This article is part of our FantasyAces NHL series.
There are 11 games on the docket on this last Tuesday of the regular season, and two of those contests will have my attention.
A pair of games that feature top teams in the Pacific Division against lesser opposition look like good opportunities to fill your lineup: The Kings and Ducks face the Flames on the road and the Jets at home, respectively. Those teams have nothing to play for at this late stage in their unsuccessful campaigns, and in both cases their downfall has been on the defensive side of the puck, particularly in goal, which makes them that much more interesting to stack against. Both those games could end up with lopsided scores.
Here are my recommendations for games on April 5, 2016:
C: Jeff Carter, LA at CGY ($5,250 ): The Kings need this game and will lean heavily on Carter, who has been on a roll of late, notching five goals and four assists in his last six games. His average ice time has jumped to more than 20 minutes per game in this torrid period.
C: Nick Bonino, PIT at OTT ($4,400): Bonino has been an excellent second-line replacement for injured star Evgeni Malkin, forming a productive alliance with sniper Phil Kessel and speedster Carl Hagelin to help the Pens through their best string of success this season. The 27-year-old has produced nine points in his last six starts and looks like a solid value play again.
W: Jakob Silfverberg, ANA vs. WPG ($4,700): Silfverberg is enjoying his best stretch of productivity with a point-per-game pace in his last seven starts, helping the Ducks to finally occupy first place in the hotly contested Pacific Division. Tuesday represents a great opportunity to continue his success at the expense of the lowly Jets.
W: Chris Kunitz, PIT at OTT ($4,650): Kunitz continues to ride shotgun in a first- line role next to Sidney Crosby in what's been a great second half for the Penguins. He has a favorable matchup too, with his high-scoring club facing the inept team defense of Ottawa. I expect him to capitalize.
W: Milan Lucic, LA at CGY ($4,500): Lucic has brought size and more skill to a line with two highly skilled mates in Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, and the three have had excellent seasons. The questionable Flames goalie situation smells like a good chance for this trio to have a big night.
W: Tomas Hertl, SJ at MIN, ($4,450): As long as Hertl continues to get first-line minutes with two not-so-ordinary Joes – Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski – he remains a strong play, particularly at this reasonably low price. The kid's picked up three goals on 15 shots in his last five games.
D: Torey Krug, BOS vs. CAR ($5,000) The steady lynchpin of the Bruins' power play, Krug has ramped up his shot rate with the stakes high late in the season, firing 26 pucks on net in his last five games. He hasn't been rewarded with a goal in that span, but does have five assists, and Carolina presents an enticing opportunity for Krug to finally make good on all those shots.
D: Brent Seabrook, CHI vs. ARI ($4,950): In the absence of Duncan Keith (suspension), Seabrook has risen to the role of top defenseman and power-play quarterback for the 'Hawks. He's skated more than 24 minutes and recorded four points in the two games Keith's been banned – that four-minute bump over last month's ice-time average comes with a lot of extra responsibility.
G: Scott Darling, CHI vs. ARI ($7,000): The 'Hawks continue to lean on Darling while Corey Crawford is sidelined, and he gets a chance for an easy win against an Arizona team that played Monday night and will likely be deploying rookie backup Louis Domingue on the other end. Darling hasn't played all that well, but the Arizona offense isn't very imposing.