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Thursday Daily Puck: He Who Gaffs Last

Dustin Nelson

Dustin Nelson is a writer based out of NYC. His fantasy team is full of loafers.



Ryan Getzlaf had a complicated night. Another gaff by him set up a Curtis Lazar breakaway for his third goal of the year. That pushed Bruce Boudreau to putting Getzlaf on the fourth line, then benching him for 8:30.

But, he managed to retain his spot on team's top power play unit with less than five minutes in the game and set up Shea Theodore's first NHL goal, which would stand as the game-winner.



Getzlaf continues to be inconsistent, but the narrative on Anaheim is changing and that's worth paying attention to. For about the last month they've shut the door defensively, making any goaltender there a good bet.

They've also started to score. It's in spurts and it's just a handful of games, so be wary, but in their last five games they've scored four goals twice and three goals once. That's a good sign for a team who has averaged under two goals a game for the majority of the season.

Add in that many reports indicate that they're searching for scoring on the trade market and they may be on their way to a full rebound in the season's second half.

***

A rookie for another west coast squad had quite a night Wednesday. 19-year-old Flames rookie Sam Bennett didn't do a whole lot but score a hat trick in the first period against the Florida Panthers.

Then he added a fourth with just 25 seconds to go.

He also registered a plus-5 rating with five shots in just 15:41 of ice time.



Projected Goalie Starters (all times Eastern)
For updates on the projected goalies later in the day, check our Projected Goalies Grid

Rangers (Henrik Lundqvist) at Islanders (Jaroslav Halak), 7:00 PM
Canucks (Ryan Miller) at Capitals (Braden Holtby), 7:00 PM
Blackhawks (Corey Crawford) at Canadiens (Mike Condon), 7:30 PM
Hurricanes (Cam Ward) at Blues (Brian Elliott), 8:00 PM
Predators (Pekka Rinne) at Jets (Connor Hellebuyck), 8:00 PM
Devils (Cory Schneider) at Avalanche (Calvin Pickard), 9:00 PM
Red Wings (Petr Mrazek) at Coyotes (Louis Domingue), 9:00 PM
Oilers (Cam Talbot) at Sharks (Martin Jones), 10:30 PM

Injury News For Teams Playing Thursday

New York Rangers
Dan Girardi, D (hand) - remains questionable

New York Islanders
Travis Hamonic, D (lower body) - ruled out 2-to-3 weeks
Eric Boulton, LW (undisclosed) - is on IR
Johnny Boychuk, D (shoulder) - is out for up to another month

Vancouver Canucks
Dan Hamhuis, D (face) - is still a month from returning
Jannik Hansen, RW (upper body) - has resumed skating
Brandon Sutter, C (abdomen) - is expected back at some point during the current road trip
Luca Sbisa, D (hand) - could return Thursday

Washington Capitals
John Carlson, D (lower body) - has been ruled out for Thursday's game
Jay Beagle, C (hand) - has resumed skating
Michael Latta, C (upper body) - is expected to be available Thursday
Tom Wilson, RW (lower body) - left Wednesday's practice with an injury
Brooks Orpik, D (lower body) - hit the ice for the first time in a long time on Wednesday, but isn't close to a return

Chicago Blackhawks
Artem Anisimov, C (illness) - didn't travel with the team to Montreal
Marcus Kruger, C (wrist) - isn't expected back for months

Montreal Canadiens
Tom Gilbert, D (lower body) - remains out
Dale Weise, RW (upper body) - remains on IR
Carey Price, G (leg) - has been skating without equipment the last couple days
Jeff Petry, D (lower body) - expects to play Thursday

Carolina Hurricanes
James Wisniewski, D (ACL) - remains out for most of the season
Nathan Gerbe, LW (lower body) - has skated, but isn't likely to be back
Phil Di Giuseppe, LW (concussion) - is out

St. Louis Blues
Jake Allen, G (lower body) - is week-to-week
Carl Gunnarsson, D (upper body) - is week-to-week
Magnus Paajarvi, LW (upper body) - will be out for an extended period of time
Jaden Schwartz, LW (ankle) - won't be back until after the All-Star break at the earliest
Paul Stastny, C (upper body) - practiced Wednesday, but is questionable for Thursday
Jay Bouwmeester, D (upper body) - is week-to-week
Steve Ott, C (hamstring) - is out another couple months

Nashville Predators
Colin Wilson, LW (lower body) - is on IR
Gabriel Bourque, LW (upper body) - remains out

Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, C (lower body) - was placed on IR Wednesday
Ondrej Pavelec, G (knee) - has skated, but has yet to take any shots

New Jersey Devils
Tuomo Ruutu, LW (lower body) - has skated, but doesn't appear ready to re-enter the lineup
Michael Cammalleri, LW (upper body) - has been ruled out of Thursday's game
Jordin Tootoo, RW (undisclosed) - was injured in Tuesday's game during a fight
Patrik Elias, LW (knee) - had surgery this week and may miss the rest of the season
Jiri Tlusty, LW (upper body) - is unlikely
Bobby Farnham, LW (suspension) - was suspended four games on Thursday
Jacob Josefson, C (lower body) - is out
John Moore, D (lower body) - could return Thursday

Colorado Avalanche
Ben Street, C (chest) - has been out since late November
Reto Berra, G (ankle) - is on IR
Jesse Winchester, LW (concussion) - remains out
Brad Stuart, D (back) - attempted to skate recently and it didn't go well
Erik Johnson, D (lower body) - was placed on IR Wednesday

Detroit Red Wings
Johan Franzen, RW (concussion) - is unlikely to play this season
Drew Miller, LW (lower body) - will miss another month
Teemu Pulkkinen, RW (shoulder) - won't be back for another week at least

Arizona Coyotes
Joe Vitale, C (fractured orbital bone) - is over a month past his initial timeline with no status update
Mike Smith, G (lower body) - skated in pads on Tuesday, but his status hasn't changed

Edmonton Oilers
Andrew Ference, D (undisclosed) - remains on IR
Matt Hendricks, LW (suspended) - will serve the first game of his suspension Thursday
Oscar Klefbom, D (finger) - is without a timetable
Nail Yakupov, RW (ankle) - is probable for Thursday
Connor McDavid, C (collarbone) - will be out until after the All-Star break

San Jose Sharks
Dainius Zubrus, RW (upper body) - was placed on injured reserve Wednesday
Raffi Torres, LW (knee) - was sent to the AHL for conditioning

Hot
Jakub Voracek, LW, PHI One of two players to register three points on Wednesday, Voracek has largely turned around an ugly start to the season that saw him snakebit for the first 16 games. By contrast, he has four goals and 10 assists over his last 12 games. He's also averaged over three shots per game over that stretch. It's safe to trust Voracek again.

Johnny Gaudreau, LW, CGY Gaudreau has a three-game point streak rolling after collecting a goal on one of four shots Wednesday. He has two goals and four points in those games. His 43 points on the season ranks sixth in the NHL. If you were waiting for official word to come down, it's here. Gaudreau is for real.

Cold
Brad Marchand, LW, BOS Without a goal in 10 games, Marchand has had mixed success recently. That includes going without a point in the three games since he returned from a three-game suspension. It's not a long drought, but it hasn't been a great run and the struggles since his suspension are concerning. It includes one game with no shots.

Joffrey Lupul, LW, TOR Nine games without a point, and just a single point in the last 14 games. Things aren't getting any easier in Toronto either. The ranks are thinning with James van Riemsdyk on injured reserve and the expectation is that the team will start to ship players out before the trade deadline. It's going to get worse before it gets better. Or, rather, it's just going to get worse.

Recommended Pickup
Alexander Wennberg, C, CBJ One of the few players in Columbus who has been producing lately, Wennberg has been putting up points regularly since mid-December. He has four goals and 10 points in the last 13 games. His plus/minus isn't going to be great, and at 21 you should expect slumps, but it's clicking for him right now.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.