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Right on Schedule: Action-packed Week 14

by | Rotowire.com
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Despite being several games behind the games-played pace of the rest of the league, both Boston and San Jose remain as Conference finals favorites. Fourteen teams are playing on back-to-back nights, with 11 teams playing four games this week and only one (Florida) playing just two games, there is plenty of Fantasy action to decipher. Let's get to it.

NHL schedule

Anaheim (vs. DAL, @CAL, EDM, VAN) starts off the week hosting the Stars. After a night off, they play three road games in four nights against the Northwest division. The Ducks are 2-3 thus far against Northwest teams. Having scored five or more goals in five of their last 10 team games, the busting Boston Bruins have a weak schedule (vs. WPG, MON, @CAR) ahead. Simply a prelude to a rare five-game schedule next week, once they head to Carolina, the Bruins will play six of their remaining eight January games on the road. Pick up Tuukka Rusk (9-4-1, 3 SO, 1.49 goals-against average) if available, you're going to need him next week. Left-winger Benoit Pouliot has three goals and five assists in the last eight games.

After Buffalo (@TOR, vs. TOR, @NYI) starts off the three-game week with a home-and-home against Toronto, the Sabres then head to Long Island. From there, Buffalo plays out their remaining January games (7) in white jerseys. This week, three at home for the Flames (vs. NJ, ANH, LA), next week, three away, but not a back-to-back game to be found till the ground hog shows his face. Curtis Glencross (17 goals, 12 assists) has grabbed at least one point in nine of his last 12 games. Carolina (vs. PHI, @TB, vs. BOS, @WAS) has a very busy travel week, alternating one at home, one on the road, etc… Carolina's Brandon Sutter has two goals, two assists (plus-2) in his last three games.

Considered among the Western Conference favorites, let's see how Chicago (vs. CLS, MIN, @DET, vs. SJ) handles three quality teams gunning for them. Just like Buffalo, Colorado (vs. NSH, @NSH, @DAL) starts off hosting the opening of a home-and-home with Nashville, who took the season series (4-0) in 2009-10. Here comes the Varlamov roller coaster again. Semyon Varlamov tallied two wins (0.48 GAA, SHO) last week. The Avs' week finishes against the rival Stars on Saturday night. Dallas leads the season series 2-1.

Columbus (@CHI, vs. PHO, SJ) ends their four-game West Coast swing with a stop in Chicago this Tuesday. After a couple of days to recover, they host Phoenix and San Jose to end the week. Dallas (@ANH, LA, vs. COL) takes to the road for two against division rivals (Ducks, Kings) before heading home to host the Avs. For those have not picked up Richard Bachman (6-2, 253 of 276), now may be a good time to consider it. Whilst Kari Lehtonen has been Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in his last four starts (three goals allowed in two wins, eight goals allowed in two losses), also consider Dallas plays on back-to-back nights twice next week.

Dating back to the beginning of December, Detroit (@NYI, vs. PHO, CHI) has played 13 of their last 18 games on the road. How about one more (NYI on Tuesday) before heading home? Pavel Datsyuk has really turned his season around since November 30th. Datsyuk, currently on a three-game point streak, has six goals, 17 assists over his last 19 games. Johan Franzen, who was a shadow of himself in December, has a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists). Edmonton (vs. NJ, ANH, LA), another NHL team that has been racking up the frequent flyer miles, enjoys a few days off before hosting three from home starting Wednesday. Three of the Oilers four leading scorers have a total of 59 years of life experience. Jordan Eberle (17 goals, 26 assists), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (13 goals, 22 assists) and Taylor Hall (14 goals, 15 assists) equate into 34 percent of Edmonton's point production this season.

Florida (vs. VAN, PIT) continues their slow start to the month with a second consecutive two-game week. Los Angeles' schedule (vs. WAS, DAL, @CAL, EDM) starts off with two home games, before beginning a road trip against the Northwest division, starting with two (of 3) to end this week. Montreal (vs. STL, @BOS, vs. OTT, NYR) has one of the toughest schedules in January. Aside from playing the Penguins and Red Wings late on this month, the Canadiens visit Boston and host the Rangers this week. Nashville (@COL vs. COL, PHI) begins the week on the road, hosting the aforementioned Avs, before heading home to host Colorado and Philadelphia. When Patric Hornqvist scores (11 goals, 7 assists), the Preds are 7-1-1. The fourth year man's production has been trending downwardly since 2009-10, but has 16 career goals in January, more than any other month in his career. The home-and-home will be the first match up(s) of the season for the two teams.

New Jersey (@CAL, EDM, WPG), doing its best to stay within the elite eight of the Eastern Conference, have rebounded from an 0-2 start to 2012 by owning the Panthers (5-2) and Pens (3-1) to end last week. The Islanders (vs. DET, PHI, BUF), who started the new calendar year riding a three-game winning streak, have lost two in a row again. Being outscored 9-3 by Anaheim and Phoenix is not exactly how the Islanders wanted to head into a week they play host to Detroit, Philadelphia and Buffalo. The Rangers (vs. PHO, OTT, @TOR, MON), still atop of the NHL in points, will be at home for two this week before they finish out with two on the road. Second worst in the league for shots on goal, New York is highly dependent on their goaltending. Ottawa (@PIT, NYR, MON) plays three difficult road games. It gets worse as nine of their remaining 10 games in January are seen from the visitor's bench. Still producing like a young buck, Sergei Gonchar (2 goals, 21 assists) is enjoying a four-game point streak.

Just like Ottawa, the Flyers (@CAR, NYI, NAS) have three games on the road. The big difference is Philly's (fourth in Eastern Conference points) strength of schedule. Phoenix (@NYR, DET, CLS) is our third straight team trending the road and filling out this week's schedule. Oliver Ekman-Larsson (7 goals, 10 assists), still owned in less than (48%) half of CBS leagues, has registered three points in as many January games.

Losers of four straight games, adding insult-to-injury (Jordan Staal), the Penguins schedule is picking up as of late. Eight games in the next two weeks starts off with hosting Ottawa. Pittsburgh (vs. OTT, @WAS, FLA, TB) finishes out the week with three on the road against the Southeast division. Certainly one of the toughest schedules this week, San Jose (@MIN, WPG, CLS, CHI) hits the road for a four game road trip. Sandwiched in between two big conference matchups, the Sharks have two 'gimme' games. Dan Boyle (4 assists, plus-6, 19 SOG) has been among the more offensive defensemen in the NHL over the last seven days.

St. Louis (@MON, vs. VAN, MIN) looks to capitalize on the first of their only two road games (9 home) in the month of January, before heading back home to host the Canucks and Wild. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (six goals, 11 assists) has a goal, five assists -- including four power play points -- so far in 2012. Tampa (@MON, vs. VAN, MIN) has a busy week ahead, hosting three of four from home. Their only road game will be against fellow under-performing Southeast Division rival Washington.

Toronto (vs. BUF @BUF vs. NYR) has that aforementioned home-and-home with Buffalo before hosting the red hot Rangers. In conjunction with last season's series (3-3), the Leafs and Sabres have continued their tight games as each team owns a win this season. Jonas Gustavsson played in three straight starts last week, notching (88 of 94) a shutout and three wins. Tim Connolly, who had his three-game point streak snapped in the Leafs 4-3 win over Detroit, has 24 career January goals. After a win in Boston to start their four-game road trip, Vancouver (@FLA, TB, STL vs. ANH) is second in NHL points. The Canucks visit the Panthers, Lightning and Blues before heading home to host the slumping Ducks. Savor the flavor, cause after this week, the Canucks play only four games in the final 15 days of January.

The next two weeks could prove to be a momentum changer for Washington (@LA, vs. PIT, TB, vs. CAR), who plays four road and four home games over the next 14 days. But first this week. Monday they finish their two game West Coast swing against LA and head home for the Penguins, Lightning and Hurricanes. Missing defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who missed his sixth game Saturday night with a knee injury, nine of Winnipeg's 13 games this month are on the road. The Jets are really going to miss Buff's presence in Boston. After Boston, the Jets (@BOS vs. SJ, NJ) head home for the week.

AHL quick glance

Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals): Keith Aucoin, center -- 8 goals, 50 assists in 35 games played.
Lake Erie Monsters (Colorado Avalanche): Cedrick Desjardins, goalie -- 8-5-1, 1.85 GAA in 14 games played.
Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lightning): Mark Barberio, defenseman -- 4 goals, 28 assists, 27 PIM in 34 games played.

TV Time (all games EST)

NBC Sports Network

Jan. 10: Sharks at Wild 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 11: Penguins at Capitals 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15: Rangers at Canadiens 7:0 p.m.

NBC Sports

Jan. 14: Blackhawks at Red Wings 12:30 p.m.

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Player News
Lauri Korpikoski
Coyotes' Korpikoski Sidelined
Lauri Korpikoski, LW, ARI
12:56 AM
News: Lauri Korpikoski (mouth) remains sidelined, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports.
Analysis: Lauri Korpikoski could practice later this week and hasn't been ruled out for the coming weekend, but he's not a candidate to play Monday against the Sabres.

Peter Holland
Leafs' Holland Remains Sidelined
Peter Holland, C, TOR
12:52 AM
News: Peter Holland (lower body) could return as soon as this weekend, Paul Hendrick of Leafs TV reports.
Analysis: That said, Peter Holland is effectively ruled out for the team's next two games, with a return either Saturday against the Bruins or Sunday against the Sens now considered plausible.

Chris Kunitz
Pens' Kunitz Ends Goal Drought
Chris Kunitz, LW, PIT
12:51 AM
News: Chris Kunitz tallied a power-play goal in Sunday's 3-2 shootout win over the Sharks.
Analysis: The first-period tally gave Chris Kunitz his first goal since Feb. 25 and his first point in 13 games. Though he has three 60-point campaigns on his resume (including a career-best 68-point output just last season), Kunitz makes for a tough activation at the moment while he remains stuck in a prolonged offensive slump.

James Reimer
Leafs Turn To Reimer On Tuesday
James Reimer, G, TOR
12:49 AM
News: James Reimer is slated to start Tuesday's game against the Lightning, Paul Hendrick of Leafs TV reports.
Analysis: The Leafs will stick with James Reimer, who made 22 saves in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win over the Senators, an effort that helped Toronto end a seven-game losing skid.

Sergei Bobrovsky
Blue Jackets Go With Bobrovsky On Tuesday
Sergei Bobrovsky, G, CLB
12:42 AM
News: Sergei Bobrovsky is slated to start Tuesday's home game against New Jersey, Shawn Mitchell of the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Analysis: Sergei Bobrovsky, who will look to help the Blue Jackets extend their winning streak to seven games on Tuesday, has won his last five turns in that span, while allowing 11 goals in the process.

James Wisniewski
Ducks' Wisniewski: Points In Three Straight
James Wisniewski, D, ANA
12:38 AM
News: James Wisniewski notched an assist in Sunday's win over the Devils, giving him three straight games with a helper.
Analysis: James Wisniewski had a healthy scratch sprinkled into the streak, but he's nonetheless beginning to make an impact offensively for the Ducks. However, he remains without a goal in his 10 games with the team.

Seth Jones
Preds' Jones Claims First Goal Since Feb. 10
Seth Jones, D, NSH
12:34 AM
News: Seth Jones found the back of the net for the seventh time this season in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Flames.
Analysis: After noticing a surge in his production in January and the early part of February, Seth Jones has since reverted to his normal disappearing act on the score sheet. Sunday's goal was his first since Feb. 10, and he hasn't made up for it in the assist category with only four helpers in his 24 games since that time. Keep him parked on the bench or send him to the waiver wire in season-long formats.

Kari Lehtonen
Stars Roll With Lehtonen
Kari Lehtonen, G, DAL
12:33 AM
News: Kari Lehtonen is on track to start Monday's game against the Flames, NHL.com's Mark Stepneski reports.
Analysis: Kari Lehtonen has won eight of his last 10 games, though he has surrendered 13 goals over his last four outings. He' face a Calgary team is coming off a 5-2 triumph over the Preds on Sunday.

Michael Ferland
Flames' Ferland Bags Game-Winner Sunday
Michael Ferland, LW, CGY
12:31 AM
News: Michael Ferland tallied the game-winning goal in Sunday's 5-2 victory over the Predators.
Analysis: It's the first career NHL goal for Michael Ferland, who has accrued only three points in 21 games this season. His unstable role in the Flames lineup and his third- or fourth-line standing on the occasions he does play don't make Ferland an attractive fantasy option.

Jordie Benn
Stars' Jordie Benn Out Monday
Jordie Benn, D, DAL
12:29 AM
News: Jordie Benn is dealing with back soreness, Mark Stepneski of NHL.com reports.
Analysis: As a result, Jordie Benn will miss his second straight game Monday against the Flames, with his status for Friday's contest against the Blues uncertain, as well.

 
 
 
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