After Thursday’s torrid schedule, we’re settling in for a much lighter slate Friday, featuring staggered start times, thank you NHL, and headlined by a replay of last year’s playoff affair between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, live on ESPN+ and Hulu. While the prospect of Steven Stamkos and his league-leading six goals have a go of it in Sunrise certainly holds appeal, it’s the other two tilts that might provide the most fantasy bang for your buck between the pipes.
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All times Eastern.
Favorable scoring match-ups
9pm, Ball Arena, Watch live on ESPN+
The biggest issue of concern is that the Avs may already be looking forward to Saturday’s contest in Vegas. But even with that minor distraction, the Stanley Cup Champs shouldn’t have too much trouble scoring against the sixth most generous team in the league. Through a handful of games each, Seattle is allowing an average of 4.00 goals, while Colorado ranks fourth with 4.25 scored. Valeri Nichushkin and Co. are producing on the power play more than any other team in the league, while the Kraken sport the 29th worst penalty kill. Roll out your finest fantasy figures from a Denver side that should remain focussed enough. In whatever fantasy format you fancy.
8:30pm, United Center, Watch live on ESPN+
It’s been a bit of a tough week for Derek Lalonde’s crew, having lost both Tyler Bertuzzi (injury) and Jakub Vrana (personal) for indeterminate stretches of time. A trip to Chicago to face the rebuilding Blackhawks should help this dynamic offense regain some of their mojo, led by a potential new top forward pairing of Dylan Larkin and David Perron.
Mid-tier fantasy forwards
Artturi Lehkonen, LW/RW, Colorado Avalanche (63.7%): Since teammate Nichushkin no longer qualifies as a mid-tier asset, and for good reason, Lehkonen shines alone in this category for the Avalanche. Point-less in his last couple, the top-line and power-play winger stands a very reasonable chance of rebounding in productive fashion against the visiting Kraken. He launched the campaign with two goals and two assists through his first two contests.
Artturi Lehkonen scores power-play goal vs. Blackhawks
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forwards
Dominik Kubalik, LW/RW, Detroit Red Wings (5.1%): With Bertuzzi and Vrana absent, the ex-Blackhawk settles on the Wings’ new top line and power play with Larkin and Perron. I like Kubalik a lot as a fantasy asset in this first regular season tilt with his former team. Especially in such a privileged position.
Mid-tier fantasy defensemen
Gustav Forsling, Florida Panthers (31.0%): With Aaron Ekblad shelved infinitely and Brandon Montour still banged up, Forsling is tasked with picking up some offensive slack in Florida. The power-play asset has four points on 14 shots in his past three contests. He’s also playing a ton of minutes, out of necessity.
Adam Larsson, Seattle Kraken (67.0%): Seattle’s top fantasy defenseman can be counted on to shoot the puck, block some shots, and throw some hits. Those stats alone have added up nicely for Larsson to date. A goal or assist should be considered extra fantasy icing.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value defensemen
Connor Murphy, Chicago Blackhawks (7.5%): The Chicago defender is useful in fantasy leagues that reward hits and blocked-shots. Like Larsson in Seattle, Murphy will toss in the odd point here and there as well.
Alexandar Georgiev, Colorado Avalanche (83.3%): After two solid wins to launch 2022-23, the Avalanche’s No. 1 lost a tough one in overtime to the Jets on Wednesday. With the help of one of the league’s best defensive corps, Georgiev has a ripe opportunity to make amends against a team that doesn’t score that much. And if coach Jared Bednar chooses to roll with Pavel Francouz instead in the first of this weekend’s back-to-back, Colorado’s No. 2 is also a good fantasy option.
Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings (6.3%): Or Ville Husso. Whoever starts against Chicago on Friday. Only the Sharks have had worst luck putting the puck in the net this year.
Petr Mrazek, Chicago Blackhawks (44.1%): While the Blackhawks’ No. 1 was good against the struggling Sharks earlier this week, he was much less so in his previous contest in Denver. On Friday, I worry we might be in for a similar showing to the season opener against the Avalanche. Detroit’s refurbished offense can score.