Itís your typical Wednesday in the NHL, with four games on the slate. Perhaps you can perk up another dreary January weekday with a little daily fantasy action. If that tickles your fancy, letís help you find the best values from the eight teams in action Wednesday.
Thomas Greiss, NYI vs. FLA ($7,400): The Panthers are only scoring 2.26 goals per game, and theyíre currently dealing with injuries to Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjugstad. Meanwhile, Greiss has a 1.55 GAA and .955 save percentage in his last five games. Although heís taken overtime losses in his last two starts, you have to be impressed with the Germanís recent level of play, and this has the makings of a low-scoring game.
Nicklas Backstrom, WAS vs. PIT ($6,100): Backstrom is leading the Capitals in points with 34, and 14 of those have come with the extra man. The Penguins rank 21st on the penalty kill, but they might not even be up to that standard of play in this game. Pittsburgh is dealing with an illness running through the team, including ostensible starting netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, who has a 3.07 GAA on the season despite his recent hot streak.
Phillip Danault, MON at WPG ($4,600): With both Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais out with injury, Danault has found himself centering the top line for the Canadiens. Because of that, Danault has averaged 17:43 of ice time over his last six games, and he has five points in that time. The Jets are giving up 2.91 goals per game, and Danaultís role makes him a solid value play at this low price.
Max Pacioretty, MON at WPG ($6,900): Unlike Danault, Pacioretty has long been a key figure in Montrealís offense, as his three straight 30-goal seasons will attest. Heís on pace for a fourth, as Pacioretty has 19 goals in 41 games, and heís also added 15 assists. As mentioned above, the Jets have been a poor defensive team, and expected starter Connor Hellebuyck has a below-average .913 save percentage. Pacioretty is on the pricier side, but heís worth the extra money.
Justin Williams, WAS vs. PIT ($4,800): Both Williams and his Washington teammate Marcus Johansson are averaging 2.7 fantasy points per game, and both will cost you $4,800. This is a fine matchup for either of them, but Williams has been particularly hot, notching 10 points over his last eight games. On top of that, while Johanssonís shooting percentage is an unsustainably high 22.2, Williamsí is a much more reasonable 12.6. If one of these guys is likely to sustain his performance, itís the 35-year-old Williams.
Reilly Smith, FLA at NYI ($4,700): Though Greiss has been great recently, the Islanders are allowing 33.3 shots on goal per game, second-most in the league. They also have the 22nd-ranked penalty kill. Smith has had some struggles this season, but heís playing 2:41 a night with the extra man and has seven power-play points, including five goals. Perhaps Smith will be able to take advantage of New Yorkís penalty-killing issues, and the price is relatively low, so a little risk is acceptable.
Keith Yandle, FLA at NYI ($4,700): As just noted, the Isles have given up a lot of shots and struggled on the penalty kill. These are two things Yandle is equipped to take advantage of. Heís taken 100 shots in 42 games, and heís tallied nine power-play points along the way. Yandle is playing 3:24 per game with the extra man, so he could have quite a few opportunities against the Islesí 22nd-ranked penalty kill.
Matt Niskanen, WAS vs. PIT ($4,300): Niskanen has notched 18 points this season, though only two of those are goals. However, heís put 76 shots on goal in 39 games, and his 2.6 shooting percentage is notably below his career average. While Niskanen hasnít done much on the power play, he can still take advantage of an ill Fleury in net Ė not to mention the fact that the Penguins are giving up 32.6 shots on goal per game.