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Fantasy Spin: Impact of Bennett's four-goal game

by Pete Jensen

Sam Bennett may have finally turned the tide on his season Wednesday. The Calgary Flames rookie forward became the first player in the NHL this season to score four goals in a game in a 6-0 win against the Florida Panthers.

At nine percent owned with C/LW eligibility in Yahoo, Bennett could be aided by the sudden emergence of Micheal Ferland (two percent), who's playing with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the Flames' top line in recent games. Bennett, meanwhile, did his damage alongside Jiri Hudler and Mikael Backlund on the second line in Hudler's return from injury, instantly giving Calgary the secondary scoring lift it has lacked for much of the season.

Bennett only played one regular-season game last season but scratched the surface of his potential with three goals, one assist and 20 SOG in 11 games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was one of my preseason fantasy sleepers who did not pan out as expected to start the season, posting 14 points and 60 SOG in 39 games prior to busting out for five goals (one power-play goal) on eight SOG in his past two games.

The 19-year-old sees 1:47 per game with the man-advantage and has four power-play points this season -- far from significant usage or production in those spots. The Flames usually employ Gaudreau, Monahan, two defensemen (Mark Giordano and Dougie Hamilton), and a rotating forward on their top power-play unit. That rotating forward was Ferland on Wednesday.

Hudler (51 percent, C/LW/RW), among the League's top 10 scorers in 2014-15 with 76 points in 78 games, has been one of the most underachieving fantasy assets League-wide, but could salvage his season if he stays healthy and latches on with Bennett for the long haul. Hudler had two assists and was a plus-4 with one SOG in Bennett's breakout showing and should be added if available in shallow leagues. Bennett, meanwhile, is merely a deep-league flier at this point and needs to show more consistency before being considered in standard formats.

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