It was a strange day in the National Hockey League. There were 12 total games, and a few offensive showcases. We also had four goaltenders post shutouts, so it was an exciting day from a fantasy perspective. Well, it was exciting unless you loaded up against the four goalies throwing up a brick wall. In Las Vegas we also had a rare occurrence, with a sibling rivalry between a goaltender and a defenseman, something we don't get too see very often. Let's get started!
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Saturday's Fantasy Five
Artemi Panarin had a mammoth performance, going for two goals, an assist and a plus-4 rating in Saturday's 5-2 victory on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks. The former Blackhawks player is up to 24 goals with 67 points through 55 games with a plus-16 rating. He has managed at least 67 points in each of the four seasons of his NHL career and he is on pace for a career-best 97 points. Panarin cut off negotiations with the organization and indicated he wishes to test the free-agent waters this summer. He is going to be a hot property with a ton of interest, if the Blue Jackets do not elect to deal him at the NHL trade deadline so they can get something in return. It's a tough decision, though, as they're very much in contention in the East. Stay tuned.
We mentioned there were four shutouts on Saturday's slate. Andrei Vasilevskiy posted 20 saves to nail down his second straight shutout, and the sixth of the season. He is tied with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights for the NHL lead in shutouts. Vasilevskiy's shutout was also the 18th of his career, moving him past Ben Bishop for the top spot in franchise history. He carries a 125:49 scoreless streak into Monday's showdown against Sergei Bobrovsky in Columbus. Nikita Kucherov posted a power-play goal and assist, as he also made franchise history. The power-play goal was his 50th, moving past Brad Richards for fourth place on the team's all-time list.
Jake DeBrusk posted a goal with an assist and a plus-2 rating in Saturday's 4-2 victory on the road against the Los Angeles Kings. He has now lit the lamp in three consecutive games, and his 17th goal of the season marks a new career best. Louie's son now has three goals and six points during the three-game span, following up a three-game scoreless skid. The goal outburst is now a huge surprise, but it does come on the heels of a 13-game goal drought from Jan. 10 through Feb. 10. Two of his points over the past three have come on the power play, too.
Shayne Gostisbehere, like most other Philadelphia Flyers, got off to a slow start. He is making up for lost time lately, posting a goal with an assist and a plus-2 rating. He has back-to-back multi-point games for the first time since Nov. 5-8 in a home-and-home with the Arizona Coyotes. He also has a goal and five points during his current three-game point streak. The Philly rearguard has a quick turnaround with a nationally-televised game in Detroit on Sunday evening.
Malcolm Subban made a rare start in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been skidding a little bit lately. The Vegas backup was forced the Nashville Predators, so it was an extra special assignment. His brother, Predators defenseman P.K. Subban, was on the other side trying to beat him. Malcolm allowed just one goal to Kevin Fiala, and he made 29 saves to pick up the victory. As for P.K., he finished the game scoreless with a plus-1 rating and two shots on his sibling.
Fantasy Game of the Night
The highest scoring game of the afternoon was in the City of Brotherly Love. The Red Wings and Flyers combined for 11 total goals, and the game wasn't decided until overtime. It was quite the fantasy fiesta! Anthony Mantha registered a pair of goals with a plus-2 rating, six shots on goal and a hit. It was his third multi-goal performance of the season, and first since Nov. 26. He is working on a three-game point streak, posting two goals and two assists. Tyler Bertuzzi went for a goal and an assist, as he is starting to heat up again. Little Bert has manage four goals with eight points over the past six contests. He still remains useful only in deeper fantasy pools at this point. Thomas Vanek went for a goal with a plus-2 rating, as he is starting to show signs of life over the past month. He has five goals and 12 points over the past 13 outings, as he is heating up just in time for the trade deadline. It's no certainly he'll be moved, but he knows the drill by now. Gustav Nyquist had a goal and plus-1 rating, giving him five goals and 11 points with a plus-4 over the past 13. He is rumored to be on the trade block. Mike Green also had a pair of assists and a plus-2 rating, three blocked shots and two hits. Dylan Larkin and Niklas Kronwall also chopped in with assists. It wasn't a great day for All-Star Jimmy Howard, as he was yanked after allowing five goals on 24 shots. Jonathan Bernier replaced him early in the third and allowed a goal on eight shots. He is likely to start Sunday's second-end of the home-and-home.
Travis Konecny posted a power-play goal and an overtime winner, giving him four goals and six points in seven contests in the month of February. Nolan Patrick was also red hot on Saturday, going for a goal, two assists and a plus-3 rating with two blocked shots and two hits. That's now three goals and six points in seven February outings. Wayne Simmonds also chipped in with a pair of assist and a plus-2 rating, giving him three helpers over the past two. Scott Laughton also went for a goal and an assist, his first multi-point performance since Jan. 14 when he had three helpers against the Minnesota Wild. Sean Couturier also continues to be very hot, posting two more assists. He has three multi-point performances over the past four outings, and five goals with 13 points across the past nine. It wasn't pretty for Carter Hart, but he picked up the win in overtime after making 33 saves and letting in five goals.
Quick Hits: Vladimir Tarasenko has been on fire lately, and he extended his career-high 11-game point streak on Saturday. He posted a goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating and seven shots on goal. Tarasenko has 10 goals and 19 points with a plus-14 rating during the 11-game run. … Jake Allen stopped all 32 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season, and first since Dec. 7 against Winnipeg. … Yanni Gourde scored another goal against Montreal. He has six goals in nine career games against the Habs. … Leon Draisaitl scored for the third consecutive game, giving him 35 goals on the season. He is on pace for 49 goals and 97 points. … Josh Bailey managed two assists with two PIM. He has rolled up two goals and six points over the past five. … Steve Duchene, who is reportedly on the trade block, is boosting his stock lately. He has seven goals and nine points in eight February outings. … Mark Stone picked up a goal and an assist, as he has five goals and eight points over the past six. The Winnipeg fans serenaded him with, "We want Stone! We want Stone!" chants as the trade deadline approaches. The Senators aren't believed to be interested in parting with him, however. … Tyler Myers posted two goals with a plus-2 rating. One of his markers were of the shorthanded variety. He has three goals and eight points over the past 10. … Darcy Kuemper stopped all 22 shots he faced to pick up a win. Petr Mrazek also posted a shutout against Dallas, as the Stars were blanked for the second straight game. … Sebastian Aho, Nino Niederreiter and Justin Williams each have a four-game point streak going. Aho has five assists with a plus-3 rating, Niederreiter has two goals and six points and Williams has two goals and six points during the four-game runs. … Ryan Murray picked up three assists with a plus-3 rating, giving him seven helpers over the past eight outings. … Patrick Kane extended his point streak to 19 games, picking up a goal and an assist. He has been white-hot during the run, rolling up 13 goals and 24 assists with a plus-9 rating. … Elias Pettersson posted another assist with a plus-1 rating, giving him four goals and eight assists over the past 11.