NHL EZ Pick Preview 03/12/19
Take a look at the matchups set for this Tuesday’s EZ Pick.
Jamie Benn vs Artemi Panarin
Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn has 25 goals among 46 points in 65 games this season.
Artemi Panarin failed to register a shot on goal during Monday’s 2-0 loss to the New York Islanders. The Blue Jackets managed to fire 31 shots on Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, but none of them came off Panarin’s stick and none of them found the back of the net. The Russian forward finished the night with a minus-1 rating in 20:04 of ice time. The 27-year-old has failed to pick up a point in four straight games. He’s also gone six games without a goal. Panarin has 25 goals and 73 points in 66 games this season.
Brad Marchand vs Blake Wheeler
Brad Marchand earned an assist in Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Penguins to keep his point streak alive at seven games.
Captain Blake Wheeler, who leads the Jets in assists (64) and points (83), scored versus the Sharks on Feb. 5 and notched three assists in the Jets’ 5-3 win at San Jose on Dec. 20. However, the 32-year-old Minnesota native saw his goal and point streaks end at four and eight, respectively, in the Sunday setback to the Capitals.
Vladimir Tarasenko vs Johnny Gaudreau
Vladimir Tarasenko (upper body) will be re-evaluated in 10 days. Tarasenko suffered an upper-body injury on Thursday night and he missed Saturday’s game versus San Jose. He will sit out at least the next four games. Tarasenko leads the Blues with 28 goals and sits second on the team with 58 points through 66 games.
Johnny Gaudreau was pointless on Sunday and has scored only once in 19 games. It wasn’t for a lack of effort as Gaudreau had nine shots on goal in the 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Gaudreau has 30 goals and 84 points this season in 69 games but has only the one goal and 10 assists in his last 19 contests.
Phil Kessel vs Cam Atkinson
Veteran Phil Kessel is in scoring slumps. Kessel and Evgeni Malkin will have new linemates tonight both at even strength and on the power play. Teddy Blueger will skate as the left winger on the second line in replacement of the injured Zach Aston-Reese while Nick Bjugstad will skate with Malkin and Kessel on the second power play unit for tonight’s big rivalry game against the Capitals at PPG Paints Arena. Those, of course, are the same configurations that ended Sunday night’s win over the Bruins.
Right wing Cam Atkinson has led Columbus of late, recording three of his career-high 38 goals in the past four games while sitting second on the team with career-best 63 points.
Alexander Radulov vs Viktor Arvidsson
Alexander Radulov scored a goal in Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Radulov picked up a rebound and showed off both his hands and patience to beat Corey Crawford in the opening period. It’s Radulov’s ninth point in his last seven games, bringing the 32-year-old forward to 21 goals and 55 points in 56 games this season.
Viktor Arvidsson’s status for Tuesday night is uncertain. Arvidsson was on the ice for the morning skate, but he took rushes with Miikka Salomaki, who is still on injured reserve, and Frederick Gaudreau, who could be a healthy scratch. He didn’t participate in Monday’s practice. Arvidsson has a team-high 28 goals.
Brendan Gallagher vs Patrik Laine
Brendan Gallagher has totaled 8 points while scoring seven goals and collecting one assists over the last 10 games for Montreal.
After scoring 18 goals in November, Patrik Laine has gone cold. Laine has 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) since December. The Jets are stuck trying to figure out what to do to get the second overall pick of the 2016 draft going.
Evander Kane vs Matthew Tkatchuk
San Jose forward Evander Kane is on personal leave and has been ruled out for the Tuesday contest against his former team.
Matthew Tkachuk scored three goals and assisted on another in Sunday’s 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Tkachuk started off his nice by converting on a two-on-one, taking a feed from Michael Frolik, giving the Flames a 3-1 lead. The Golden Knights were able to tie the game before Mikael Backlund restored the lead for Calgary before the end of the second period and Tkachuk ended the game with two goals in the final frame for the hat trick. Tkachuk also picked up an assist on Backlund’s goal in the opening period, bringing him to 29 goals and 67 points in 69 games this season.
Tyler Seguin vs Sidney Crosby
The Stars’ playoff hopes are diminishing, but to his credit, Tyler Seguin continues to be the Stars’ best offensive weapon every night. He’s been playing at a point-per-game pace in 2019 with 28 points in 28 games, and against the Sabres he has a chance to run the table with no shutdown center to keep him in check. Seguin has feasted on Buffalo with 23 points in 26 career games against them.
Leading scorer Sidney Crosby has 15 points over his last eight games. Crosby has been filling it up against the Capitals this season, dropping five points on them in three games so far. He also registered eight points against them in a six-game playoff series last season and has 68 points against them in 48 games now throughout his career against Washington in the regular season. With the Penguins hoping to climb back into the division race, a big night from Crosby is exactly what they need, and the NHL’s best player typically delivers in those situations.
Mark Scheifele vs Jack Eichel
Mark Scheifele has a Jets-best 32 goals, and his 75 points are second only to Wheeler’s total, yet he has been held off the scoresheet in three straight games. He mustered just one shot on goal in each of his past two outings.
Jack Eichel has been suspended for two games for an illegal check to the head on Colorado’s Carl Soderberg. Eichel got a two-minute penalty on Saturday for the hit. He won’t get to play in Buffalo’s upcoming two-game homestand, but he will be eligible to return on March 16 versus Carolina.
Evgeni Malkin vs Filip Forsberg
Evgeni Malkin is two points away from 1000 for his career. He stands to become one of five active players to reach that plateau, and one on three to have done so while playing his entire career with a single team — joining Alex Ovechkin and teammate Sidney Crosby.
Filip Forsberg (upper body) is expected to be back in the lineup on Tuesday night. Coach Peter Laviolette said that Wayne Simmonds will get a chance to play with Forsberg and Ryan Johansen against Anaheim. Forsberg missed Saturday’s game with an upper-body injury when he figured he would be OK to play.