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Fantasy Spin: Penguins' Despres steps up

by David Satriano /

Someone had to step up for the Pittsburgh Penguins in the absence of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who missed a 2-1 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday after possibly sustaining a concussion Wednesday against the Washington Capitals.

Simon Despres (11 percent owned in Yahoo leagues, D) did just that.

Despres scored the game-winning goal and had five shots on goal in a season-high 23:01 of ice time. He played 23 seconds on the Penguins' second power-play unit, but his time on the man-advantage could increase if Ehrhoff is out for an extended period. Despres has 13 points, a plus-five rating and 58 penalty minutes in 46 games playing an average of 16:03.

Ehrhoff (66 percent owned) traveled to Pittsburgh for concussion tests and could miss the game Sunday against the Nashville Predators. He averages 22:15 of ice time, including 1:57 on the power play and 1:51 on the penalty kill. If Ehrhoff is diagnosed with a concussion, he will be out a while.

-- The Buffalo Sabres may not be winning, but forward Chris Stewart has been doing his part to try to change that.

Stewart (7 percent owned, RW) scored two goals in a 5-2 loss against the Vancouver Canucks. He played on the top line with Zemgus Girgensons and Tyler Ennis.

Stewart has four goals in his past four games and 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 19 games. He had four points in his first 29 games this season.

Stewart likely won't be with Buffalo after the March 2 NHL Trade Deadline. He was traded last season from the St. Louis Blues to the Sabres. Stewart had 26 points, 112 penalty minutes and 107 shots on goal with the Blues in 58 games.

Stewart has nine goals and 18 points in 48 games, but adds shots (91) and penalty minutes (47). The one big drawback is his minus-26. If he gets traded to a contender, expect his numbers, including that poor plus/minus, to improve.

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