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Tuesday Daily Puck: Hot 'Hawk

Andrew Fiorentino

Andrew Fiorentino

A degenerate fantasy-sports player since the age of 13.

Around the Rink

Monday night was a banner night to be a Rangers fan, if not necessarily one of those in attendance at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts, down 2-0 early against Phoenix, stormed back to tie the game, then did it again after a fluky goal put them behind, and ended up winning in overtime. A great game to watch from home. But the crowd at Madison Square Garden seemed to barely get into it except when the Rangers scored their goals; I didn't notice a proper "Let's Go Rangers" chant until the third period.

As someone who doesn't have a money tree to pay for hockey tickets at the World's Most Expensive Arena, I take umbrage on behalf of the everyday Rangers fan who's left with the Sophie's choice of buying cheap seats with an obstructed view or awesome seats that cost half a paycheck. If you've got enough money to afford season tickets, I congratulate you. Now stop sipping at that beer and go cheer for your team.

Anyway, that's a lot of talk about real hockey, and I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a website about fantasy hockey. But after my team just got eliminated in the playoffs in the RotoWire Staff Keeper League thanks to commish Bret Cohen's otherworldly weekly point total exceeding my team's merely awesome total… well, baseball season's coming soon, right?

Well, not so soon that we can't talk some Tuesday hockey.

Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)

For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid.

Blues (Ryan Miller) at Maple Leafs (James Reimer), 7:00
Coyotes (Thomas Greiss) at Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury), 7:00
Kings (Martin Jones) at Capitals (Jaroslav Halak), 7:00
Islanders (Evgeni Nabokov) at Hurricanes (Anton Khudobin), 7:00
Sabres (Matt Hackett) at Canadiens (Carey Price), 7:30
Senators (Craig Anderson) at Panthers (Roberto Luongo), 7:30
Red Wings (Jimmy Howard) at Blue Jackets (Sergei Bobrovsky), 7:30
Stars (Tim Thomas) at Blackhawks (Corey Crawford), 8:00
Avalanche (Semyon Varlamov) at Predators (Pekka Rinne), 8:00
Sharks (Antti Niemi) at Oilers (Ben Scrivens), 9:30

Injury News for Teams Playing Tuesday

St. Louis Blues
Derek Roy, C (lower body) – Was scratched Sunday; won't go Tuesday
Vladimir Tarasenko, RW (hand) – Had surgery; out at least six weeks

Toronto Maple Leafs
Paul Ranger, D (neck) – Practiced in full equipment Monday
Jonathan Bernier, G (groin) – Practiced Monday, but return indeterminate

Phoenix Coyotes
Mike Smith, G (lower body) – Left Monday's game with injury
Lauri Korpikoski, LW (upper body) – Didn't play Monday
David Schlemko, D (lower body) – Has missed eight straight, but seems to be getting close

Pittsburgh Penguins
Joe Vitale, C (upper body) – Was out over the weekend; could be back Tuesday
Beau Bennett, RW (wrist) – Started conditioning trip in AHL over weekend
Kris Letang, D (stroke) – Practicing with no timetable
Chris Conner, RW (wrist) – Out another 2-4 weeks
Tomas Vokoun, G (pelvis) – Could play before regular season's done
Pascal Dupuis, RW (knee) – Out 5-7 months yet
Paul Martin, D (hand) – Practicing in full gear; 1-3 weeks away

Los Angeles Kings
Colin Fraser, C (hand) – Suffered injury in AHL; out 4-6 weeks

Washington Capitals
Jaroslav Halak, G (lower body) – Back at practice Monday
Mikhail Grabovski, C (ankle) – Made surprise return to practice Monday
John Erskine, D (head) – Has passed concussion protocol, so just a matter of time
Brooks Laich, C (groin) – Looking at a late-April return

New York Islanders
Lubomir Visnovsky, D (concussion) – Symptomatic again
Kyle Okposo, RW (lower body) – Expected back Tuesday
Michael Grabner, RW (concussion) – No timetable
John Tavares, C (knee) – Remains out for the year
Brian Strait, D (hand) – Broke his hand a week ago; out into April, at least

Carolina Hurricanes
Nathan Gerbe, LW (illness) – Missed Monday's practice
Joni Pitkanen, D (heel) – Remains without a return timetable

Buffalo Sabres
Chris Stewart, RW (ankle) – Not traveling with team on current trip
Michal Neuvirth, G (lower body) – Won't go Tuesday
Jhonas Enroth, G (leg) – Not with the team; maybe back end of week
Rostislav Klesla, D (suspension) – Suspended for not reporting to AHL
Patrick Kaleta, RW (knee) – Skating, but no return on the horizon
Tyler Myers, D (elbow) – Back with the team Monday
Alexander Sulzer, D (upper body) – Another guy not traveling
Zemgus Girgensons, C (lower body) – One more guy not with the team

Montreal Canadiens
Lars Eller, LW (lower body) – Wasn't in the lineup Monday
Travis Moen, LW (head) – Had to be helped from the ice Monday
Josh Gorges, D (hand) – Out another two weeks
Brandon Prust, LW (upper body) – Out the rest of the year

Ottawa Senators
Craig Anderson, G (undisclosed) – Practiced fully Monday
Nathan Lawson, G (lower body) – Day-to-day; no word on Tuesday
Bobby Ryan, RW (hip) – Won't go again Tuesday

Florida Panthers
Jesse Winchester, LW (lower body) – Expected back sometime this week
Erik Gudbranson, D (knee) – Out the next two weeks
Alex Petrovic, D (upper body) – No news since he was put on IR earlier this month
Jonathan Huberdeau, LW (upper body) – Missed road trip; no word on Tuesday status
Aleksander Barkov, C (knee) – Remains out indefinitely
Tomas Kopecky, RW (concussion) – Also out indefinitely

Detroit Red Wings
Todd Bertuzzi, RW (illness) – Sat Sunday; probably will be good for Tuesday
Dan Cleary, RW (knee) – Not skating; no timetable
Stephen Weiss, C (sports hernia) – Not close to returning
Pavel Datsyuk, C (knee) – Skating; should be back "soon"
Henrik Zetterberg, LW (back) – Optimism he'll return this season
Justin Abdelkader, LW (leg) – Out another week
Mikael Samuelsson, RW (shoulder) – Skating, but no return imminent
Jonathan Ericsson, D (finger) – Ruled out 4-6 weeks
Tomas Jurco, RW (rib) – Rib's broken; no updates recently
Alexey Marchenko, D (ankle) – Out for the year

Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Murray, D (knee) – Out another 2-4 weeks following surgery

Dallas Stars
Rich Peverley, RW (heart) – Successful surgery last week
Erik Cole, RW (upper body) – Didn't go Monday; no word on Tuesday

Chicago Blackhawks
Bryan Bickell, LW (upper body) – Questionable for Tuesday
Patrick Kane, RW (lower body) – Will return for the playoffs
Nikolai Khabibulin, G (shoulder) – Out several months yet after surgery
Michal Rozsival, D (lower body) – Should be returning relatively soon

Colorado Avalanche
Alex Tanguay, LW (knee/hip) – Had season'ending hip surgery
P.A. Parenteau, RW (knee) – Likely out for the rest of the regular season
John Mitchell, C (back) – Didn't practice Monday; not traveling for Tuesday's game

Nashville Predators
Seth Jones, D (upper body) – Left Sunday's game
Patrick Eaves, RW (undisclosed) – Scratched over weekend; no updates
Patric Hornqvist, RW (personal) – Didn't play Sunday; seems likely to return Tuesday
Paul Gaustad, C (upper body) – Hasn't played since leaving last Wednesday's game

San Jose Sharks
Raffi Torres, LW (soreness) – Sat again Saturday and Monday
Tomas Hertl, C (knee) – Still not close to skating at full speed
Logan Couture, C (foot) – Left Monday's game; "not serious," but possibly out Tuesday

Edmonton Oilers
Viktor Fasth, G (neck) – Left Monday's practice with a sprained neck
Nail Yakupov, RW (ankle) – Didn't go Saturday
Jesse Joensuu, RW (ankle) – Out at least another three weeks

Hot

Patrice Bergeron, C, BOS – Not necessarily known as a prolific goal scorer, Bergeron's found twine in four consecutive games now, including notching Boston's only tally in Monday's shootout loss to the Habs. The tally gave him 23 on the year – the most he's scored since he took the league by storm with an incredible 31-goal rookie campaign back in 2005-06. And then there's that plus-36 rating.

Steven Stamkos, C, TB – He's baaack. Stamkos scored the game-tying goal in the third period Monday night against Ottawa – his seventh goal to go with three assists in his last seven games. He needed a couple weeks to find his groove again, but now he's really back and it looks like he never left.

Corey Crawford, G, CHI – Though he's coming off a loss in which he had an unsavory save percentage, Crawford still let in two or fewer goals for the third consecutive game and hasn't given up more than three goals in a start in two full months, dating back to Jan. 22. Not a lot of goalies can say that. Crawford's also 6-3-0 with a 1.57 GAA and .934 save mark in the month of March, and he posted similarly spectacular numbers in February. That's gettin' it done.

Cold

Olli Maatta, D, PIT – Maatta picked a very bad time to see his play fall off, but as he's 70 games into his first professional season, it can't be considered a huge surprise. He only played 78 games – playoffs included – with OHL London last season, and obviously games in juniors aren't quite as taxing as those at the highest level of hockey. The Finnish rookie's been held off the scoresheet in seven straight games, during which he's gone minus-3 and put just eight shots on goal. All in all, it's a far cry from what he was doing early in the year. Maatta's ice time was cut all the way to 16:31 against the Blues on Sunday, and it bears close monitoring going forward.

Cody Hodgson, C, BUF – Switching to wing didn't get him going; switching back to center hasn't helped either. Hodgson has two sad little assists to show for his last nine games; he hasn't scored a goal since March 6, and with just 36 points in 61 games to go with a minus-24 rating, he's been a pretty well-rounded fantasy bum this year after last season's solid showing (34 points in 48 games and just a minus-4) gave owners hope that he'd take a step forward in his age-23 (he turned 24 last month) season.

Mike Richards, C, LA – If facing his old mates in Philadelphia on Monday wasn't enough to get Richards going, I don't know what is. He went scoreless in that contest for the seventh time in his last eight games, and he continues to make the Flyers look like geniuses for trading him after the 2011 season. A two-time 30-goal scorer and four-time 60-point man (including 80 points in 2008-09), Richards has only scored 30 goals combined in his three seasons with Los Angeles. This despite the facts that he's largely been healthy in the regular season and that he's still just 29 years old.

Recommended Pickup
Teuvo Teravainen, LW, CHI – Teravainen is making his NHL debut on Tuesday night, which makes now a great time to snatch the kid up for the stretch run in fantasy. He'll probably be on the third line Tuesday, but could certainly find his way onto the second line, especially if the 'Hawks like him at center. Patrick Kane is hurt, so they're looking for answers on offense, and Teravainen's a superbly talented playmaker who dished out 35 assists and totaled 44 points in 49 games this year playing pro hockey in his native Finland. Still just 19 years old, he may not make a seamless transition to North America, but those in keeper leagues should take note of his Henrik Sedin-like fantasy profile.

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