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Fantasy waiver wire: Championship round options

Jake Guentzel, Joshua Ho-Sang, Nikita Zaitsev among best pickups for final week of season

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

Some fantasy leagues conclude during the second-to-last week of the NHL season. Others take their competition to the bitter end.

Whether you're in a head-to-head championship round or near the top of your rotisserie league standings, you may need one final boost off the waiver wire.

The schedule to close out the season is extremely condensed, with two teams (TOR, OTT) playing five games in seven days, 16 teams (BUF, CAR, COL, CBJ, DET, EDM, FLA, LAK, MTL, NJD, NYI, PIT, STL, TBL, VAN, WSH) playing four games and the other 12 playing three games. There are also 18 teams that will close out the season with a weekend back-to-back set.

Here are some productive players who can benefit from recent lineup developments and/or their season-ending schedules:

 

Gustav Nyquist, LW/RW, DET (29 percent owned) -- The Detroit Red Wings play three of their final four games at Joe Louis Arena and you can expect them to play some spirited hockey to give the historic venue a proper sendoff. Nyquist has been skating on the first line and power-play unit with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Tatar, and has 15 points, three power-play points and 35 shots on goal in his past 16 games.

Video: TOR@DET: Nyquist beats Andersen with top-shelf snipe

 

Jake Guentzel, C/LW, PIT (17 percent owned) -- After missing four games because of a concussion, Guentzel has returned to a favorable spot alongside Sidney Crosby and Conor Sheary. He has goals in back-to-back games, including a power-play goal against the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday. He has 27 points and 74 SOG in 37 games this season, and any added power-play usage with Evgeni Malkin (shoulder) sidelined could be huge for your championship push.

 

Joshua Ho-Sang, C/RW, NYI (4 percent owned) -- With John Tavares (lower body) done for the regular season, we'll get an expanded look at Ho-Sang's offensive upside for the New York Islanders. He has 10 points (two PPP) in 17 NHL games. He scored a breakaway goal at the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday and was plus-3 in New York's 4-2 win. The 21-year-old has a lot to play for and will be a fixture on the first power-play unit in Tavares' absence.

 Video: NYI@BUF: Ho-Sang finishes break with outstanding move

 

Sven Andrighetto, LW/RW, COL (5 percent owned) -- Andrighetto has been one of the most productive players among those who changed addresses prior to the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline, settling in on a line with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. Andrighetto has 12 points, two on the power play, in 15 games since joining the Colorado Avalanche, and has had a stable rating (minus-1) considering he plays for a last-place team. Remember, name value doesn't matter this time of year if the productivity is there.

 

Nikita Zaitsev, D, TOR (15 percent owned) -- Zaitsev is manning the first power-play unit for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have five games this week. He is third among rookie defensemen in points (35) behind Zach Werenski (47) of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Brady Skjei (39) of the New York Rangers. The Maple Leafs finish the season on a four-game homestand after visiting the Sabres on Monday. He has PPP in consecutive games, giving him 11 on the season.

 

Jaccob Slavin, D, CAR (22 percent owned) -- Slavin is tied for second in points (13 in 19 games) and plus/minus (plus-12) among defensemen since the beginning of March, making him a viable add off the waiver wire with four games left and a weekend back-to-back set. He quietly is plus-23 and has jumped from 20 points in 63 games as a rookie to 33 points in 78 games in his second season.

Video: DET@CAR: Slavin lays out for clutch defensive play 

 

Mike Condon, G, OTT (31 percent owned) -- The Ottawa Senators have lost four straight, but have a chance to redeem themselves in a home-and-home, back-to-back set against the Red Wings. Condon (19-13-6, 2.46 goals-against average, .916 save percentage, five shutouts) should start two of Ottawa's five games this week, and ranks 119th overall in Yahoo based on standard-category performance.

 

Jaroslav Halak, G, NYI (28 percent owned) -- Halak has played in three straight games for the Islanders and four total since being recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League (3-1-0, .936 SV%). Expect Halak and Thomas Greiss to split New York's final four games, including its back-to-back set to close out the season.

 

Anthony Stolarz, G, PHI (2 percent owned) -- The Philadelphia Flyers have three games this week, including a weekend back-to-back set at home (vs. CBJ, vs. CAR). Stolarz has a 1.93 GAA, .932 SV% and one shutout in six games this season. With Michal Neuvirth sidelined and Steve Mason in a contract year, look for the eliminated Flyers to turn to their future and get Stolarz at least one more start before the season ends.

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