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12/27:Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard is the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Howard has been a bright spot for the Red Wings this season with a 10-8-4 record, 2.66 goals-against average, and .922 save percentage. The Penguins have a 7-5-2 record at home this season and are always a tough offense to count out. It may be best to avoid rolling with Howard on Thursday night.--Raymond Harrison - RotoBallerSource: Dana Wakiji
12/27:New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood will start in net for his team against the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The 22-year-old is coming off a strong NHL debut on December 20th, having turned aside 36 of 38 shots against in a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Blackwood will come into Thursday's start with a 2.24 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in three NHL appearances this season. Considering his opponent will enter the contest having won three of its past three games, fantasy owners will likely need to see more of Blackwood before entrusting him with a start.--Chase Davis - RotoBallerSource: New Jersey Devils
12/27:Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak will take the crease for his team's contest versus the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Signed to take over the backup this offseason, Halak has pushed Tuukka Rask for the starting job through the first half of the campaign, posting 12 wins, a 2.19 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage in 20 starts. This will be the 33-year-old's fifth start in the past seventh game and, as a result, the netminder likely deserves to be owned in more than just 70% of Yahoo! leagues. He looks to be a strong starting option for fantasy owners on a busy Thursday slate of games.--Chase Davis - RotoBallerSource: Joe Haggerty
12/24:Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth was back between the pipes for the first time since Dec. 9 on Sunday, and he made a successful return in a 3-2 shootout win against the Rangers. The veteran netminder stopped 32 of 34 shots to post a .941 save percentage. Michael Raffl and Wayne Simmonds scored in regulation, while Nolan Patrick grabbed the shootout winner. Neuvirth has missed time this season with various issues, and this was only his third appearance of the season. The Flyers have relied on rookie Carter Hart lately, but Neuvirth proved on Sunday that's he's ready if needed.--Taavi Pailk - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
12/24:San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl scored two goals -- both in the third period -- in Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to Arizona. Justin Braun and Marc-Edouard Vlasic finished the game with two assists, while Joe Thornton collected his 1041st career assists to pass Marcel Dionne for sole possession of the 10th place on the league's all-time list. Hertl is playing his best hockey of the season at the moment, having registered five multi-point outings in the last eight games. Based on previous games, he gets a nice matchup to continue his form on Thursday with the Sharks hosting Anaheim. Hertl has three points in two games against the Ducks this season.--Taavi Pailk - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
12/24:Arizona Coyotes forward Alex Galchenyuk had a great game on Sunday against San Jose, scoring twice in a 4-3 shootout win. He also provided the decisive goal in the shootout. Tim Heed gave San Jose the lead on a power play 15:11 into the first period, but Galchenyuk answered to it only 20 seconds later and he notched a power-play goal himself in the second frame. Galchenyuk has been in and out of the lineup with health issues this season, so it's difficult to judge his form. When trading for him, the franchise certainly expected more than 14 points in 26 games. If healthy, Galchenyuk could have a big second half of the season.--Taavi Pailk - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
12/24:Los Angeles Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli scored in overtime on Sunday against Vegas, extending the team's winning streak to three games. Michael Amadio, Alex Iafallo and Jeff Carter were also on target in the 4-3 win. Cal Petersen had 22 saves to improve his record for the season to 5-4-1. The Kings are suddenly back from the dead, which is great news for fantasy owners as everybody on the roster will feel better about themselves and that should lead to improved performances. Toffoli certainly has the potential to do a lot better. He has just six goals and 14 points so far, but his shooting percentage sits a lowly 5.7, so he should be more productive during the latter half of the season.--Taavi Pailk - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
12/24:Boston Bruins forward Ryan Donato scored two goals in Sunday's 5-3 loss to Carolina. He opened the scoring early on a power play and Steven Kampfer made it 2-0 soon after that, but it just wasn't to be for the Bruins. After an encouraging start to his NHL career near the end of last season, Donato has been a disappointment in 2018-19. He was pointless in five games before Sunday, and he's managed just five goals and seven points overall in 24 games. Three of his goals have come with the man advantage. He's skating on the top power-play unit at the moment.--Taavi Pailk - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
12/24:Carolina Hurricanes forwards Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen did everything they wanted on Sunday against the Bruins, finishing a 5-3 win with four points. Both had two goals and two assists. The Canes found themselves 2-0 down early in the game, but the Flying Finns helped them turn it around. Both even registered a short-handed goal. It's the second four-point performance in the last five games for Aho, who's the team's leading scorer with 38 points. He also leads Carolina in goals with 14. Teravainen has eight goals and 29 points. The Canes face Washington next after the Christmas break. Aho and Teravainen combined seven points against them in the last meeting on Dec. 14.--Taavi Pailk - RotoBallerSource: ESPN
12/24:Chicago Blackhawks center Dylan Strome picked up a goal with two assists and a plus-1 rating in Sunday's 6-3 home loss against the Florida Panthers. While Strome was a thorn in the side of Panthers goaltender James Reimer, and defenseman Connor Murphy also picked up a goal and assist, the rest of the offense went rather quietly into the night. Only right wing Alex DeBrincat was able to break through for a goal on his four shots. DeBrincat scored for the third consecutive game, but it wasn't enough to bail out goaltender Cam Ward, who coughed up five goals on 26 shots.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoballerSource: ESPN
12/24:Florida Panthers goaltender James Reimer allowed three goals on 29 shots in Sunday's 6-3 road victory against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was Optimus Reim's first win in four appearances in the month of December, as he improved to 6-7-3 with a 3.45 goals-against average and .888 save percentage this season. Despite the road win he is still only a recommended fantasy option in deeper fantasy leagues for depth. As long as Roberto Luongo remains healthy Reimer shouldn't be starting in any pools.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoballerSource: ESPN
12/24:Florida Panthers center Jayce Hawryluk picked up his first two NHL goals in Sunday's 6-3 victory on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks. He finished with a plus-1 rating, a blocked shot, a minor penalty and three hits over his 7:46 of ice time. Despite the sharp outing, he'll need more ice time and consistency before you can consider him for a roster spot even in the deepest of fantasy pools. Center Jared McCann picked up a goal and assist, as did center Frank Vatrano, while defenseman Mackenzie Weegar posted a pair of assists with a plus-2 rating and a hit.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoballerSource: ESPN
12/24:Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Kasperi Kapanen picked up two goals with a minus-1 rating, three shots on goal and two blocked shots and a hit in Sunday's 5-4 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings. Center John Tavares chipped in with a goal, an assist, a plus-2 rating and four shots on goal, giving him five goals and nine points with a plus-6 rating during his current five-game point streak. Defenseman Morgan Rielly also stayed hot with a goal, an assist and a plus-4 rating, extending his point streak to five games with three goals and 11 points while posting a plus-11. The rearguard also has three straight multi-point efforts.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoballerSource: ESPN
12/24:Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Garret Sparks allowed four goals on 30 shots in Sunday's 5-4 overtime victory against the Detroit Red Wings. With the win the 25-year-old from Illinois improved to 5-1-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average and .908 save percentage in his eight appearances. If something should ever happen to Frederik Andersen it appears Sparks should be able to hold down the fort. However, right now Sparks is only worth a look in seasonal fantasy leagues allowing daily moves and DFS play as a low-cost alternative when the matchup is favorable.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoballerSource: ESPN
12/24:Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier allowed five goals on 24 shots in Sunday's overtime loss on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs, his former team. The Red Wings posted goals by Christoffer Ehn, Filip Hronek, Frans Nielsen and Michael Rasmussen, but it wasn't enough as Bernier couldn't hold down Leafs winger Kasperi Kapanen, who lit the lamp twice, including the winner in the extra session just 1:53 in. Bernier is only worth a look as a low-end No. 3 goaltender for depth in fantasy pools of 12 or more teams.--Daniel E. Dobish - RotoballerSource: ESPN