News: Brendan Gallagher scored his 18th goal of the season and was plus-1 in Thursday night's 4-3 shootout loss to the Kings. Analysis: Brendan Gallagher is enjoying life since his move to the top line -- that's the place to be for a Canadien forward. He has nine points (five goals, four assists) in the previous eight games.
News: Tobias Rieder scored his 10th goal of the season Thursday in a 3-2 shootout win over Vancouver. He took three shots and added two hits in the contest. Analysis: Tobias Rieder scored for the second consecutive games and saw nearly 20 minutes of ice time in this one, including overtime. He will see top-six duty the rest of the way with an opportunity to prove he belongs next year. He brings some goal-scoring ability and a physical style (87 hits in 55 games) to the Coyotes, which could be useful in deeper leagues.
News: Alex Pietrangelo was minus-3 with four shots on net Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the Flyers. Analysis: It has been a disappointing year for Alex Pietrangelo owners who were expecting better than 33 points in 64 games and a minus-5 rating. He is logging the same kind of tough minutes as in past seasons, but with a career-low shooting percentage so a few more goals could be coming. He still has a shot at cracking the 40-point barrier, so it could be worth trying to buy low on the 25-year-old as he has a very good chance to bounce back and be among the top-10 defensemen in real life and fantasy.
News: Vladimir Tarasenko picked up his 31st assist of the year Thursday in a 3-1 loss to Philadelphia. He was plus-1, took four shots, and added a hit in the contest. Analysis: The multi-point efforts have slowed for Vladimir Tarasenko, who has just three since February 1, but he keeps getting on to the scoresheet on a regular basis. He leads the Blues with 62 points in 64 games; good for ninth in the league. An interesting illustration of his evolution as a top player in real and fantasy hockey - he took 136 shots in 64 games last year, while putting 219 pucks on net in the same number of games this year. Roll him every night.
News: Curtis McKenzie netted a goal and earned five penalty minutes in Thursday's shootout win over the Panthers. Analysis: It was an active night for Curtis McKenzie, who finished an assist shy of a Gordie Howe hat trick after getting the goal and fighting the Panthers' Dmitry Kulikov. The winger, who was recalled from AHL Texas a few weeks ago, should be locked into a regular role with the Stars at least until Travis Moen (upper body) returns from injured reserve.
News: Jaden Schwartz scored his 21st goal of the season Thursday in a 3-1 loss to the Flyers. He was plus-1 and took two shots while adding a hit in the contest. Analysis: Despite missing seven games in December with a foot injury, Jaden Schwartz is on-pace to set career-highs in goals, assists, and points. He has combined with linemate Vladimir Tarasenko to form a potent duo for the Blues all season. He is a must start and is moving up the ranks of keepers for next year.
News: Reilly Smith signed a two-year, $6.85 million extension with the Bruins on Friday, Joe Haggerty of CSN New England reports. Analysis: Reilly Smith was set to become a restricted free agent this summer, but the extension will lock him in with the Bruins through the end of the 2016-17 season. Generally regarded as a throw-in to the July 2013 deal that sent Tyler Seguin to the Stars, Smith has arguably been the top performer in the four-player haul the Bruins received in return. He hasn't missed a single game during his two years in Boston and currently ranks second on the team in points (35) and tied for second in plus/minus rating (plus-11).
News: Torey Krug signed a one-year, $3.4 million contract extension with the Bruins on Friday, Joe Haggerty of CSN New England reports. Analysis: Torey Krug was slated to become a restricted free agent this summer, but the extension ensures the defenseman will be locked in for another season with the B's. The 23-year-old has been outstanding in his first two full seasons in the NHL, tallying 25 goals and 71 points across 138 games. Assuming his production doesn't tail off significantly in 2015-16, look for the Bruins to make a long-term extension offer to Krug as soon as next year.
News: Wayne Simmonds scored the winner in the third period of Thursday's 3-1 victory over St. Louis. Analysis: It's the 26th goal of the season for Wayne Simmonds, who is on pace to score more goals than last year. Still, his assist numbers are down from last season, perhaps a sign of the Flyers' overall struggles this season. Either way, he's been productive of late and warrants a start in nearly all formats.
News: Michael Del Zotto lit the lamp for the game-tying goal in Thursday's 3-1 win over St. Louis. Analysis: Michael Del Zotto has two goals in his last three games, and seems to have stepped up his game after the departure via trade of fellow defenseman Braydon Coburn. He's worth a look if you're struggling for defensive production.