This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.
We've got a hearty nine-game NHL slate on our hands Tuesday, so let's check out the storylines and find some DFS values, as we always do.
Stars (PP: 21, PK: 30) at Rangers (PP: 6, PK: 16), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Antti Niemi (9-7-4, 2.98, .907), Henrik Lundqvist (18-11-1, 2.72, .907)
Key Injuries:Ales Hemsky (hip), Mattias Janmark (knee), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Matt Puempel (concussion), Antti Raanta (lower body), Marc Staal (concussion)
The Stars have been a penalty-killing disaster in January, giving up 10 goals among their 25 shorthanded situations over seven contests. They're also one of the NHL's worst road teams, with Niemi certainly owning up to his share of the blame there: in nine games (six starts) outside of Dallas, he's 1-4-2 with a purely atrocious 4.21 GAA and .873 save percentage. For the Rangers' part, Lundqvist has been inconsistent all year long, but he's always dominated the Stars, including shutting 'em out on the road in mid-December. Still, there could be goals scored on both sides here, although you'll need to pay up for the services of the guys on both squads who tend to score 'em. The Rangers' forwards are finally back to full health, with Mika Zibanejad coming back Tuesday to join the recently returned Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich in the lineup.
Blackhawks (PP: 15, PK: 28) at Avalanche (PP: 29, PK: 24), 9:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Corey Crawford (16-10-3, 2.49, .921), Semyon Varlamov (6-16-0, 3.31, .901)
Key Injuries:Marcus Kruger (upper body), Erik Johnson (leg)
Considering recent returns, this is nearly a guaranteed win for the Blackhawks. The Avs are certainly the league's worst team, awful on both offense and defense, and Varly's been one of the uglier goalies around. That makes Crawford an automatic play, and it's not a bad idea at all to make room in your DFS lineup for the likes of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin even at their high cost. That said, Colorado's struggles also create some opportunities – you can roll talented guys like Mikko Rantanen out in search of garbage-time goals at a very low price, and Tyson Barrie's been providing a solid floor with upside.
Lightning (PP: 4, PK: 20) at Ducks (PP: 10, PK: 11), 10:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Andrei Vasilevskiy (10-10-2, 2.93, .906), John Gibson (17-10-8, 2.33, .920)
Key Injuries:Simon Despres (head), Nicolas Kerdiles (concussion), Clayton Stoner (abdomen), Nate Thompson (achilles), J.T. Brown (face), Ryan Callahan (hip), Victor Hedman (illness), Brayden Point (upper body), Steven Stamkos (knee)
If Vasilevskiy indeed draws the start – and if his top blueliner, Hedman, remains out – it's hard to see the Bolts experiencing much success in this cross-country game, the second of back-to-backs after they beat the Kings on Monday. On the bright side, the Russian netminder finally turned in his first good start in a couple weeks Friday against Columbus, and he may be feeling a bit less pressure now that he doesn't have to be "the guy" with Ben Bishop back from injury. I'm loving the DFS price on Tampa's Tyler Johnson right now; same goes for top Ducks blueliners Cam Fowler and Sami Vatanen.
Hurricanes (PP: 18, PK: 1) at Blue Jackets (PP: 1, PK: 10), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Cam Ward (18-12-6, 2.34, .915), Sergei Bobrovsky (26-6-2, 2.00, .931)
Key Injuries:Bryan Bickell (illness), Eddie Lack (concussion), Sergei Bobrovsky (illness), David Clarkson (back), Markus Nutivaara (undisclosed)
The NHL's top power play meets the top penalty kill; which will budge? As good as the Jackets have been on the whole, they've been inconsistent since ending their 16-game winning streak, while Carolina's come away victorious in four straight – including a week ago at home versus this same Columbus squad.
Sabres (PP: 7, PK: 29) at Maple Leafs (PP: 2, PK: 7), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Robin Lehner (10-12-0, 2.48, .922), Frederik Andersen (18-9-7, 2.67, .919)
Key Injuries:Josh Gorges (hip), Dmitry Kulikov (back), Johan Larsson (wrist), Joffrey Lupul (abdomen), Martin Marincin (lower body), Ben Smith (hand)
The Leafs' power play has been marauding of late, scoring nine goals in 20 opportunities over six January games. That's dangerous for a Sabres team that's bad on the penalty kill; as good as Lehner's numbers are (and as well as he played against the Leafs the last time he saw them), he's not a recommended roll Tuesday.
Senators (PP: 19, PK: 12) at Blues (PP: 8, PK: 5), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Mike Condon (10-7-3, 2.34, .918), Carter Hutton (6-5-1, 2.53, .905)
Key Injuries:Craig Anderson (personal), Andrew Hammond (ankle), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Carl Gunnarsson (lower body)
Condon's run into an inconsistent patch of late, alternating terrific starts against top teams (one-goal outings against the Pens and Caps in the last 10 days) with ugly performances (four games of three-plus goals in his last seven). It seems like he's only been getting up for premier games, and he could be in for a letdown against a Blues team that's just quietly good. Hutton, meanwhile, is cutting significantly into the struggling Jake Allen's workload, as he's been playing very well lately.
Devils (PP: 28, PK: 8) at Wild (PP: 13, PK: 6), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Cory Schneider (13-14-7, 2.68, .910), Devan Dubnyk (23-7-3, 1.78, .940)
Key Injuries:Victor Bartley (triceps), Yohann Auvitu (lower body), Vernon Fiddler (lower body), Andy Greene (upper body), John Moore (concussion)
I'll bet you a dollar against a dime that the Wild win this game.
Panthers (PP: 24, PK: 4) at Flames (PP: 12, PK: 18), 9:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Roberto Luongo (13-11-5, 2.39, .922), Chad Johnson (15-10-1, 2.25, .924)
Key Injuries:Aleksander Barkov (undisclosed), Nick Bjugstad (lower body), Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles), Greg McKegg (upper body), Alex Petrovic (ankle)
The Panthers last lost on the road back on Dec. 15, more than a month ago, but they've only played four games outside of Florida in that span. Jonathan Marchessault remains a ridiculously underrated DFS asset, as does Matthew Tkachuk on the other side.
Predators (PP: 16, PK: 12) at Canucks (PP: 27, PK: 22), 10:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Pekka Rinne (16-11-6, 2.40, .920), Ryan Miller (12-10-3, 2.64, .914)
Key Injuries:Roman Josi (undisclosed), Miikka Salomaki (lower body), P.K. Subban (upper body), Colin Wilson (undisclosed), Derek Dorsett (neck), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Jannik Hansen (knee), Ben Hutton (upper body), Philip Larsen (upper body)
Miller turned in a strong outing despite an overtime loss against the Predators a week ago, and he's turned in his best work at home; this could be a surprising win for the struggling Canucks against a disappointing Nashville team that's actually been nearly just as bad on the whole despite entering Tuesday's action on a three-game winning streak.
Austin Watson, LW, NAS – With the caveat that this is mostly for deeper formats, it's time for Watson to stop being overlooked in fantasy. He's got a four-game point streak going (three goals and an assist), and the 26-year-old has also been a quality source of PIM (46 on the year). Unsurprisingly in the context of these recent results, his usage is on the rise: over these last four games, he's skated an average of 15:42, well above his season mark of 12:15, reflecting Watson's rise to second-line duty. Power-play minutes have still been hard to come by, but with the Preds' special teams not exactly, um, special, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him start getting the opportunity to capitalize there as well. Remember, this guy does have first-round pedigree as 2010's No. 18 draft pick.