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Fantasy Spin: Big results from little-owned Predators

by David Satriano /

The Nashville Predators have been one of the NHL's surprise teams this season, and many of their players have been surprisingly valuable for fantasy owners. Nashville has 13 players with at least 10 points, and several are available in most leagues.

Forward James Neal is owned in 96 percent of Yahoo leagues, but his linemates are largely available. Neal, who missed the past five games with a lower-body injury, returned Tuesday in a 5-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks and found success with Colin Wilson (36 percent owned, C, LW) and Mike Fisher (12 percent owned, C).

Since Dec. 23 (four games), Neal has played 57 percent of the time with those two, according to Neal has four points in his past three games; Wilson had two goals and two assists Tuesday, has eight goals in his past 11 games, and is plus-21 this season; and Fisher had two points and has seven goals and 12 points in 13 games.

Craig Smith (21 percent owned, C, RW) is another option. He has 13 goals and 11 assists this season.

Petr Mrazek
Goalie - DET
RECORD: 6-3-1
GAA: 2.16 | SVP: .920
-- Goalie Petr Mrazek (38 percent owned) made his first in what likely is majority of starts for the Detroit Red Wings with Jimmy Howard sidelined with a groin injury. Mrazek made 24 saves in a 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres. Mrazek (6-3-1, .920 save percentage, 2.16 goals-against average) has been consistent when given a chance this season, and the Red Wings have a favorable schedule with three of their next five games against the Sabres, Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild.

Mrazek wasn't the only hot Wing in Buffalo. Forward Tomas Tatar (54 percent owned, LW) scored a goal in 16:06 of ice time. He leads Detroit with 17 goals and has 28 points. Tatar had 19 goals and 39 points last season in 73 games and likely will set career highs in each of those categories.

-- The Tampa Bay Lightning were without leading scorer Tyler Johnson in a 4-3 loss to the Boston Bruins. Steven Stamkos filled in for Johnson on "The Triplets" line with Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov, and it was a seamless transition.

Stamkos scored twice, with Palat getting an assist on each goal. Kucherov has 19 points in his past 16 games.

Johnson (lower body) could return Thursday when the Lightning play the Edmonton Oilers.

-- Bruins rookie right wing David Pastrnak scored two more goals and has four goals in two games. He was owned in 4 percent of Yahoo leagues before the game, which more than doubled to 10 percent shortly after it.

-- Edmonton Oilers forward Benoit Pouliot (1 percent owned, LW) has five goals in his past six games after scoring twice in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. Ride him while he's hot, but he doesn't offer much in penalty minutes (14) or shots (34).

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