The Washington Capitals' top-six forward group is as explosive as you'll find in the NHL, but Marcus Johansson reminded fantasy owners that their wealth of fantasy relevance extends to the third line.
Johansson, who missed four games because of an upper-body injury, returned to the lineup Tuesday at the Nashville Predators and had three points (one goal, two assists) with a plus-3, one power-play point, two penalty minutes and one shot on goal. He now has points in four of his past five games, with two postponed games because of a snowstorm and his injury absence scattered in between.
He's 36 percent owned and tri-eligible (C/LW/RW) in Yahoo, and played on the third line with Jason Chimera and Tom Wilson as well as on Washington's top power-play unit with Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and defenseman John Carlson. Johansson is ranked 116th among all players based on his standard-league performance this season; he has 33 points (10 PPP), a plus-15 and 82 SOG in 45 games. If you're in a shallow league, he provides the utmost roster flexibility and valuable power-play exposure that can boost your team down the stretch.
If Johansson has already been added or was stashed on the bench while injured in your league, it's worth reiterating that Andre Burakovsky (17 percent owned) is one of the hottest players in the NHL and even more readily available. The 21-year-old left wing has been playing with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams on the Capitals' second line, and has an active eight-game point streak with points in 10 of his past 11 games.
In the past month, Burakovsky's points per game average (1.27; 14 points in 11 games) ranks 10th in the NHL. And even with Johansson's return to the lineup, Burakovsky had an assist in 14:07 of ice time Tuesday. The only knock on Burakovsky is his power-play usage (three PPP; 0:55 per game on PP).
The Capitals, who have the best goal differential in the NHL (plus-56), have played 52 games this season, tied for the fewest in the League. That means there's ample opportunity to see the fantasy splash effect from adding a now-healthy Johansson and/or Burakovsky at once.