Marc-Andre Fleury returned to action Saturday, so the Penguins had to send Matt Murray back to the AHL. Murray proved he is ready for NHL competition by posting a 2-1-1 record along with a .938 save percentage and a 1.72 GAA. He will probably back up Fleury next year. Fleury stopped 38 shots in a 5-2 win over the Islanders in his first game since Dec. 14. As it turns out, Sergei Bobrovsky isn't ready to come back from his groin injury, so you could still be in the market for a goaltender.
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Jacob Markstrom (VAN) - G - Owned in 8% of Yahoo leagues
Ryan Miller may return this week after leaving the lineup on Dec. 20 because of muscle cramps. It's believed that he could have a groin ailment and there is some concern that the veteran goaltender can't handle a heavy workload anymore. He has also disappointed this year with a .909 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average. Enter Markstrom, who has a .921 save percentage and a 2.43 GAA on the season and three wins in four starts since Miller got hurt. When Miller is able to return this has the potential to turn into a timeshare situation and Markstrom could push him for playing time.
Ryan Spooner (BOS) - C, LW - Owned in 21% of Yahoo leagues
David Krejci is listed as week-to-week with an upper-body injury after he was injured Dec. 27 against Ottawa. He is on injured reserve and the Bruins have moved Spooner into a top-six spot to replace him. Spooner flourished last season when he filled in for Krejci and he has picked up three assists in two games this year after Krejci's injury. The 23-year-old has eight goals and 25 points in 37 matches.
Mike Ribeiro (NSH) - C - Owned in 18% of Yahoo leagues
Ribeiro is having his most productive stretch of the season with nine points in his past seven outings. He racked up one goal and seven helpers during a four-game scoring spree from Dec. 19 to Dec. 28. Ribeiro is playing with Craig Smith, who is beginning to generate points again, and Filip Forsberg, who heated up in December after a sluggish start. They are key players to Nashville's offense and they appear to be getting back on track.
Aleksander Barkov (FLA) - C - Owned in 42% of Yahoo leagues
If Barkov is available on waivers then snatch him up immediately. I was surprised to see that he is owned in less than 50% of leagues. He has notched 11 goals and 23 points in 28 games with the surging Panthers. Barkov finished December with five markers and five assists in seven appearances. The 20-year-old center is living up to his potential as the second overall pick in the 2013 draft and Florida is working on getting him locked up to a new contract.
Carl Soderberg (COL) - C, LW - Owned in 20% of Yahoo leagues
Soderberg has provided the Avalanche with exactly the kind of play the team was hoping for when he was signed last summer. He has provided the team with depth scoring and he has done it mostly without playing alongside high-caliber talent. He has been skating with Gabriel Landeskog lately, which will add to his value if that duo remains intact. Soderberg registered 11 points in 14 games in December and he's on pace for his first 50-point season in the NHL.
Charlie Coyle (MIN) - C, RW - Owned in 9% of Yahoo leagues
Coyle is starting to look like the power forward that Minnesota hoped he would be. He is playing with plenty of confidence now after recording four goals and four assists in his last eight games. Coyle has been clicking with Nino Niederreiter, but he was promoted to a line with Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker on Saturday night. The 23-year-old forward is still a work in progress, but his encouraging play could allow him to flirt with the 50-point mark if he carries his momentum into the second half of the campaign.
Sean Couturier (PHI) - C - Owned in 4% of Yahoo leagues
Couturier vastly improved his numbers in December after a troubling start to the season. He had two goals and five points in 18 contests going into the month, but he bounced back with four goals and 10 points in 12 games. Couturier also got back to positive plus-minus rating by posting a plus-8 during those December contests. He has played well between a resurgent Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds. The trio has been Philadelphia's best line and Couturier has looked good while recording three goals and four assists in his last seven outings.
Jonathan Bernier (TOR) - G - Owned in 30% of Yahoo leagues
If Bernier is available then he's worth gambling on at this time. There is obviously some risk when it comes to his play, but he has looked very good in wins over St. Louis and Pittsburgh in his last two starts. The Leafs will be cautious with James Reimer, who is close to returning from a groin injury, which will give Bernier more opportunities to play. Toronto's upcoming schedule isn't easy, so tread cautiously if you choose to use him.
Artem Anisimov (CHI) - C, LW - Owned in 29% of Yahoo leagues
Anisimov likely lost favor with plenty of fantasy GMs after his eight-game scoring drought from Dec. 6 to Dec. 19, but it looks like he is getting back on track. He has scored in consecutive games and has three goals in his last five. Coach Joel Quenneville is always tinkering with his lines, but the one combination he leaves alone is Anisimov between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin.
Mikkel Boedker (ARI) - LW, RW - Owned in 32% of Yahoo leagues
Boedker and the Coyotes will start talking about a contract extension this month. He has been trying to up his value with one goal, 17 shots and six assists in his last five games. Boedker's minus-15 rating is a bit of an issue, but he has 30 points in 38 contests and he's been a steady producer for the Coyotes this year.