Saturday Daily Puck: Sharp, Shooter
Saturday Daily Puck: Sharp, Shooter

This article is part of our The Daily Puck series.

Patrick Marleau scored his 500th career goal Thursday, hitting an admittedly arbitrary round-number milestone, but an impressive one nonetheless. He's the second player to tally his 500th goal this season, Marian Hossa having lit the lamp to hit the milestone earlier. Marleau feels a bit like a forgotten man these days, despite the fact he's notched 19 goals this season. Granted, he only has nine assists, and he's 37 and at the end of his career, but that's still impressive. What makes Marleau's 500th goal so notable, beyond the sheer accomplishment, is the fact he scored every last one of his goals with the Sharks. After being drafted second overall by San Jose in 1997, he's never left the Sharks, having played 1,463 regular season games for them. There had been talk of him being traded at some point, but hopefully that is no longer in the cards. Marleau should play every game of his career with the Sharks. He's San Jose's greatest legend, his number will be retired by the team, and it would be cool for him to be one of those players who plays his entire (likely Hall of Fame) career with one team.

Featured Matchups
Capitals (PP: 13, PK: 5) at Canadiens (PP: 2, PK: 22), 1:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Braden Holtby (25-8-4, 1.99, .929), Carey Price (23-11-5, 2.33, .922)
Key Injuries:Brendan Gallagher (hand)

This is a battle of two of the best goalies in the NHL. While Price had some struggles there briefly, over his last five starts he has a .936 save percentage, so he seems to have found his form. However, it's the Capitals who have allowed the fewest goals per game in the league, and their penalty kill will challenge Montreal's impressive power play. Having Alex Galchenyuk back definitely helps Montreal with the extra man, and in general. After returning from a lengthy injury absence, he missed three games heading into the All-Star break. He did return Thursday against the Flyers, though, picking up an assist in the process. Shea Weber leads the Habs with 10 power-play goals. He only has 12 goals total, so Washington's penalty kill could keep his offense in check. Paul Byron is second on Montreal in goals with 14, but he also has a 22.2 shooting percentage. His production will likely be curtailed once regression hits. T.J. Oshie has been stellar since New Year's Eve. While he's missed two games since then, he's still notched 19 points over 15 games in that time.

Kings (PP: 21, PK: 7) at Flyers (PP: 9, PK: 19), 1:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Peter Budaj (24-14-3, 2.01, .922), Steve Mason (16-16-6, 2.90, .900)
Key Injuries:Matt Greene (undisclosed), Jordan Nolan (lower body), Jonathan Quick (groin), Tyler Toffoli (lower body), Michael Del Zotto (lower body)

The Kings have allowed the fewest shots on goal per game in the league (25.8), so it could be a rough game for the Flyers. Philadelphia has taken 31.3 shots on goal per contest, so their offense has been impressive overall. You can't say the same thing about their goaltending. Mason's numbers may be bad, but they are decidedly better than the numbers of his backup Michal Neuvirth (3.00 GAA, .888 save percentage). Jeff Carter has been carrying the Kings offensively. He has 26 goals and 46 points. Only one other King has double-digit goals, and that's Tanner Pearson with 15. Carter's 46 points are 15 more than Anze Kopitar, who is second in points for Los Angeles. Jake Muzzin doesn't have as many points as Drew Doughty or Alec Martinez, but his 113 shots on goal rank third on the Kings. Here's a weird fact about the Flyers; not a single player on the team has a positive plus/minus rating. Shayne Gostisbehere has particularly struggled, as he is a minus-19. Speaking of Ghost Bear, he doesn't have a goal in 27 games. After struggling last year thanks to an unlucky 5.2 shooting percentage, Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers with 45 points. His 14 goals is already three more than he had last season.

Maple Leafs (PP: 3, PK: 3) at Bruins (PP: 16, PK: 2), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Frederik Andersen (21-11-8, 2.67, .917), Tuukka Rask (25-13-4, 2.24, .914)
Key Injuries:Patrice Bergeron (knee), Tuukka Rask (groin), Joffrey Lupul (abdomen)

Toronto certainly has been impressive on special teams. Their penalty-kill prowess is particularly interesting, considering that they've allowed 32.1 shots on goal per game. After posting back-to-back shutouts, Andersen has allowed eight goals on 40 shots over his last two games. A rookie leads the Leafs in points, but it's not Auston Matthews. Mitch Marner has notched 42 points in 49 games, including 14 on the power play. Two Toronto players have hit the 20-goal mark. One is Matthews, who has 23, but the other is Nazem Kadri. It's easy to forget Kadri with all the young talent around him, but he's second on the team with 147 shots on goal. Rask's groin may be bothering him, but he's expected to play. That's good, because the two men who have primarily backed him up, Anton Khudobin and Zane McIntyre, both have GAAs over 3.00. Marchand is one of the leading scorers in the league, as he's notched 54 points in 54 games. That's partially because he plays in every situation. Not only does he have 17 power-play points, he has four points shorthanded as well. Ryan Spooner has an under-the-radar 11 power-play points. Torey Krug is the only Bruins blueliner who has contributed anything offensively. Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo are tied for second in defensive points with 12. However, Krug is only tied with those two with four goals, owing to Krug's 2.6 shooting percentage.

Other Matchups

Jets (PP: 15, PK: 26) at Avalanche (PP: 29, PK: 25), 3:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Ondrej Pavelec (4-2-0, 3.21, .901), Calvin Pickard (7-14-1, 3.10, .903)
Key Injuries:Erik Johnson (leg), Fedor Tyutin (groin), Semyon Varlamov (groin), Marko Dano (lower body), Tyler Myers (lower body), Drew Stafford (lower leg)

Both of these teams have been terrible defensively, with the Avalanche having allowed a league-worst 3.44 goals per game. However, Colorado also has scored a league worst 1.96 goals per game, so maybe the Avalanche won't take advantage of this matchup. You should be happy if you own Mark Scheifele (25 goals, 28 assists) or Patrik Laine (43 points in 46 games).

Senators (PP: 22, PK: 9) at Sabres (PP: 6, PK: 29), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Mike Condon (15-8-4, 2.51, .914), Robin Lehner (12-13-6, 2.62, .920)
Key Injuries:Zach Bogosian (abdomen), Josh Gorges (abdomen), Craig Anderson (personal)

This is a weird special teams matchup neither team is really capable of taking advantage of. However, Ottawa's Mike Hoffman does have 17 power-play points. Over his last 11 games, Evander Kane has notched 52 shots on goal.

Ducks (PP: 7, PK: 6) at Lightning (PP: 8, PK: 21), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:John Gibson (20-11-8, 2.28, .920), Ben Bishop (11-12-3, 2.83, .904)
Key Injuries:Simon Despres (head), Clayton Stoner (abdomen), Ryan Callahan (hip), Steven Stamkos (knee)

The Ducks have been decidedly better at goal prevention than the Lightning. Rickard Rakell has a whopping 21 goals in 41 games, but he also has an unsustainable 22.6 shooting percentage. After a slow start, Tyler Johnson now has more goals (16) and power-play points (14) than he had last season. However, he's also a disappointing minus-11.

Hurricanes (PP: 23, PK: 1) at Islanders (PP: 26, PK: 20), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Eddie Lack (1-2-1, 3.78, .856), Jean-Francois Berube (1-2-1, 2.82, .916)
Key Injuries:Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), Travis Hamonic (knee)

Both of these teams have a tendency to let their starting goalies, Cam Ward and Thomas Greiss, play on back-to-back days, so perhaps we won't actually see Lack and/or Berube in net. Although, Greiss just gave up five goals to the Wings, so perhaps he will get the night off. While Ward's goaltending has regressed after a hot start, and while Lack has been bad when healthy, Carolina still had the seventh-ranked penalty kill in January.

Devils (PP: 27, PK: 17) at Blue Jackets (PP: 1, PK: 7), 7:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Keith Kinkaid (6-6-2, 2.59, .920), Joonas Korpisalo (3-1-0, 3.57, .893)
Key Injuries:David Savard (back), Beau Bennett (lower body), Jon Merrill (upper body), John Moore (concussion)

Jack Johnson picked up two assists for Columbus on Friday. His role has largely been usurped by guys like Zach Werenski and Seth Jones. Johnson only has 15 points, although he is plus-14, which is unusually high for him. Cam Atkinson has 25 goals in 50 games, and is a real threat to lead the league in goals. Miles Wood picked up two helpers for the Devils on Friday. The 21-year-old rookie has seven goals and six assists in 33 games. He also played 3:13 on the power play Friday.

Penguins (PP: 4, PK: 24) at Blues (PP: 5, PK: 11), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Marc-Andre Fleury (13-7-4, 3.23, .904), Carter Hutton (7-7-2, 2.81, .896)
Key Injuries:Evgeni Malkin (knee), Conor Sheary (upper body), Kyle Brodziak (foot)

Kris Letang picked up his first points since returning from his latest injury, notching two assists against the Jackets on Friday. However, he was a bit overshadowed by Phil Kessel, who tallied three points, including a game-winning power-play goal. They will need that offensive firepower if Fleury is in net. It's concerning for the Blues that Hutton may be their best option in net. For all the reasons given for Ken Hitchcock being fired, the terrible play of St. Louis' goaltenders is probably the actual main reason.

Red Wings (PP: 30, PK: 18) at Predators (PP: 19, PK: 10), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Jared Coreau (5-2-3, 3.01, .901), Pekka Rinne (20-13-6, 2.34, .922)
Key Injuries:Jimmy Howard (knee), Steve Ott (shoulder), Brendan Smith (knee), Joe Vitale (concussion), Roman Josi (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (lower body)

Jimmy Howard is expected back soon, and it's possible he may even make his return in this game. Given Howard's .934 save percentage, that would certainly change things. After a six-game pointless streak, Anthony Mantha has three points in his last two games. Since returning from injury, P.K. Subban only has one point in six games. Nashville has also waived Mike Ribeiro, who has 25 points, seven on the power play.

Blackhawks (PP: 17, PK: 28) at Stars (PP: 18, PK: 30), 8:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Corey Crawford (19-12-3, 2.56, .917), Kari Lehtonen (11-14-6, 2.85, .902)
Key Injuries:Michal Rozsival (lower body), Ales Hemsky (hip), Mattias Janmark (knee), Johnny Oduya (lower body), Jamie Oleksiak (hand), Jason Spezza (undisclosed)

It's a battle of atrocious penalty kills. Artemi Panarin leads the Blackhawks with seven power-play goals and 15 power-play points. Tyler Seguin, unsurprisingly, leads the Stars with a whopping 19 power-play points. Brett Ritchie has surprisingly put 108 shots on goal in 50 games even though he only has averaged 12:34 per game in ice time.

Wild (PP: 11, PK: 12) at Canucks (PP: 28, PK: 23), 10:00 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Devan Dubnyk (27-9-3, 1.96, .933), Ryan Miller (14-13-3, 2.53, .918)
Key Injuries:Jonas Brodin (finger), Derek Dorsett (neck), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Jannik Hansen (knee), Ben Hutton (hand)

The Canucks have only scored 2.27 goals per game, so they aren't likely to give Dubnyk much trouble. Over Miller's last 12 starts, he has a 1.89 GAA and a .939 save percentage. The Wild have averaged 3.28 goals per game, so that's an interesting matchup.

Coyotes (PP: 24, PK: 27) at Sharks (PP: 20, PK: 13), 10:30 p.m.
Expected Goalies:Mike Smith (11-15-5, 2.89, .915), Martin Jones (27-15-2, 2.19, .918)
Key Injuries:Brad Richardson (leg), Joonas Donskoi (upper body)

Martin Hanzal has been included in a lot of trade rumors. He's got 10 goals on 101 shots in 42 games. Hanzal also has seven power-play points. Joe Thornton may have 30 assists, but he only has three goals on 50 shots in 52 games.

Recommended Pickup

Patrick Sharp, LW, DAL – Sharp missed quite a few games with injury, so perhaps the veteran winger has been forgotten. However, since returning to action on New Year's Eve, Sharp has looked no worse for the wear. In 15 games, he's tallied five goals and five assists while putting 46 shots on net. That's roughly three shots per game, if you don't feel like doing the quick math. The one negative is that Sharp's power-play production has been lackluster. He's only averaged 1:50 per game with the extra man. This is the first time he's averaged fewer than three minutes on the power play in seven seasons, and last year he notched 24 power-play points. If Sharp's power-play minutes rise, which definitely seems possible, maybe even likely, then he becomes an even more intriguing fantasy option.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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