Fantasy hockey weekend watch: Maple Leafs look to shine in Sweden

Calle Jarnkrok has three goals and one assist over his past four contests on a line with Nick Robertson and Max Domi. Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Only the San Jose Sharks are idle through this three-day stretch, encompassing three games Friday, a whopping 13 on Saturday, followed by five contests Sunday. Match-up highlights include the Anaheim Ducks hosting a Florida Panthers team that's playing its second game in as many nights on Friday, and then the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. Keep in mind, Alex Killorn -- quieter than usual after missing the first chunk of this season -- has been subbing in for an injured Trevor Zegras on Anaheim's top line. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres are looking forward to having Alex Tuch back after his three-game absence. With Tage Thompson listed as week-to-week, Tuch is poised to join Dylan Cozens and Jeff Skinner on Buffalo's freshly-cobbled top line. After visiting the Winnepeg Jets on Friday, Don Granato's crew travels to Chicago for a Sunday evening affair with the Blackhawks. The Sabres could be in for a fairly productive weekend given they haven't played since Tuesday and are led by that No. 1 trio.

Elsewhere, the Calgary Flames are hoping to extend their win streak against the fumbling New York Islanders. A visibly happier Jonathan Huberdeau scored his first game since the season's opening week against the Vancouver Canucks Thursday, while Elias Lindholm racked up three points. The Minnesota Wild are hoping the weekend's stint in Sweden will help turn around what's been a confoundingly awful campaign to date. It's safe to bet Joel Eriksson, Marcus Johansson, Jonas Brodin, and goalie Filip Gustavsson will all feel more inspired when facing the Ottawa Senators Saturday and Toronto Maple Leafs Monday.

The Golden Knights are spending this weekend in the fine state of Pennsylvania, with back-to-backs against the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively. Pittsburgh also plays Saturday -- in Carolina -- so that Sunday battle at PPG Paints Arena could be a lively one.

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Stock Up

Valeri Nichushkin, F, Colorado Avalanche: As anticipated, Nichushkin has settled in nicely, and rather permanently, on a top line alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen while Artturi Lehkonen remains out indefinitely. Averaging nearly 21 minutes, the power forward has four goals on 16 shots in his past four games, including a pair with the extra skater. Skating on Colorado's top unit helps in that regard. The Avalanche visit Nichushkin's old team in Dallas on Saturday, which could be fun.

Cody Glass, F, Nashville Predators Stock tentatively up. Off injured reserve earlier this week, Glass is now subbing in for Tommy Novak on the Predators' second line between wingers Kiefer Sherwood and Luke Evangelista. Novak -- one of Nashville's more productive performers this season - suffered an upper body injury and is out approximately six weeks. Glass needs to step up and fantasy managers in deeper leagues might want to keep an eye on how the former sixth-overall draft pick makes out, starting Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Owen Tippett, F, Philadelphia Flyers It appears Tippett has snapped out of his early November funk. While his limited minutes are of minor concern, it's hard to find fault with Tippett's four goals and one assist on 10 shots in three games (plus-six). The Flyers host the Vegas Golden Knights Saturday before welcoming the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.

Erik Gustafsson, D, New York Rangers: Since the Rangers have been off for a few, here's your reminder that Gustafsson -- widely available in ESPN.com fantasy leagues -- has been anchoring his club's top power play and playing more minutes all around in Adam Fox's absence. He is also riding a four-game point streak, consisting of one goal and five assists. The well-rested Rangers visit the Devils on Saturday.

Stock Down

Johnny Gaudreau, F, Columbus Blue Jackets: Gaudreau was benched, again, for a good part of the third period during Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. With a single assist to show for his past seven games, Gaudreau has all of one goal and five helpers on the year. We're 17 games in now; so it might be time to move on from the underperforming forward in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues.

Pierre-Luc Dubois, F, Los Angeles Kings: After smashing into the post and seemingly injuring his left leg, Dubois could miss some time. The center also isn't scoring much.

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Rasmus Sandin, D, Washington Capitals: Sandin has averaged 24:53 minuts since the end of October and is chipping in assists and blocking shots, night in and out. Expect another rich showing from Sandin when the Capitals host the Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Calle Jarnkrok, F, Toronto Maple Leafs: Jarnkrok will likely feel extra jazzed to play in front of family and friends in his hometown of Sweden this weekend. He has great fantasy potential as a streaming asset against the Detroit Red Wings and Minesota Wild. Jarnkrok is currently cooking --to the tune of three goals and one assist in four contests -- on a line with Nick Robertson and Max Domi. The Wild have allowed 4.20 goals per game this season the Red Wings will be playing third-stringer Alex Lyon while Ville Husso is out.

Anthony Stolarz, G, Florida Panthers: Admittedly, this could go one of two very different directions. Stolarz might very well shine against his former team in Anaheim after his Panthers lost a 2-1 squeaker to the Los Angeles Kings Thursday night. Or he might now. It's worth noting that the Ducks have only averaged 2.4 goals per game through their past five games after a more productive stretch to end October and start November. Also, there's talk both Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour potentially making their season debuts for the Panthers Friday. Still, this might be a play for fantasy managers with stronger stomachs altogether.