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Fantasy: Add Penguins for your title run

Daley, Hagelin, Bonino worth look during Pittsburgh's stretch drive

by Sean McCullen @McBrooklyn77 / Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins are the hottest team in the NHL, even though they've been without top-10 fantasy forward Evgeni Malkin for more than two weeks.

Pittsburgh is 7-1-0 since Malkin went down with an upper-body injury March 11.

Sure, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury have a lot to do with that run.

But the Penguins have been getting offense from unexpected places during their hot streak too, and you could benefit in the fantasy playoffs by adding a Pittsburgh player or two off the waiver wire.

Defenseman Trevor Daley , who is owned in 27 percent of Yahoo leagues, has two goals and four assists in the past five games after he went seven straight without a point. Daley is getting time with Letang on Pittsburgh's top defense pair with Olli Maatta week-to-week because of a lower-body injury.

Carl Hagelin (LW, 23 percent owned) had two goals in a 7-2 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. It was his second multigoal game since being acquired Jan. 16 from the Anaheim Ducks for David Perron and Adam Clendening. Hagelin has 11 goals and 22 assists in 73 games for the Ducks and Penguins, but seven goals and 14 assists in 30 games with Pittsburgh.

Nick Bonino , who is filling in for Malkin on the second line between Kessel and Hagelin, had a career-high five points (one goal, four assists) against Detroit. Bonino (C, 10 percent owned) has six goals, 15 assists and a plus-9 rating in 56 games.

Video: PIT@DET: Bonino scores off the rush on power play



Erik Haula, C/LW, Minnesota Wild (6 percent owned) -- Haula's eight-game point streak is the longest in the NHL. He has five goals and six assists in his past 14 games.

Anthony Mantha, RW, Detroit Red Wings (2 percent owned) -- Mantha, who made his NHL debut March 15 against the Philadelphia Flyers, has been playing next to center Pavel Datsyuk and opposite the speedy Darren Helm, so he should be able to find space. He scored his first goal in the League in a 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday and got his first assist in the loss to Pittsburgh.


-- The New York Rangers moved Chris Kreider up to left wing on the top line with center Derick Brassard and right wing Rick Nash on Saturday against the Canadiens. Kreider (LW, 61 percent owned) had two goals and an assist, and Brassard had a goal and two assists in a 5-2 win. The line was shut out in New York's 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Video: NYR@MTL: Rangers retake the lead on Brassard's goal

-- After playing right wing on a line with center Anze Kopitar and left wing Milan Lucic the previous two games, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter found himself centering Lucic and right wing Tyler Toffoli against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, and the line combined for four goals and 10 points in a 6-4 win.


-- The Ducks, Flyers, Penguins, Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets each play four games this week.

The Oilers and Rangers each will play two games, and the remaining 14 teams will play three each.

-- Unless you're playing in a keeper league, or one in which rosters are locked for the fantasy playoffs, drop any and all Oilers you may own, even Connor McDavid. Edmonton will play two games in each of the final two weeks of the NHL regular season; you're better off picking up a slightly lesser player who has four games this week and three next, or three games this week and four next, than hoping McDavid or Taylor Hall has a three-point night.

The Oilers are the only NHL team that has four games over the final two weeks; 10 have six games, and the other 19 play seven or eight.

-- The Sharks and Vancouver Canucks will play a home-and-home set this week; the first game is Tuesday in Vancouver, and the second is Thursday in San Jose.

San Jose forwards Tomas Hertl (C/LW, 41 percent owned) and Patrick Marleau each have two goals in three games against Vancouver. Joe Thornton and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D, 37 percent owned; lower-body injury) each have three assists to lead the Sharks. Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (2 percent owned) has three assists in three games against the Sharks. Daniel Sedin's two goals lead Vancouver.

-- The Avalanche and St. Louis Blues will play each other twice; the first game is Tuesday in St. Louis, and the second is Sunday in Denver. Vladimir Tarasenko's three points (two goals) lead St. Louis, and David Backes has a goal and an assist in the three games. Six Avalanche players have two points against the Blues: Nathan MacKinnon has two goals; John Mitchell (C, 1 percent owned), Mikhail Grigorenko (C, 1 percent owned), Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene each has a goal and an assist; and defenseman Tyson Barrie has two assists. MacKinnon and Duchene each will miss at least the next two games with a knee injury but could be back for the game Sunday in Denver.

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