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Michael Finewax lets you know that the New Jersey Devils play five times this week, 20 other teams play …

It's a busy week in the NHL with the Devils playing five times while 20 other teams play four games. You can get a big advantage playing those team's players rather than Dallas or Ottawa who only play twice.

Here's my take on NHL realignment and how the playoffs should be implemented, and if you're looking for an article on what will occur during the regular season under the new realignment in back-to-back games, read Gus Katsaros' great insight in his column from Mckeenshockey.com.

I was on Google+Hangout Thursday with NHL.com's Chris Foster, Pete Jensen, Brian Metzer and Matthew Sitkoff for our regular fantasy chat. You can watch the chat by clicking here.

Don’t forget to purchase Season Pass as we are closing in on the halfway mark of the NHL season.

Now to The Week Ahead.

WEEK OF MARCH 4-10

5 Games - New Jersey

4 Games– Anaheim, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose , Tampa Bay, Toronto, Washington, Winnipeg

3 Games – Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Minnesota, Nashville, Vancouver

2 Games - Dallas, Ottawa

Edmonton, Montreal and Winnipeg play all four games on the road.

Los Angeles plays all four games at home

Anaheim, Carolina, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Phoenix, Toronto and Washington play three games at home this week.

Buffalo, Calgary and St. Louis play three games on the road.

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INJURIES

Evgeni Malkin suffered a concussion and is out of action. Ryan Kesler is out four-six weeks with a broken foot. (Click here to see the rest of the injury list.)

ANAHEIM

Games this week

@ Phoenix, vs. Phoenix, vs. Calgary, vs. St. Louis

Notes

The Ducks play the Coyotes twice this week and will have played them three games in five nights including Saturday March 2. This ought to allow Brad Staubitz, Sheldon Souray and Matt Beleskey to add to their penalty minute totals. The Ducks will be rested Sunday when they take on St. Louis after the Blues are in San Jose Saturday. Corey Perry is on a six-game scoring streak and now has 17 points in 18 games as does Saku Koivu. Viktor Fasth is now 9-1 this season. The Ducks sent Peter Holland to the minors and recalled former first round pick Emerson Etem. Andrew Cogliano saw some time on the top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry but was replaced by Kyle Palmieri on Wednesday. Palmieri celebrated with a natural hat trick.

BOSTON

Games this week

@ Washington, vs. Toronto, vs. Philadelphia

Notes

The Bruins are rested on Thursday when they host the Maple Leafs as Toronto are home Wednesday against the Senators. It's a good time to pick up Bruins as they have 31 games left heading into action on March 1, the most remaining in the NHL. Brad Marchand has 10 goals in his first 16 games this season. Tuukka Rask has a 11-1-2 record with a 1.82 GAA and a .933 save percentage. After going eight games without a point, Zdeno Chara had a goal and three points in three games. Patrice Bergeron has been terrific with four goals, 14 points and a plus-12 rating in 16 games.

BUFFALO

Games this week

@ Carolina, @ New Jersey, @ Philadelphia

Notes

The Sabres are rested Sunday when they face Philadelphia as the Flyers are in Boston Saturday. Marcus Foligno has not scored in 15 games and only once in 20 so the Sabres made him a healthy scratch on Thursday. The Sabres made a nice deal for themselves at the trade deadline last season when they acquired Cody Hodgson from the Canucks for Zack Kassian. Hodgson has 17 points in 21 games this season and will definitely be a top-six forward for many years, barring any serious injuries. The Sabres lost their first two games under interim coach Ron Rolston but got Rolston his first win with a 2-1 decision over Tampa Bay Tuesday.

CALGARY

Games this week

@ San Jose, @ Anaheim, @ Los Angeles

Notes

The Flames play three games in four nights and are hoping to have Miikka Kiprusoff  (knee) back. If not, look for both Joey MacDonald and Daniel Taylor to each get at least one start. The Flames are rested Wednesday when they take on San Jose who play in Vancouver Tuesday. They are tired Saturday when they play the Kings after playing in Anaheim Friday. MacDonald has been the Flames best netminder statistically this season as he is 3-3-1 with a 3.04 GAA and a .899 save percentage. Kiprusoff is only 2-3-2 with a 3.24 GAA and a mediocre .870 save percentage. Alex Tanguay leads the Flames with 17 points, three ahead of Michael Cammalleri.

CAROLINA

Games this week

vs. Buffalo, vs. Montreal, vs. New Jersey

Notes

Jeff Skinner is slated to return on Thursday after missing five games with a concussion. Ryan Murphy was returned to the Kitchener Rangers after four games as an emergency call up. He failed to register a point and was a minus-four but the experience should bode well for next season as he will have some NHL games under his belt. Alexander Semin continues to impress with four goals, 16 points and a plus-11 rating and coach Kirk Muller has given him props for his playmaking skills and defensive play.  Cam Ward continues to struggle as he is 7-6-1 with a 3.00 GAA and a .904 save percentage. He caught on fire in the second half last season and his fantasy owners expect more of the same in 2013.

CHICAGO

Games this week

vs. Minnesota, vs. Colorado, @ Colorado, vs. Edmonton

Notes
The Blackhawks play three games in four nights as part of a four game week. Corey Crawford and Ray Emery should split the net. Crawford returned to action on Tuesday with a shutout over Columbus and is 9-0-3 with a 1.43 GAA and a .943 save percentage while Emery is 8-0.  Crawford was hurt Thursday and could once again miss some time. The Blackhawks play the Avs in a home-and-home series this week so expect to see Daniel Carcillo and Andrew Shaw add to their penalty minute totals. Brandon Bollig should also be on the list but has only played in nine of 19 games. Good news for Steve Montador as he has been symptom free from his concussion woes for weeks and is now skating and participating in contact drills. Hopefully he is close to returning to action.

COLORADO

Games this week

@ Detroit, @ Chicago, vs. Chicago, vs. San Jose

Notes

The Avs play three games in four nights so look for Jean-Sebastien Giguere to get one start in place of Semyon Varlamov. They are rested on Sunday when they host San Jose who entertain the Blues Saturday. The Avalanche take on the Blackhawks in a home-and-home series this week so expect to find Cody McLeod and Patrick Bordeleau in the penalty box after a fight. Ryan O'Reilly has signed an offer sheet with the Calgary Flames and it should be interesting to see if Colorado matches or accepts the draft picks. Matt Duchene missed one game with a groin injury but was back in the lineup Thursday. Paul Stastny continues to be an enigma as he had only one assist in his previous four games before striking for a goal and an assist on Thursday.

COLUMBUS

Games this week

vs. Edmonton, vs. Vancouver, vs. Detroit, @ Detroit

Notes

The Blue Jackets play four times including three games in four nights so you should expect to see both Sergei Bobrovsky and Steve Mason split the net. The Blue Jackets are the worst team in the NHL and it certainly doesn't help that they have so many injuries to deal with as Jack Johnson (upper body), James Wisniewski (foot), Brandon Dubinsky (knee), Artem Anisimov (head) and Derick Brassard (upper body). The Blue Jackets recalled Ryan Johansen due to all the injuries but he is still struggling at the NHL level and has no points in two games with a minus-three rating after starting the season with two assists in 10 games with a minus-five rating before his demotion.

DALLAS

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix

Notes

I suggest sitting all your Dallas Stars this week if you are in a pool with weekly transactions as they play only twice. The Stars dealt Michael Ryder and a third round pick for Erik Cole this past week and Cole will start on the third line with Cody Eakin and Reilly Smith. Kari Lehtonen is due back in net Thursday after missing five games with a groin injury. Ray Whitney has started skating after breaking his foot on February 1 and should be able to return within two weeks as the original diagnosis was four-six weeks. Jamie Benn was minus-six in his first two games this past week.

DETROIT

Games this week

@ Colorado, vs. Edmonton, @ Columbus, vs. Columbus

Notes

The Red Wings play three games in four nights so expect to see Jonas Gustavsson play once in place of Jimmy Howard. It was a surprise to see Ian White being a healthy scratch on Wednesday. Valtteri Filppula has played 58:20 minutes on the power play and not only is he pointless, he has not even been on the ice for s Detroit power play goal! He is now out with a shoulder injury. Kyle Quincey scored his first goal of the season on Wednesday and it was his first point of the season as well, in 19 games. He's been a bit of a disappointment as he has been a 25+ point getter the last three years.

EDMONTON

Games this week

@ Columbus, @ Detroit, @ Nashville, @ Chicago

Notes

The Oilers play three games in four nights as they are near the end of a nine game road trip as their arena is being used for the Canadian Brier. Devan Dubnyk and Yann Danis  should share the net with Danis playing once. Nikolai Khabibulin is on injured reserve with what is believed to be a groin injury. The Oilers will be tired on Friday in Nashville after playing in Detroit Thursday. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had only two points in 12 February games. Ryan Whitney continues to be a healthy scratch as he has missed seven of the last 11 games. Taylor Hall returned after a suspension cost him two games.                                                                     

 FLORIDA

Games this week

vs. Winnipeg, @ Washington, vs. Winnipeg, @ Montreal

Notes

The Panthers play three games in four nights so you have to think that Scott Clemmensen will play at least once for Jose Theodore. Florida sent their goalie of the future, Jacob Markstrom back to the minors. They will be rested Sunday against Montreal as the Canadiens play at Tampa Bay Saturday. Kris Versteeg has missed nine games with a chest injury. Tomas Kopecky has six goals in his last seven games. Stephen Weiss has only one goal and four points in 15 games this season and is rumored to be on the trade block as he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in the off-season

LOS ANGELES

Games this week

vs. Nashville, vs. St. Louis, vs. Dallas, vs. Calgary

Notes

The Kings play three games in four nights this week. Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier have split the net evenly over the last eight games so look for more of the same this week. The rest has helped Quick as he has allowed only seven goals in his last four games after getting off to a rough start this season. The Kings are tired Tuesday when they play the Blues as Los Angeles hosts Nashville Monday and then are the rested team on Saturday when they entertain Calgary after the Flames are in Anaheim Friday. This week starts a five game home stand for Los Angeles. Jeff Carter has been hot of late as he is on a five game scoring streak to give him 11 in 18 games. Coach Darryl Sutter said that Carter has been the Kings best player since training camp. Anze Kopitar leads the Kings with 17 points in as many games.

MINNESOTA

Games this week

@ Chicago, @ Nashville, vs. Vancouver

Notes

The Wild are the rested team Saturday when they travel to Nashville as the Predators host the Oilers Friday. Minnesota then have to travel host to play the awaiting and rested Canucks Sunday. Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) has not been able to practice since going on the injured list Feb. 14 as the medical staff want to regulate his medication before allowing him to skate. The Wild have switched their lines around as Charlie Coyle has seen time on the top line with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise while Dany Heatley has been on the third unit alongside Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Mikael Granlund is getting time on the first power play unit in place of Heatley.

MONTREAL

Games this week

@ New York Islanders, @ Carolina, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida

Notes

The Canadiens play all four on the road including three games in four nights so look for Peter Budaj to play once in place of Carey Price. Montreal will be tired on Sunday in Florida after playing the Lightning Saturday. The Habs gave up Erik Cole to Dallas this week but got Michael Ryder and a third round pick in return. The move will help Montreal's offense but it could hurt them in the post-season as Cole was a gritty player and the Canadiens could be lacking in that area.  Raphael Diaz is out with a concussion. It was thought that Rene Bourque was out with the flu but he has a concussion as well.

NASHVILLE

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, vs. Edmonton, vs. Minnesota

Notes

The Predators are rested Friday when they host Edmonton who are in Detroit Thursday. The tables will be turned on Saturday as the Wild will be rested and likely watching the Oilers game the previous night.  Colin Wilson has been the Predators best offensive player this season with five goals and 15 points in 21 games. It's hard to believe that he leads the Preds in goals. The Predators need to start scoring. They are in fifth place in the West but are only two points out of 11th and have played more games than the teams below them. Nashville dealt Brian McGrattan to Calgary for defenseman Joe Piskula.

NEW JERSEY

Games this week

@ Toronto, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Buffalo, @ Carolina, vs. Winnipeg

Notes

The Devils play five times this week so I suggest activating all your New Jersey players in weekly transaction pools. Martin Brodeur is out with a bad back and if he is unable to go this week, look for Johan Hedberg to play three times with Keith Kinkaid getting the remainder of the starts. New Jersey will be the tired team on Sunday against the Jets after playing in Carolina Saturday. Andrei Loktionov has played well since his recall and has four points in five games. He could be worth looking at with the Devils playing so much this week. Jacob Josefson was returned to the minors after a one-game performance in which he was a minus-one.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Games this week

vs. Montreal, vs. New York Rangers, vs. Washington, @ Pittsburgh

Notes

The Islanders play three games in four nights during their four game week so look for Kevin Poulin to get one start in place of Evgeni Nabokov. The Islanders sent Rick DiPietro to the minors with the hope that he could return to his form of a few seasons ago, but DiPietro got himself into trouble by saying that he had been suicidal, a comment that he retracted later, saying he was joking. Keith Aucoin got off to a hot start on Long Island with four goals in his first seven games but has struggled of late and was made a healthy scratch this past week. John Tavares and Matt Moulson lead the Islanders with 25 and 23 points respectively but both are minus-eight.

NEW YORK RANGERS

Games this week

vs. Philadelphia, @ New York Islanders, vs. Ottawa, @ Washington

Notes

The Rangers play three games in four nights so you should look for Martin Biron to get one start with the great Henrik Lundqvist getting the remainder. The Rangers are rested Sunday when they face the Capitals after Washington plays on Long Island Saturday. Rick Nash returned to action Thursday after missing four games with an undisclosed injury and had a goal and an assist in his return. The Rangers sent Chris Kreider to the minors upon the return of Nash. New York also got Michael Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh back from injury Thursday so the Rangers are getting healthy. Marian Gaborik continues to slump with only one assist in his past six games.

OTTAWA     

Games this week

 @ Toronto, @New York Rangers

Notes

The Senators only play twice this week so again I suggest reserving all your Ottawa players in weekly pools, if you are able to do so. Who would have thought that Jim O'Brien (no relation as far as we know to Rotoworld's James O'Brien) would be the leading goal scorer among forwards for the Senators as the NHL approaches the half-way mark of the season. There were such high hopes for Peter Regin but he has struggled at the NHL level and has only two assists this season in 14 games. Robin Lehner was outstanding in his seasonal debut Thursday, stopping 44 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss to Boston. Milan Michalek has missed eight games with a knee injury but is very close to returning to action.

PHILADELPHIA

Games this week

@ New York Rangers, vs. Pittsburgh, @ Boston, vs. Buffalo

Notes

The Flyers play three games in four nights so expect to see Brian Boucher in net at least once for Ilya Bryzgalov. The Flyers are tired Sunday when they face Buffalo after playing in Boston Saturday. Simon Gagne was acquired by the Flyers on Tuesday and potted a goal in his first game back in action Wednesday. His former team, the Kings, had made him a healthy scratch the last 10 days so he was happy to be back with his former Flyer teammates and seeing some ice time. Matt Read is back skating but is still a long way from returning to action as he recovers from a tear to his rib-cage muscle. Scott Hartnell has a goal and two assists in three games since returning from a broken foot on February 23.

PHOENIX

Games this week

vs. Anaheim, @ Anaheim, vs. St. Louis, vs. Dallas

Notes

The Coyotes play three games in four nights and Jason LaBarbera should see playing time at least once instead of Mike Smith. The Coyotes are tired on Thursday when they host St. Louis after playing in Anaheim Wednesday. Martin Hanzal is skating but has not played since February 18 with an upper body injury. The Coyotes play the Ducks three times in five nights with the latter two games this week so expect to see Kyle Chipchura and Paul Bissonnette to be in the penalty box for five minutes at a time. Mikkel Boedker is hot as he has two goals and seven points in his last six games and now leads the Coyotes with 15 points in 20 games. Radim Vrbata is close to returning after missing the last five games with a lower body injury.

PITTSBURGH

Games this week

vs. Tampa Bay, @ Philadelphia, @ Toronto, vs. New York Islanders

Notes

The Penguins play three games in four nights so look for Tomas Vokoun to get at least one start, taking the place of Marc-Andre Fleury. After a good start in which he gave up only nine goals in 124 shots and had a 3-1 record, Tomas Vokoun has been less than stellar of late as he is now 3-3-0 with a 3.26 GAA and a .891 save percentage.  He has allowed three or more goals in six of his seven starts. Evgeni Malkin (concussion) is skating and has been symptom-free since the weekend. Hopefully he will return to action quickly. Sidney Crosby is tied for the NHL scoring lead with Steve Stamkos at 31 points.

ST. LOUIS

Games this week

@ Los Angeles, @ Phoenix, @ San Jose, @ Anaheim

Notes

The Blues play three games in four nights so look for the struggling Brian Elliott to get one start instead of Jaroslav Halak.  The Blues are the rested team twice this week, first on Tuesday against the Kings who host Nashville Monday; and again on Thursday when in Phoenix after the Coyotes are in Anaheim Wednesday. St. Louis will be the tired team Sunday after playing in San Jose Saturday. Alex Pietrangelo has not picked up a point in his last six games. If you are looking for penalty minutes, Ryan Reaves has 49 thus far. Andy McDonald is week-to-week and on the injured reserve list with a left knee injury. Alexander Steen is day-to-day with an upper body injury.

SAN JOSE

Games this week

@ Vancouver, vs. Calgary, vs. St. Louis, @ Colorado

Notes

The Sharks will be the tired team twice this week, first on Wednesday when they host Calgary after playing in Vancouver Tuesday and then again on Sunday in Colorado after playing host to the Blues on Saturday.  Ryane Clowe returned to action on Thursday after being suspended for two games and found himself on the third line with Tim Kennedy and Michal Handzus. He has six points and 68 penalty minutes in 17 games but will lose some fantasy relevance if he remains on the third unit. Antti Niemi has been great this season with a 8-4-4 record, a 1.88 GAA and a .933 save percentage.

TAMPA BAY

Games this week

@ Pittsburgh, @ New Jersey, vs. Winnipeg, vs. Montreal

Notes

Mathieu Garon should get one start in place of Anders Lindback as the Lightning play three games in four nights. Vincent Lecavalier has only two goals in his last 13 games while Martin St. Louis scored his first goal in seven games Thursday. Ryan Malone is still out of the lineup but hopes to return early in the week from a lower body injury. Steve Stamkos was the NHL's second star of the week and is now tied for the scoring lead with Sidney Crosby and leads the league in goals with 14. Cory Conacher had his six game scoring streak end on Thursday. He has 18 points in 19 games to lead all rookies.

TORONTO

Games this week

vs. New Jersey, vs. Ottawa, @ Boston, vs. Pittsburgh

Notes

The Maple Leafs play three games in four nights. James Reimer and Ben Scrivens will split the net this week. Toronto will be the tired team Thursday in Boston as the Maple Leafs host Ottawa Wednesday. Nazem Kadri picked up his first NHL hat trick on Thursday and leads the team in points with 21 in 22 games. Not bad for someone who was on the bubble to make the team at the start of training camp. John-Michael Liles has been a healthy scratch for the last seven games. Matt Frattin should be back at some point this week, possibly even the New Jersey game so activate him if you think he'll play in all four games.

VANCOUVER

Games this week

vs. San Jose, @ Columbus, @ Minnesota

Notes

The Canucks are rested Sunday when they are in Minnesota as the Wild play in Nashville Saturday. Ryan Kesler's tough season continues as he is out four-six weeks with a broken foot. His place on the first power play may be taken by rookie Jordan Schroeder. Cory Schneider continues to struggle as he has now given up at least three goals in four straight games. Roberto Luongo gave up eight to the Red Wings in his last outing so the Canucks goaltending has not been great of late but his GAA is still only 2.11. Henrik Sedin played in his 600th consecutive game earlier in the week.  Alex Burrows has five goals and 11 points and is a plus-seven with 26 penalty minutes.

WASHINGTON

Games this week

vs. Boston, vs. Florida, @ New York Islanders, vs. New York Rangers

Notes

The Capitals play three games in four nights this week so expect to see Michal Neuvirth play once in place of Braden Holtby. Neuvirth has not played since Feb. 7 so he is due to see the net. The Capitals will be tired Sunday when they face the Rangers as they play in Long Island Saturday. Mike Ribeiro continues to shine for the Capitals as he has six goals and 22 points including five goals and eight assists on the power play. He also has 28 penalty minutes to give him value in that category. Washington inked Holtby and John Erskine to two-year deals.

 WINNIPEG

Games this week

@ Florida, @ Tampa Bay, @ Florida, @ New Jersey

Notes

The Jets play three games in four nights this week as they are on the road for all four. Look for  Al Montoya to get at least one start from Ondrej Pavelec this week as he has returned from a lower body injury. The Jets will have Saturday off before taking on New Jersey but the Devils will be tired after playing in Carolina Saturday. Winnipeg plays the Panthers twice this week so look for Chris Thorburn to add to his penalty minute count. Andrew Ladd leads the Jets in goals and points with 12 and 20 respectively.  Good news in that Zach Redmond has been released from hospital after a life-threatening laceration to his leg. His season is over but he is recovering.

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