Wednesday’s five-game docket opens with an intriguing matchup of two teams that are struggling in corresponding fashion. The Senators can’t keep the puck of their own net and the Islanders can’t score. Since Jan. 2, New York ranks one notch up from the basement (currently occupied by the Coyotes) with an average of 1.70 goals/game while Ottawa sits dead last in goals-allowed (4.50/game). Something’s got to give here. Either Cam Talbot (projected) manages to hold the opposition to a pair or fewer, or the Islanders’ offense finally erupts (in relative terms). Knowing the Sens’ scoring corps hasn’t been terribly productive of late either, Ilya Sorokin (projected) is in decent enough position to earn his first win in 11 days and only third of this month.
Elsewhere, Toronto hosts New York’s other team in a highly anticipated matchup potentially pitting goaltending pals and training partners Ilya Samsonov and Igor Shesterkin against one another. Samsonov, in particular, appears extremely pumped to stare down his buddy from across the rink in what sets up to be a more modest scoring affair. The cream of the Metropolitan crop faces its equally impressive Central counterparts when the Canes travel to Dallas. Please know that Frederik Andersen is a perfect 4-0 with a .942 SV% and 1.75 GAA in returning after a lengthy absence. The schedule wraps up with two theoretically wild affairs when the Blue Jackets visit the sizzling Oilers, and the Canucks travel to Seattle, new Vancouver coach and all.
All times Eastern.
Favorable scoring matchups
8 p.m., Rogers Place
This serves as the first meeting between a team that’s averaging 5.17 goals/game during an active six-game winning streak and another that ranks 30th in goals-allowed all season. Oh, and the Blue Jackets have three road wins to show for 2022-23 thus far. Just remember, no Evander Kane in this contest. The just-returned sniper is away on legal business. As such, I like off-radar fantasy asset Ryan McLeod as third-banana on a scoring line with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. Forward Dylan Holloway is also expected to get another go on a unit with Connor McDavid.
10 p.m., Climate Pledge Arena, Watch live on ESPN+
Back on Oct. 27, the Canucks and Kraken combined for nine goals with Vancouver eventually emerging as 5-4 victor. In round two on Dec. 22, 11 total goals with Seattle falling once more by a single 6-5. Even if Rick Tocchet manages to tighten up his new club defensively as committed, fat chance he succeeds in that task by Wednesday night. Play your fantasy Canucks, play your fantasy Kraken. Only keep in mind that Jaden Schwartz is expected out for the home side, and Yanni Gourde and Andre Burakovsky are iffy.
Midtier fantasy forwards
Teuvo Teravainen, Carolina Hurricanes (Rostered in 58.9% of ESPN.com leagues): Tucked back on the top line with Max Pacioretty (sadly) out of the Hurricanes’ equation, Teravainen is spooling back up into the productive asset to which fantasy managers have become accustomed. Averaging more than 18 minutes of ice-time, the 28-year-old has a goal and three assists to show for his past three contests. That’s more like it.
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value forwards
Sheldon Dries, Vancouver Canucks (0.1%): Skating on a fresh Tocchet-assembled unit with J.T. Miller and Conor Garland, the AHL regular scored his sixth of the season and earned five penalty minutes against the Blackhawks on Monday. I also like Jack Studnicka as a sleepy asset alongside Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, if the youngster manages to stick in that role.
Midtier fantasy defensemen
Deep league/Daily Fantasy value defensemen
Andrew Peeke, Columbus Blue Jackets (1.9%): In leagues that value shot-blocking and hits, and in those leagues alone.
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (34.2%): Or Jack Campbell (65.0%), whoever ends up starting for the Oilers on this occasion. Columbus’ top line is a concern — both Patrik Laine and Johnny Gaudreau have enjoyed their fair share of success against Edmonton as members of their respective former Canadian clubs — but there’s not enough scoring depth on the Blue Jackets to worry about otherwise.