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Fantasy Spin: Drouin, Galchenyuk moving up

by David Satriano

If you gave up on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and dropped him from your fantasy team, you're not alone.

The third pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Drouin spent all of last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, and fractured a finger in Lightning training camp this season.

He didn't make his NHL debut until Oct. 20, and had nine points in his first 18 games, not exactly the scoring numbers expected from a top-3 pick.

Drouin (owned in 47 percent of Yahoo leagues) has been a healthy scratch four times, including as recently as Dec. 9. His ice time dropped significantly, and he hadn't logged more than 15 minutes in a game since his fourth of the season.

So it was a pleasant surprise to see him get 14:50 of ice time, including 4:35 on the power play, Tuesday in a 3-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. Prior to the game, Drouin averaged 1:32 of power-play ice time.

He was moved up from the third line to the top line with Ryan Callahan and Steven Stamkos. Drouin had an assist on a goal by Stamkos on Tuesday, and was on the second power-play unit with Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov and Anton Stralman.

With an injury to forward Ondrej Palat (lower body), Lightning coach Jon Cooper changed some lines. Drouin mostly had played with Brett Connolly and either Valtteri Filppula or Cedric Paquette.

When Palat returns, the lines will be shifted again, but Drouin's value is higher now, especially with the playmakers on his current line and his increasing role on the power play.

-- Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk (42 percent) scored his first NHL hat trick in a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was his third game playing on the top line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, and Galchenyuk's offensive numbers are likely to improve playing alongside Pacioretty (who set up each of Galchenyuk's goals on Tuesday) and Gallagher.

-- St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (61 percent) started his third game in a row Tuesday, a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings. Allen made 21 saves and has won each of the three starts. Martin Brodeur hasn't started since Dec. 8; he is 2-1-0 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.

The Blues play the Kings again on Thursday and do not play back-to-back games until Dec. 29-30. St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock may continue to start Allen if he keeps winning.

-- Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (6 percent), who signed with the Anaheim Ducks on Dec. 9, entered a 6-2 loss to the Toronto Maples Leafs in the third period. It was his first appearance in an NHL game since last season's Stanley Cup Playoffs when he was with the Minnesota Wild, and Bryzgalov seemed rusty. He allowed two goals on seven shots in 14:52. Starting goalie Frederik Andersen made his 19th straight start and gave up four goals on 20 shots Tuesday.

-- Florida Panthers forward Scottie Upshall (1 percent) hadn't played in the past six games because of an ankle injury. He assisted on Derek MacKenzie's goal in the first period in the Panthers' 2-1 shootout victory against the Washington Capitals. Florida forward Aleksander Barkov (5 percent) returned after missing six games with a hand injury and did not have a point. Barkov had one assist in the previous seven games and doesn't have a goal in nine.

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