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Fantasy Spin: Smith scoring on Predators' top line

by David Satriano

Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith (owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues, C/RW) has benefitted from playing on the first line with Filip Forsberg and Mike Ribeiro, though the sample size is small.

Smith, who had seven goals, 15 points and was plus-3 before Saturday, has three goals, four points and is plus-4 with 14 shots in two games with his new linemates.

In a 5-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, Smith had two goals on seven shots and was plus-2. He played 14:16, including 2:54 on the power play, after a season-high 18:44 on Saturday.

The usual first-line forward, James Neal, missed the game Saturday with an illness and returned Monday playing on the fourth line with Taylor Beck and Calle Jarnkrok. Neal had an assist on two shots and was plus-3.

If Smith remains on the top line, he's worth adding. His offense and plus-minus will rise, and it never hurts to be eligible at more than one position.

-- Calgary Flames rookie forward Johnny Gaudreau (35 percent owned, LW) scored his first NHL hat trick in a 4-3 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings.

Gaudreau also scored in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. After going scoreless in his first five games, he has 27 points (10 goals) in 30 games.

-- The Pittsburgh Penguins used seven defensemen and 11 forwards in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers. One of those defensemen was Derrick Pouliot (4 percent owned), playing in his second NHL game. Pouliot had an assist skating on the second power-play unit with forwards Brandon Rust, Marcel Goc, Nick Spaling and defenseman Simon Despres (10 percent owned). Despres had two assists and has three points in his past two games.

Pouliot had 18:50 of ice time, including 1:55 quarterbacking the power play, one of the reasons the Penguins are high on him.

-- Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green had two assists in a 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators. He has five points in his past three games and is plus-5.

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