There are six games in the NHL on Wednesday with the Panthers the lone notable favorite on the docket. It’ll be important to continue keeping close tabs on the latest NHL news with so much uncertainty over the past two weeks. The marquee matchup is definitely between the Oilers and Blues in St. Louis, and it’s also worth noting No. 1 center Aleksander Barkov ($7,000) is projected to return to action or the Panthers.
All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.
Top Line Stacks
Panthers vs. Rangers
Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,500) - Sam Bennett ($7,900) - Sam Reinhart ($5,900)
I’m hoping the presence of New York starter Igor Shesterkin ($7,100) keeps the rolling Florida trio’s popularity in check, and Bennett, Huberdeau and Reinhart end up flying under the radar. Shesterkin hasn’t made a start since Dec. 3, and the three Panthers have clicked for 6.22 goals, 5.82 expected goals and 18.65 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes for the season.
Blues vs. Oilers
Pavel Buchnevich ($5,800) - Robert Thomas ($3,000) - Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,300)
The Blues’ No. 2 line has been solid this season with 4.97 goals per 60 minutes overall, a 57.9 Corsi for percentage and 61.0 expected goals for percentage at five-on-five. The combined cap hit doesn’t break the bank, either. Edmonton’s also allowed a healthy 31 goals through nine December games.
Superstar to Build Around
Alex Ovechkin, WAS vs. NSH ($9,700) - No. 8 has only missed the scoresheet twice through his past 14 games, and he’s posted double-digit DKFP in all but one of those contests. He’s also racked up an impressive 10 tallies, 11 helpers and 73 shots during that same stretch to reaffirm his high-floor, high-ceiling fantasy profile. The Predators are expected to be without No. 1 defenseman Roman Josi ($7,600; health protocols) on Wednesday, greatly improving Ovechkin’s matchup.
Value on Offense
Jack Hughes, NJ at BUF ($4,800) - The 2019 first-overall selection has recorded an underwhelming three goals and two assists through 11 games since returning from injury, so a plus-matchup against the Sabres sets up as a breakout opportunity. Hughes has recorded a respectable 23 shots, 53 attempts and 15 individual high-danger scoring chances during the noted 11-game stretch, after all.
Alex Tuch, BUF vs. NJ ($2,500) - Projected for a top offensive role right out of the gate with his new club, Tuch will be a popular minimum-salary target Wednesday. He’s ranked 28th in shot attempts per 60 minutes at five-on-five over the past three seasons among all skaters with at least 2,000 minutes, so there’s a respectable floor.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, BUF vs. NJ ($7,600) - Not only are the Devils just 3-8-2 on the road this season, they’ve also scored just 45 goals during their active 3-12-3 stretch. Safe to suggest it’s a solid matchup for Luukkonen. He’s also in strong form with a .939 save percentage and 1.96 GAA through his past five starts.
Thatcher Demko, VAN at ANH ($7,300) - Sporting an active 8-4 record with a .941 save percentage and 1.91 GAA, Demko’s in top form for a road date with the Ducks. While Anaheim is a rock-solid 10-4-3 on home ice, the difficulty of the matchup is built into Demko’s reasonable salary.
Value on Defense
Alexandre Carrier, NSH at WAS ($3,000) - As noted above, Josi is projected to miss another game for the Predators, and it’s been Carrier benefiting from the captain’s absence of late. Carrier has recorded four assists, three shots and four blocks over the past three games.
John Carlson, WAS vs. NSH ($7,500) - Nashville ranks 21st in penalty-kill percentage, so this is one of the slate’s better special-teams matchups, and Carlson is ripe for statistical correction. He’s registered just a single goal and three assists through his past nine games, despite being on the ice for 43 high-danger scoring chances. Additionally, he also pads his fantasy-point total through the peripheral categories, with 26 shots and 12 blocks during the noted nine-game span.
Tyson Barrie, EDM at STL ($5,700) - Ranking third in points per 60 minutes among all defensemen over the past two seasons, this is a reasonable salary to take a chance on Barrie. The Blues have probably overachieved defensively this season, too. They’ve allowed the seventh-most expected goals per 60 minutes overall and have surrendered the eighth-most high-danger scoring chances per 60 while shorthanded.
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