There are only two games Friday night, with three of the four teams involved hailing from the Western Conference. Despite the light slate, this action still holds plenty of fantasy implications for both daily and season-long players. Jason Pominville's recent success makes him stand out in both formats, but you'll have to read on to find out who joins him among the top recommendations for Friday and beyond.
Lightning (PP:, PK:[21) at Wild (PP:, PK:), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Ben Bishop (13-12-3, 2.69, .907), Devan Dubnyk (29-9-3, 1.99, .933)
Key Injuries: Jonas Brodin (finger), Ryan Callahan (hip), Tyler Johnson (undisclosed), Alex Killorn (undisclosed), Ondrej Palat (lower body), Steven Stamkos (knee)
Bishop shut out the Kings in his last appearance, but he'll have his work cut out for him against a Wild team that boasts three dangerous scoring lines. Pominville has been exceeding a point-per-game pace over the past 16 despite skating on the third line, and has a great opportunity to stay hot given the Lightning’s current injury-riddled state. With Alex Tuch reassigned to AHL Iowa, it remains to be seen who moves up to play right wing alongside Eric Staal and Zach Parise. Dubnyk is by far the safest daily bet out of the four available options in net, especially since a good performance would bump him back ahead of Jimmy Howard for the league lead in GAA and save percentage.
Blackhawks (PP:, PK:) at Jets (PP:, PK:), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies: Corey Crawford (21-12-3, 2.59, .917), Connor Hellebuyck (17-13-1, 2.78, .909)
Key Injuries: Michal Rozsival (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (concussion)
Both teams faced the Wild in their respective previous games, with the Jets losing 4-2 at home Tuesday and Chicago eking out a 4-3 overtime win on the road Wednesday. Hellebuyck stopped all 10 shots he faced in relief of the injured Pavelec against Minnesota, but had been awful in allowing nine goals on 54 shots over his previous three appearances. His recent struggles make the top Blackhawks forwards well worth their steep daily prices, especially in a game that shouldn’t lack for power-play production given both penalty kills rank among the four worst.
Jason Pominville, RW, MIN - The 34-year-old veteran looked over the hill earlier in this campaign, but he has come roaring back with 18 points in his past 16 games. That production doesn't seem close to stopping any time soon given that both of his current linemates (Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle) have operated in first-line roles earlier this season. While his ice time remains in the 14-15 minute range, Pominville is well positioned to keep piling up points thanks to the skill around him. He's worth a pick up if someone in your league hasn't already snatched him up.