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Tuesday Daily Puck: French Bulldog

Andrew Fiorentino

Managing hockey editor, talent wrangler, football columnist, FSWA's 2015 fantasy hockey writer of the year. Twitter: @akfiorentino

I have so much to say about all these matchups, there’s no reason for you to read a screed at the beginning here – especially after a one-game Monday night in the NHL. Let’s jump right in.

Featured Matchups

Senators (PP: 30, PK: 8) at Flyers (PP: 2, PK: 25), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Craig Anderson (7-3-1, 2.15, .934), Steve Mason (3-5-2, 3.41, .880)
Key Injuries: Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Marc Methot (lower body), Boyd Gordon (upper body), Andrew MacDonald (lower body), Michal Neuvirth (lower body), Wayne Simmonds (illness)

The Senators enter play Tuesday with the NHL’s 27th-ranked offense, averaging just 2.20 goals per game, but there’s simply too much talent, too much pedigree, too much history for that to continue all year long. This matchup presents an excellent opportunity for the Sens’ beleaguered offense (especially a punchless power play) to get right against a Flyers team that ranks dead last in goal prevention (3.63 goals per game). I’m looking for Mike Hoffman – who has just three goals and four assists despite easily leading the team with 50 shots on net – to break through on the man advantage in this one. Ditto for Derick Brassard, who has a single goal on 35 shots. You’ll also rarely find Erik Karlsson much cheaper than he is right now.

On the Philly side of things, Simmonds’ illness may keep him out Tuesday night, and I’d anticipate that to create extra opportunity for either Matt Read or Travis Konecny on the top power-play unit. Still, even though Konecny’s talented (and Read… well, he’s himself), it’s a big blow to what’s been a wildly successful power-play unit. No team has more power-play goals than the Flyers’ 17.

Capitals (PP: 24, PK: 20) at Blue Jackets (PP: 1, PK: 13), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Braden Holtby (7-3-1, 2.16, .922), Sergei Bobrovsky (7-4-1, 2.33, .931)
Key Injuries: David Clarkson (back), Seth Jones (foot)

Unfortunately for the Jackets, their league-best 33.3 percent power-play success has come on only 36 opportunities; no other team has had fewer than 40 power-play chances. They’re coming off an eight-goal outburst against St. Louis, so the offense is looking good here – especially Alexander Wennberg and the resurgent Nick Foligno. Brandon Saad’s been gettin’ it going consistently too – 11 points in his last nine games. Meanwhile, the scuffling Caps have reportedly given their lines a significant reshuffle ahead of this game, with Jay Beagle (yeah) moving up to the role of first-line center alongside Alex Ovechkin; Andre Burakovsky and Brett Connolly rotated on the other wing there in practice Monday. Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson and T.J. Oshie are your second line, while Evgeni Kuznetsov is now with Zach Sanford and Justin Williams on the third unit.

Sabres (PP: 11, PK: 10) at Blues (PP: 10, PK: 1), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Robin Lehner (4-5-2, 2.36, .923), Jake Allen (5-3-3, 2.62, .896)
Key Injuries: Zach Bogosian (knee), Nicolas Deslauriers (knee), Jack Eichel (ankle), Tyler Ennis (groin), Dmitry Kulikov (undisclosed), Ryan O'Reilly (undisclosed), Robert Bortuzzo (lower body), Joel Edmundson (upper body)

Allen’s early struggles have his DFS prices depressed, but a date with the Sabres may cure what’s been ailing the young goalie and his Blues, who’ve lost five of their last seven games – with some real stinkers in there. The Sabres own the league’s second-worst offense, and with O’Reilly and Eichel both out of the lineup, it’s hard to imagine them getting a lot going in this difficult road matchup. Lehner has been Buffalo’s saving grace, and he may ultimately be the only reason this game stays close. Beyond using Allen (which you should do), stick to stars like Vladimir Tarasenko on the St. Louis side of things and don’t try to get too cute.

Kings (PP: 28, PK: 24) at Avalanche (PP: 15, PK: 21), 9:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Peter Budaj (7-5-1, 2.06, .914), Semyon Varlamov (3-7-0, 3.22, .896)
Key Injuries: Matt Duchene (concussion), Andy Andreoff (upper body), Marian Gaborik (foot), Anze Kopitar (upper body), Brayden McNabb (collarbone), Jonathan Quick (groin), Jeff Zatkoff (lower body)

Budaj’s not a particularly good goalie, but the intensely good defense and spectacular overtime play of the Kings has made a surprising fantasy semi-star out of him. The Kings have allowed the second-fewest shots per game in the league (25.3) – good for Budaj’s GAA, but not so good for him in formats that give points for saves. However, they’ll be missing the NHL’s best two-way center, Anze Kopitar, for this one. That could mean more shots against Budaj, and it almost certainly means extra time for Trevor Lewis and Nic Dowd, both of whom are intriguing Tuesday plays against the struggling Varlamov. Dowd saw season-high ice time Sunday with Kopitar out, although he failed to find the scoresheet. Meanwhile, the Avs will be without their top scorer in Duchene, but there’s not a clear inheritor for his minutes; Mikhail Grigorenko certainly didn’t pick them up in their last game, when they got shut out by the Bruins.

Other Matchups

Sharks (PP: 12, PK: 3) at Hurricanes (PP: 12, PK: 2), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Martin Jones (8-6-0, 2.20, .913), Cam Ward (3-4-3, 2.76, .901)
Key Injuries: Bryan Bickell (illness), Jordan Staal (hand), Melker Karlsson (ankle)

The Sharks’ penalty kill has been great, but their path to success there has been simply not ending up in the box – their 37 shorthanded situations are the lowest in the league, as are the four power-play goals they’ve allowed. Carolina’s good at staying out of the box and killing penalties too, so look for the goals in this game to mostly come at even strength.

Predators (PP: 4, PK: 19) at Maple Leafs (PP: 5, PK: 14), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Pekka Rinne (5-4-3, 2.13, .930), Frederik Andersen (6-4-3, 3.42, .901)
Key Injuries: Anthony Bitetto (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (hand), Joffrey Lupul (abdomen)

The Leafs’ inconsistency makes them hard to mark, while the Predators have been a surprisingly effective power-play team behind a red-hot Rinne even while their offense has been mediocre at best overall. Nashville’s won three straight, and not against pushovers. Andersen remains a scary fantasy play in net, which means some attractively priced Preds should make their way into many a DFS lineup.

Panthers (PP: 18, PK: 15) at Canadiens (PP: 7, PK: 18), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Roberto Luongo (5-5-0, 2.30, .916), Carey Price (10-0-0, 1.40, .957)
Key Injuries: Nick Bjugstad (hand), Jonathan Huberdeau (lower body), Brian Flynn (upper body), Artturi Lehkonen (upper body), Alexander Radulov (illness)

Will the Panthers be the first team to beat Carey Price this year? I wouldn’t bet on it, personally. His career line against the Panthers: 9-4-2, 1.71 GAA, .942 save percentage. Sharp.

Lightning (PP: 6, PK: 6) at Red Wings (PP: 20, PK: 26), 7:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Ben Bishop (5-5-0, 2.93, .903), Petr Mrazek (4-4-1, 3.06, .908)
Key Injuries: Andreas Athanasiou (knee), Johan Franzen (concussion), Tomas Jurco (back), Thomas Vanek (hip), Joe Vitale (concussion), Jonathan Drouin (head), Anton Stralman (undisclosed)

The only team on the back end of back-to-backs Tuesday, the Bolts are coming off an inspiring victory against the Islanders, with backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy posting a 34-save shutout. Now they’ll turn back to Bishop against a Wings team that’s still licking its wounds from a shutout loss to Montreal over the weekend. If you were to ask Detroit management who it’s looking for more from, its answer would probably be “just about everyone.” So it says something – mostly about the play of Jimmy Howard, who isn’t starting Tuesday after his hot run came to an end in the aforementioned game against the Habs – that the Wings actually have a winning record.

Flames (PP: 29, PK: 29) at Wild (PP: 21, PK: 5), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Brian Elliott (3-8-0, 3.36, .882), Devan Dubnyk (6-4-1, 1.65, .947)
Key Injuries: Lance Bouma (shoulder), Kris Versteeg (groin), Victor Bartley (triceps), Zac Dalpe (knee), Zach Parise (foot), Marco Scandella (ankle)

Parise is expected back on the ice Tuesday, reinforcing a Wild team that’s looking good early on. The Flames are going in the other direction – losers of four straight, they’re reportedly mixing up their lines, with Troy Brouwer joining Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan on the top trio. With Elliott’s stats looking just as bad as those of last year’s terrible Calgary netminders that he replaced, there’s good reason to turn to attractively priced Wild skaters like Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle and Mat Dumba.

Blackhawks (PP: 14, PK: 30) at Jets (PP: 18, PK: 17), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Corey Crawford (8-3-2, 2.01, .934), Connor Hellebuyck (6-4-0, 2.70, .908)
Key Injuries: Tyler Motte (lower body), Trevor van Riemsdyk (upper body), Joel Armia (undisclosed), Kyle Connor (lower body), Bryan Little (lower body), Shawn Matthias (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Mathieu Perreault (undisclosed), Drew Stafford (upper body), Mark Stuart (upper body)

The ‘Hawks still technically own the league’s worst penalty kill, which alerts us to one of the perils of season stats, especially early on. Almost all of that bad penalty killing came in the first seven games of the season, when they surrendered a heart-stopping 14 goals on 26 opposing power plays. In the nine games since, they’ve allowed only three power-play goals on 37 tries. So that’s a lot better. The Jets, as you may have heard, employ the NHL’s current leading sniper, Patrik Laine (11 goals), but I’d shy away from using him against Crawford, who’s been spectacular in net once again.

Devils (PP: 22, PK: 23) at Stars (PP: 17, PK: 27), 8:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Cory Schneider (6-3-2, 2.24, .927), Kari Lehtonen (3-4-3, 3.18, .891)
Key Injuries: Cody Eakin (knee), Ales Hemsky (hip), Jiri Hudler (illness), Mattias Janmark (knee), Patrick Sharp (concussion), Jason Spezza (lower body), Michael Cammalleri (personal)

The stunningly good Devils – thanks, Taylor Hall! – head into Dallas on a four-game winning streakIt’ll be interesting to see how these two teams butt heads, as the Stars’ typically elite offense has been merely good thanks to a rash of injuries, while the Devils have been tight on the defensive/goaltending side as usual.

Rangers (PP: 9, PK: 11) at Canucks (PP: 27, PK: 7), 10:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (8-4-0, 2.27, .916), Ryan Miller (2-7-0, 2.92, .899)
Key Injuries: Pavel Buchnevich (back), Josh Jooris (upper body), Chris Kreider (upper body), Jannik Hansen (ribs), Jayson Megna (undisclosed), Anton Rodin (knee), Chris Tanev (lower body)

The Canucks already surprisingly upended the Blueshirts a week ago, but they’ve had a nearly impossible time finding their way into wins otherwise. Buchnevich is dealing with his second bout of back spasms already this season – that’s cause for concern about the uber-talented rookie. Kreider’s status remains unclear for this game, but with both those guys hurting, it seems likely we see another big dose of J.T. Miller; he’s been doing a great job capitalizing when he gets extra opportunities, so keep him in consideration for Tuesday’s lineups. By the way, Michael Grabner already has more goals this year than he scored in either of the past two seasons (with the caveat that his shooting percentage is more than double his career average).

Oilers (PP: 16, PK: 4) at Ducks (PP: 8, PK: 9), 10:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Cam Talbot (8-6-1, 2.57, .918), John Gibson (5-5-3, 2.68, .902)
Key Injuries: Simon Despres (head), Nate Thompson (Achilles), Brandon Davidson (undisclosed), Mark Fayne (undisclosed), Matt Hendricks (lower body), Iiro Pakarinen (leg), Kris Russell (undisclosed)

The Oilers have been falling back to reality of late, having lost three straight to deflate their early momentum. Meanwhile, Gibson’s trying to cope with his first season as a full-time starter, and it isn’t going totally swimmingly – he’s been pulled in consecutive outings and is barely keeping that save percentage above .900. We could see Jonathan Bernier get worked in more moving forward.

Recommended Pickup
Antoine Roussel, LW, DAL – Long one of my favorite players in fantasy formats that count hits and PIM, Roussel’s complemented his typically excellent tough-guy stats with a real offensive outburst so far this year. The Frenchman is skating career-high minutes thanks to the Stars’ banged-up forward crew and has a stunning 11 points in 16 games, with eight of those coming on his current six-game point streak – including a goal and an assist over a season-high 18:49 on Sunday. If you like fantasy players who stuff the stat sheet in a number of categories, here’s your guy.

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.