It was an extremely busy day on the National Hockey League ice, as it seems everyone wanted to play Tuesday so they can enjoy Halloween on Wednesday night. There is just one game scheduled for when the little ghouls and goblins will be circulating the neighborhood looking for treats. There were plenty of outstanding performances for fantasy owners on Tuesday night, especially in the New Jersey-Tampa Bay game, which ended up being a fantasy fiesta. The best part about Tuesday's outstanding performances is that the top fantasy stars weren't exactly early-round draft picks in most pools. Let's get started!
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Tuesday's Fantasy Five
As mentioned, the Devils-Lightning game was an offensive showcase with several big performance for fantasy owners. Brayden Point of the Lightning was a standout player, however, recording a goal with a career-high five points, a plus-4 rating and two shots on goal in the team's 8-3 home victory. He was also dynamic in the faceoff circle, winning 10 of 14 chances at the dot. Point is now up to seven goals with 14 points through 11 contests and he has been even or positive in the plus/minus category in all 11 of his games, posting a plus-9 rating. He hasn't had consecutive scoreless games all season, as he is hurtling towards a second straight All-Star appearance.
Dylan Larkin was the difference in the team's 5-3 victory on the road against the Columbus Blue Jackets, racking up two goals with an assist, a plus-1 rating and a game-high seven shots on goal. He also spent two minutes in the sin bin, pleasing owners in leagues rewarding bad behavior. In addition, he was 14-for-25 (56.0 percent) in the faceoff circle, helping the Red Wings to a rare road win. Heck, it was a rare win overall for Detroit, who is still just 3-7-2 with eight points after the victory. He was one of four young guns to score for the Red Wings, as Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha and Michael Rasmussen also etched their names onto the scoresheet with one goal apiece.
Devin Shore isn't exactly a player most fantasy owners flock to on draft day, or even off the waiver wire during the season. However, he picked up a shorthanded goal with two assists, a plus-2 rating, three hits and a faceoff win in his only chance during 13:12 of ice time in a 4-1 victory on the road against the Montreal Canadiens. Esa Lindell got into the act for Dallas with a power-play goal, assisted by Shore, while he also had a helped on Miro Heiskanen's even-strength marker halfway through the first period. Shore started out a bit slow, with just one goal over his first six contests. However, he has emerged as a useful option in deeper pools and as a sleeper in DFS with a goal and seven points with a plus-5 rating over his past five contests.
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Eric Staal was once one of the most feared pivots in the NHL during his time with the Carolina Hurricanes. He has bounced around a little bit during the twilight years of his career, but he can still be a very dangerous score on some nights. He was good for a goal, two assists and a hit over 18:00 of ice time in Tuesday's razor-thin 4-3 victory on the road against the Edmonton Oilers. The 34-year-old has warmed it up lately with a pair of multi-point games over his past three outings, totaling two power-play goals and three assists during the impressive span. He is showing he still has plenty left in the tank and is a worthy No. 3 center in most fantasy pools of 12 or more teams.
Ben Bishop shut down the surprisingly effective Montreal Canadiens, dropping them to a still fairly impressive 6-3-2 record over the past 11 outings. Bishop let in just one goal on 35 shots to secure another win, moving to 5-4-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average and .925 save percentage through his nine starts. Really, he has had just one poor appearance this season when he yielded six goals to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 9 at home. Outside of that, he has allowed three or fewer goals over his other eight appearances, including two or fewer goals in four of his past five outings. He has re-emerged as a solid low-end No. 1 backstop in most pools.
Fantasy Game of the Night
There wasn't much debate on the most prolific fantasy game of the evening. The New Jersey Devils and Tampa Bay Lightning combined for 11 total goals, so this game was easily the most beneficial to fantasy owners. That is, of course, if you were not using Keith Kinkaid for any reason. The Jersey backstop let in seven goals in 38 shots before finally getting the hook, allowing Cory Schneider to finish up the final 15 minutes. He also let in a goal on six shots, as the Lightning were humming all night. Niko Hischier also had a forgettable night, going scoreless with a minus-4. Miles Wood was the fantasy standout on offense for New Jersey, posting a goal with an assist. The 100th pick overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft hadn't had a multi-point game since the opener on Oct. 6 against Edmonton. Win or lose, Kyle Palmieri continues to chug along, posting his ninth goal of the season with 14 points to serve as an obvious must-start in most pools. Sami Vatanen is starting to feel more comfortable in his new surroundings, posting five shots on goal for the third consecutive outing. He has two assists with a plus-3 rating and 15 SOG over the past three contests.
We mentioned Point above, but he was far from the only positive fantasy producer on a night the Lightning lit the lamp eight different times. Nikita Kucherov was able to light the lamp twice while chipping in with an assist, a plus-1 rating, a blocked shot and a hit over his 15:05 of ice time. After going scoreless in his first two games, he has five goals and 12 points across the past nine outings. Brayden Coburn also had a pair of goals, while Steven Stamkos was up to his usual tricks with a marker and a pair of helpers. Yanni Gourde and Ryan McDonagh joined 'Kooch' in the three-point club, as Gourde registered three assists and McDonagh posted a goal with two helpers. Gourde and Tyler Johnson each checked in with an impressive plus-4 rating, too, which is an often overlooked an underappreciated stat in fantasy hockey. Johnson also had a goal and an assist in the rout. Fantasy players on high-octane offenses like Tampa Bay can register big-time points. Unfortunately for me, I checked in scoreless with a minus-3 rating in my C League game in Cary, N.C. tonight. I am only worthy of fantasy consideration in Bizarro formats - ha.
Quick Hits: Sean Monahan picked up a pair of assists with a plus-2 rating, while David Rittich continues to play well when given the chance, allowing just one goal with 28 shots in a 2-1 overtime road win against Buffalo. … Johnny Gaudreau sent the home folks away sad when he buried the game-winning tally to beat Carter Hutton. … Mathew Barzal logged just 16:13 of ice time, but he was good for a pair of assists. Jordan Eberle notched a pair of goals in the team's 6-3 win in the Steel City. … Matt Martin excited his fantasy owners with a goal, an assist, a plus-1 rating and two hits in just 11:21 of ice time. Normally he is known more for the physical stuff, but occasionally he breaks through on the scoresheet, too. … Jamie Oleksiak is enjoying quite the start, although he might be a sell-high candidate since he hasn't really had this kind of offensive success in the past. He picked up two more assists with a plus-1 rating, a blocked shot and three hits. He is working on a four-game point streak, posting two goals with six points and a ridiculous plus-10 rating. … Patrice Bergeron helped out on each of Boston's goals in their 3-2 victory in Carolina. Brad Marchand lit the lamp twice for the visitors, including the even-strength game-winning tally at 5:23 of the third period. … Micheal Ferland and Dougie Hamilton lit up the Carolina power play, and Hamilton's goal was especially sweet against his former organization. … David Pastrnak hit for a power-play goal midway through the second, his 11th tally of the season. … Pontus Aberg poked in two goals against the visiting Flyers, and if he continues at this rate he is going to make a name for himself. That's back-to-back goals with a pair of markers for the 25-year-old Swede. … Chris Kreider was also in the two-goal club, posting a strong plus-3 rating in the 4-3 shootout win at San Jose. … Timo Meier and Brent Burns each had a goal and assist in the loss to the Blueshirts. Both players are enjoying a career-high nine-game point streak, too. … Robin Lehner allowed two goals on 25 shots before checking out due to an undisclosed injury, although he still ended up as the winning goalie in Pittsburgh. … Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, giving him 10 points over the past five games. Remember when fantasy owners were wringing their hands because it took him a few games out of the box to notch his first goal?