The night had some high-stakes games, as teams continue to fight for their playoff lives. I was in attendance at the Pittsburgh Penguins-Carolina Hurricanes game, and it had a playoff-like feel. I can only imagine that the atmosphere was very similar in the Montreal Canadiens-Philadelphia Flyers game, as well as the Colorado Avalanche-Minnesota Wild battle in the Twin Cities. Almost every game on Tuesday's slate had some kind of playoff implications, and if you watched any of the games, it certainly felt like April and May hockey rather than mid-March. Let's get started!
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Tuesday's Fantasy Five
Tyler Seguin erupted for four assists and a plus-3 rating in Tuesday's 4-2 home win against the Florida Panthers to make his fantasy owners smile. Head coach Jim Montgomery didn't like the start by his team, so he reunited Seguin with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov, and the three highest scorers on the Dallas roster immediately clicked, combining for 10 points. Radulov scored two goals in the third period, including the game-winning tally, while adding an assist, and Benn was good for a goal, three points a blocked shot and a hit. Fantasy owners will want to see this trio kept together, and after this big performance, Montgomery would be a fool to break this cash line apart.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are in freefall, and the way they're going it's unlikely they're going to have a very deep run in the playoffs. If they do snap back into form and make a run to the Stanley Cup playoffs, they'll be cheering for the Nashville Predators to get knocked out. Pekka Rinne has accounted for four shutouts this season, with two coming in the season series sweep of the Leafs. Rinne has had great contributions from his defense, too, as he faced just 22 shots in this one, and a total of 40 shots across the two contests against TML.
Rinne wasn't the only goaltender doing big things. Ben Bishop has been on fire lately, going 6-0-0 with a 0.55 goals-against average and .980 save percentage over his past six starts while posting three turnovers. Bishop saw his 2:33:04 shutout streak come to a close early in the first period when Aleksander Barkov scored the first of his two goals on the night, but that's all Bishop would allow. Montgomery pulled the right combination with his top scoring line back together, and they provided all the offense Bishop would need. The Stars are riding Bishop to a possible playoff spot, and fantasy owners are enjoying his exploits in their postseason, too.
Like Rinne and Bishop above, Carey Price was also on point in the City of Brotherly Love in a battle with plenty of playoff implications in the Eastern Conference. Price has been hard on the Flyers this season, going 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .968 save percentage in two starts. If Philadelphia ends up missing the playoffs, and they've lost four valuable points against Price and Montreal, fans in Philly will be cursing the goaltender's name for the offseason and beyond.
Barkov was the only player able to solve Bishop in nearly four full games of action. The Dallas goaltender has been unconscious lately, but so has Barkov. Sasha registered two goals in the Metroplex, and he has rolled up four goals and 17 points with a plus-7 rating over the past seven outings. He has been red-hot on the power play, too, cashing in two goals and four assists on the man advantage during the outstanding span.
Fantasy Game of the Day
The big fantasy production of the night came from the St. Louis Blues, as they lit the lamp seven times on the overwhelmed Edmonton Oilers. Jaden Schwartz led the way with the only hat trick across Tuesday's NHL slate, and he added an assist with a plus-3 rating. He might not be a household name outside of 'The Lou', but he has managed four career hat tricks, all just since Oct. 17, 2018. He had a goal in each period in this one. Tyler Bozak and David Perron were in the three-point club, taking different paths to get there. Bozak posted three apples with a plus-2 rating, while Perron was good for two goals, three points and a plus-2 rating across 19:22 of ice time. Alex Pietrangelo also got on the board with a goal and an assist while piling up three blocked shots and two hits. Fantasy owners have been wringing their hands hoping for a night like this, as he had no goals and an assist in his previous six outings. Oskar Sundqvist also got into the multi-point club with a pair of helpers and a plus-1 rating. The Swedish pivot has a goal and three points over the past three games, but his fantasy appeal remains limited to deeper formats. It was way more support than Jordan Binnington could possibly need. He allowed just two goals on 17 shots to cruise to another win, improving to 18-4-1 with a 1.78 GAA and .930 save percentage. Jordan 'Winnington' is just showing no signs of slowing down. Patrick Maroon also scored against his former team, giving him a fourth goal in the past six outings. Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) returned after a five-game absence and was blanked on five shots, although St. Louis still fared pretty well with any offense from Tarasenko or Ryan O'Reilly.
For the Oilers side of the ledger, it wasn't so much who was doing what on offense. It was who wasn't scoring. It's a rarity when both Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid are blanked in the same game. McDavid entered the day with an eight-game multi-point scoring streak and a 12-game point streak overall. That's done, thanks to Binnington. Draisaitl entered the day with 16 goals and 29 points across his past 21 games, but again…Binnington. Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were the goal scorers for the Oil, and Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson and Milan Lucic were able to etch their names onto the stat sheet with assists, but it wasn't a big offensive night. Mikko Koskinen allowed three goals on 20 shots, while Anthony Stolarz yielded four goals on 24 shots, as neither goaltender had any answers for the Blues.
Quick Hits:Sean Kuraly registered a pair of goals with a plus-3 rating and six shots on net for his first career-multi goal game in the regular season. He once lit the lamp twice in a playoff game against the Ottawa Senators in his rookie campaign. … David Pastrnak (thumb) was back after a 16-game, but he went scoreless. Still, feel confident plugging him back into the lineup across the board. … Jake DeBrusk scored another goal, giving him nine goals and 16 points with a plus-8 rating over the past 12 outings. He has goals in nine of the past 12 contests. … Kris Letang (upper body) returned from an 11-game absence, and he was able to score with a plus-1 rating. He also logged a two-minute penalty for a slash in overtime and a 10-minute game misconduct for his misdeed on a breakaway by Sebastian Aho. … Jake Guentzel posted two points with a plus-2 rating. He had 38 goals over his first 122 NHL games, but he is up to 37 goals and 70 points across 74 games this season to emerge as a fantasy star. … Dougie Hamilton managed an assist and plus-1 rating, and he was the only scorer in the three-round shootout. He also had seven shots, giving him at least one shot in 237 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NHL. … Andreas Athanasiou logged two more goals with a plus-2 rating, giving him back-to-back two-goal games. He has six goals, eight points and a plus-4 rating over the past seven, as he looks like he has the goods to be a fantasy mainstay for years to come. … Taro Hirose picked up an assist in his NHL debut for the Red Wings. He was signed as a college free agent out of Michigan State. He posted 15 goals and 50 points as a junior to lead the NCAA, and he is up for Big Ten Player of the Year honors, as well as the Hobey Baker award. … Jacob De La Rose left in the second period against the Rangers due to an accelerated heartbeat, and he was hospitalized. … Max Domi had a goal and an assist with a plus-2 rating. He has 25 goals and 39 assists with a plus-14 rating, both career highs. … Sean Couturier managed his 30th goal of the season, giving him back-to-back 30-goal campaigns. … Pheonix Copley picked up a win, allowing just one goal on 21 shots to improve to 16-5-3 with a .288 GAA and .906 save percentage across 22 starts and 25 appearances. … Ken Agostino was the only player to beat Copley, and he has three goals and six points over the past six games to emerge as an option in deeper pools. … Ryan Johansen extended his point streak to five games, posting two helpers to give him no goals and six assists during the streak. He hasn't scored a goal in 12 games since Feb. 9, but is still being rather productive. … Tyson Barrie posted a goal with a plus-2 rating, and he has three goals and an assist over the past three. … Philipp Grubauer managed to allow just one goal on 37 shots to pick up the win, moving to 13-9-3 with a 2.83 GAA and .907 save percentage overall. … David Rittich yielded just two goals on 33 shots to deal Columbus a costly blow, as they try to stay above the cut line for a wild-card spot. Rittich improved to 26-7-5 with a 2.63 GAA and .911 save percentage in 39 starts and 42 appearances. … Matthew Tkachuk posted a goal with a plus-1 rating, giving him seven goals and 11 points over the past five outings. He'll face his brother Brady Tkachuk in Thursday's game vs. the Ottawa Senators. … Mark Giordano posted an assist with a plus-1 rating with two blocked shots and a hit. He was playing in his 826th game, tying Robyn Regehr for the second-most games played by a rearguard in Calgary franchise history.