This article is part of our FantasyAces NHL series.
Two marquee matchups, based on high-profile rivals meeting one another, highlight the nine games on tap for Tuesday night.
It's always special when the Penguins and Caps meet up, and this match between two hot teams in Washington comes at a time when Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin are both at the top of their games. The Pens do enter this contest on the second of back-to-back game nights, so that could be an advantage for the home side.
The top two 2015-draft picks face off in Buffalo as Connor McDavid and the Oilers visit Jack Eichel and the Sabres. The Oilers rank 30th in the league and just got back from a western road swing that saw them play very competitively against the Pacific Division powers, while the Sabres have been continuing their slide into the league's basement.
Here are my recommendations for games on March 1, 2016:
C: Evgeni Kuznetsov, WAS vs. PIT ($5,200): Kuznetsov has emerged from Nicklas Backstrom's shadow to challenge for top-line center minutes, and he hasn't missed a beat when playing second-line minutes without the chance to work with Alexander Ovechkin. He actually leads the Caps in points and was typically consistent in February, with 15 in 14 games.
C: Ryan Johansen, NSH vs. DAL ($5,150): After producing at a point-per-game pace through his first 16 games with Nashville, he's been blanked in his last seven starts. Johansen's too good for that ugly streak to continue and faces a Dallas team that will trade offensive chances freely.
W: Charlie Coyle, MIN vs. COL ($4.750): Coyle has set a personal best with 19 goals so far this year, buoyed by a torrid stretch that has seen him tally nine markers in his last 19 games. He is now entrenched as the first-line right winger alongside Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, and he's also earning top-line PP work.
W: Marcus Johansson, WAS vs. PIT ($4,650): Johansson is locked in as the third-line center on a deep Capitals offense, but provides good value here because he also gets plenty of work on the power play. He and the Caps will likely face Jeff Zatkoff because the Penguins just played Monday night. Johansson's ice time has risen by three minutes per game over his last three starts.
W: Vincent Trocheck, FLA at WPG ($4,650): Trocheck and his second-line mates have avoided top opposing checkers, who focus on the Panthers' top line, allowing the less-regarded youngster to post career-bestoffensive totals this season. He's also been rewarded with loads of playing time on the power play, making him one of those rare forwards in the league who are averaging 20 minutes of playing time every night.
W: Jaden Schwartz, STL at OTT ($4,400): It's easy to overlook Schwartz because he's only played 16 games this season due to injury woes, but he's reminding onlookers that his profile as a top-six forward with strong offensive skills has not disappeared. The young winger is back to playing upward of 18 minutes per game along side Paul Stastny and Vladimir Tarasenko on the Blues' first line. I also remind you that the Senators lead the league in shots allowed.
D: Francois Beauchemin, COL at MIN ($4,550): Widely regarded as one of the league's best shutdown defenders, his offensive skills are sometimes overlooked. Beauchemin is enjoying his best offensive campaign in 10 years, playing an average of over 27 minutes per game. This is a cheapo price for that kind of productivity and ice time.
D: Nick Leddy, NYI at VAN ($4,100): Leddy is the Isles' first-line power-play quarterback, a big part of his 22 minutes on the ice per game. He's on a torrid point-per-game streak in his last 11 starts, yet he comes in with an attractively low price point.
G: Cory Schneider, NJ vs. CAR ($7,550): Even though Schneider has stumbled a bit in allowing seven goals over his last two starts, he gets an easy-looking assignment against a Carolina team that has played indifferently of late and saw two of its top offensive players get dealt in recent days. Schneider has done enough this season to prop up an underwhelming Devils roster that he has to rank among the league's top goalies, and his Tuesday price is a good value.