorer, could do damage alongside Mark Stone (77th in Yahoo), who has 25 points in 27 road games. He played most of the game Thursday with Stone, but each of his goals was assisted by Mike Hoffman (31st), an even more valuable fantasy teammate.

 

Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT (5 percent owned)

Games remaining: 19

Conor Sheary (LW/RW, 38 percent owned) returned for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday against the Lightning, but it's worth noting how productive Guentzel had been in the former's absence. Playing alongside Sidney Crosby for much of that stretch, Guentzel has eight points in his past 14 games and 15 in 26 games on the season. He's sixth on Penguins in points per 60 minutes (2.33). The Penguins play 11 of their final 19 games on the road, including a five-game road trip March 8-15 and a three-game swing to end the season. Luckily, Crosby's road prowess (32 points in 28 games) could extend to Sheary and/or Guentzel.

Video: PIT@DAL: Guentzel buries loose puck on the doorstep

 

Nick Schmaltz, C/LW, CHI (11 percent owned)

Games remaining: 18

The Chicago Blackhawks are suddenly banged-up with Artemi Panarin (upper body) and Artem Anisimov (lower body) sustaining recent injuries, and Schmaltz (illness) also not playing against the New York Islanders on Friday. However, Schmaltz has thrived since being recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Feb. 16 scoring nine points in his past six games. He has 12 points in his past nine games with a plus-13 in the span, and has done most of that damage on a line with Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik. Schmaltz stepped in for the injured Anisimov against the Penguins on Wednesday and had two assists centering Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks play 11 of their final 18 games on the road, but have outscored opponents 85-81 in 30 road games.

 

Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF (28 percent owned)

Games remaining: 18

Reinhart has rotated from center to right wing throughout the season, but is settling in alongside Jack Eichel lately. The Buffalo Sabres have an even split (nine home games, nine road) the rest of the way, and Reinhart has a chance to benefit from exposure to Eichel at even strength and on the power play (17 PPP), where the Sabres rank tied for second in conversion percentage (22.8). Eichel, in the midst of an eight-game point streak, has 19 in his past 14 games; Reinhart has 10 points in the 12 games he's played during that span. Marcus Foligno, the third member of that line, scored two goals against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and is third in the League in hits (222).

Video: BUF@COL: Reinhart slams home rebound for PPG

 

Mathieu Perreault, C/LW, WPG (10 percent owned)

Games remaining: 17

If you haven't noticed what the Winnipeg Jets offense has done lately, there's still a chance to reap the benefits in fantasy. Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine have been multipoint machines lately, and it has had a ripple effect on Perreault. He has 10 points, 16 SOG and is plus-7 in his past six games, and his ownership has risen by seven percent in the past day. He has put together stretches of fantasy relevance in the past when among Winnipeg's top six, and the Jets play 10 of their final 17 games at home (including the next four).

 

Tanner Pearson, LW, LAK (27 percent owned)

Games remaining: 18

Similar to the Jets, the Los Angeles Kings have a favorable schedule the rest of the way with 12 of their final 18 games at Staples Center. With new addition Jarome Iginla joining Anze Kopitar on the second line, Pearson should remain with fantasy standout Jeff Carter (16th in Yahoo) and Tyler Toffoli, who's healthy after a long injury absence. Pearson (129th in Yahoo) has a four-game point streak and goals in three straight, giving him 40 points, 142 SOG and a plus-13 in 62 games.

Video: TOR@LAK: Pearson slides a backhand five-hole

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