Rick Nash picked up an assist on the New York Rangers ' lone goal for his first point of the year in Tuesday's loss to the Jets. He went minus-1 with five shots in 18:10 of ice time.
It's notable that this easily represents Nash's highest ice-time total of the year, but he's now put 15 shots on goal in four games and has yet to be repaid with a puck in the back of the net. However, despite the unpleasant final result, his game looked better Tuesday than it has at any other point in the early going. It's not likely that many Nash owners will be inclined to sell low on him, but it also shouldn't be forgotten that he's been sort of an every-other-year fantasy stud over the last five seasons -- and last year was one of the good ones.
Troy Brouwer scored a breakaway goal and added an assist in Tuesday's win against Calgary.
Captain David Backes sprung Brouwer on a breakaway early in the second period and the veteran winger would not be denied. He sent a quick wrist shot that beat Jonas Hiller stick-side to tie the game 2-2. Brouwer has made his presence felt early on in his first season with St. Louis, with three points in three games. Perhaps the most telling stat was his ice time, as Brouwer led all St. Louis Blues forwards with 18:54. The bump in playing time may lead to a bump in production for Brouwer this season.
Nikolaj Ehlers scored the first goal of his career on a first-period power play against the Rangers on Tuesday.
It was a beauty, too, with the 19-year-old firing a thunderous slapper from the left circle past Henrik Lundqvist, off the underside of the crossbar and into the goal. He's seeing solid second-line ice time, obviously including man-advantage duties, and now has a three-game point streak going after being held off the sheet in the season opener. The talent is extremely real; if you still have a chance to buy in, do it soon.
Jonas Hiller had a tough game Tuesday, allowing four goals on 28 shots in a loss to St. Louis.
Hiller couldn't catch a break all game long and paid the price. He gave up a juicy rebound to set up the Blues' first score and was unable to stop Troy Brouwer on a breakaway in the second period. Two goals by rookie defenseman Colton Parayko gave St. Louis enough breathing room to squeak out the win. Hiller will continue to fight for playing time alongside Karri Ramo until one jumps ahead of the other. Right now, neither goalie has been impressive, and this performance by Hiller only sets him back.
Blues goalie Brian Brian Elliott improved to 2-0-0 on the season after making 15 saves on 18 shots Tuesday against the Flames.
Elliott received little help from his defense, but stood tall in the end to earn the win. All three of the Flames' goals were virtually impossible for Elliott to save. The veteran netminder has a 2.00 goals-against average and .905 save percentage through two starts this season. The defensive lapses are concerning, but as long as St. Louis provides enough offense, Elliott should be in store for another decent fantasy season.
Rangers goalie Henrik Henrik Lundqvist gave up three goals on 28 shots in Tuesday's 4-1 loss to Winnipeg.
After starting with three straight wins, Lundqvist endured his worst stat line so far, but if that's as bad as it gets, his fantasy owners will happily accept a few outings like this mixed in with King Henrik's usual dominance. He's started the first four games of the year, and it seems likely that he'll make it five Thursday in Montreal, but Antti Raanta will probably make his first start as a Ranger in one end of their Sunday-Monday back-to-back set.
Evgeni Malkin snapped a 12-game pointless streak dating back to the 2014-15 regular season and playoffs with a secondary assist Tuesday.
David Perron replaced Sergei Plotnikov on Malkin's wing but perhaps the biggest change was the team reuniting Malkin with Sidney Crosby on the top power play. Given the slow team start, it also wouldn't be surprising to see Pittsburgh switch Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel on the top two lines, as coach Mike Johnston said in the preseason that he wanted Malkin and Kessel to skate together at some point.
Dion Phaneuf has quietly put up three points -- all assists -- in the Leafs' first three games.
OK, so that snuck up on us. Coach Mike Babcock has been proclaiming that Dion will have the best season he's had in a long time, but we hadn't even noticed his output so far. Maybe that was because we also didn't notice the typical gaffes that exposed him in his own zone the last few seasons -- his ice time is lower, so he's playing within his game. We're holding our breath a little right now -- we don't want to jinx it by speaking too soon.
Michael Hutchinson turned away 40 of 41 shots in Tuesday night's 4-1 win over the Rangers.
The Winnipeg Jets ' backup goalie had a tough draw against a star of the league in Henrik Lundqvist and the 3-0 Rangers, but it was the 25-year-old Hutchinson who delivered the most impressive performance. That included weathering a 20-shot assault by New York in the second period without letting a single one by to keep the game tied 1-1 until his offense got it going late in that frame. Ondrej Pavelec has looked like a stud so far this year, but Hutchinson has too, and that's going to ensure that he keeps seeing semi-regular action.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Marc-Andre Fleury lost his third straight decision Tuesday, allowing three goals on 30 shots in a 3-2 loss to Montreal.
He had moments of strong play, such as when he stoned the Habs and Tomas Plekanec on a 3-on-1 (while Montreal was short-handed). But the game-winning goal he allowed to Max Pacioretty could be characterized as soft. Fleury typically offers fantasy owners plenty of victories with mediocre peripherals, but right now the team is struggling at both ends of the ice and wins are hard to come by.