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Scott Cullen

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Johnny Hockey making plays, Varlamov back on track, Oshie, Carter, fantasy and more in Scott Cullen's Statistically Speaking.

HEROES

John Gaudreau - The dynamic Flames winger snapped a four-game point drought by putting up two goals and an assist in a 3-2 overtime win vs. Nashville. Even with that four-game slump, Gaudreau has 17 points (5 G, 12 A) in the past 15 games, and is tied (with Sidney Crosby) for sixth in the league with 66 points.

Semyon Varlamov - It didn't take long for Varlamov to reclaim his spot atop the Avalanche depth chart. He delivered a 37-save shutout for a 3-0 win against Anaheim, the second straight game in which Varlamov posted 37 stops.

T.J. Oshie - The Washington winger contributed a goal and an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss at Los Angeles, and has seven points (3 G, 4 A) in the past six games.

Jeff Carter - After scoring the overtime winner, in a 4-3 win against Washington, and adding an assist, Carter has seven points (4 G, 3 A) in the past seven games.

ZEROES

Leo Komarov - The Leafs winger failed to register a shot attempt in 20:12 of ice time and had team-worst possession (12 for, 17 against, 41.4 SAT%) in a 4-3 shootout win vs. the Islanders.

Eric Gelinas - The newly-acquired Avalanche defenceman had a tough game (3 G, 23 A, 11.5 SAT%) in Colorado's 3-0 win over Anaheim.

Jake Gardiner - Was on for all three goals against in a 4-3 shootout win against the Islanders.

VITAL SIGNS

Sami Vatanen - Anaheim's playmaking blueliner suffered an upper-body injury at Colorado and was forced to leave the game.

Thomas Greiss - With Jaroslav Halak out for the next 6-8 weeks, Greiss takes over as the Islanders starter in goal. He stopped 33 of 36 shots in a 4-3 shootout loss at Toronto.

T.J. Brennan - The AHL star blueliner was called up, following an injury to D Viktor Loov. Brennan, 26, has 179 points in 209 AHL games over the past three seasons, and 12 points in 47 career NHL games.

Markus Granlund - Played a season-high 21:12 and scored the overtime winner for Vancouver in a 3-2 victory over Arizona. The 22-year-old was also 1-for-13 (7.7%) in the faceoff circle.

FIRSTS

Anthony Bitetto - Getitng regular playing time in Nashville since Seth Jones was traded to Columbus, 25-year-old Bitetto scored his first NHL goal, in his 30th NHL game, a 3-2 overtime loss at Calgary.

 

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SHORT SHIFTS

Kings LW Milan Lucic had a goal and an assist against Washington, and has six points (2 G, 4 A) in the past four games…Kings LW Tanner Pearson recorded a couple of assists, and has eight points (5 G, 3 A) in the past nine games…Islanders D Nick Leddy had a goal and an assist in a 4-3 shootout win vs. the Islanders, and has 17 points (2 G, 15 A) in the past 16 games…Maple Leafs C Nazem Kadri had a pair of assists in the win, giving him nine points (1 G, 8 A) in the past 10 games…Predators LW Viktor Arvidsson recorded a pair of assists in a 3-2 overtime loss at Calgary, giving him six points (1 G, 5 A) in the past seven games…Flames D Mark Giordano contributed a couple of assists against Nashville, and has 37 points (12 G, 25 A) in the past 45 games…Flames C Sean Monahan added two assists, giving him nine points (4 G, 5 A) in the past nine games…Coyotes LW Alex Tanguay had a pair of assists in a 3-2 overtime loss at Vancouver, and has six points (3 G, 3 A) in the past four games…Anaheim's line of Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg controlled play (16 for, 3 against, 84.2 SAT%) in a 3-0 loss at Colorado.

Blues G Jake Allen stopped 33 of 35 shots in a 3-2 shootout win against Chicago, and has a .938 save percentage in his past four starts…Canucks G Jacob Markstrom turned away 32 of 34 shots in a 3-2 overtime win vs. Arizona, giving him a .918 save percentage in a career-high 25 games this season.

FANTASY FOCUS

Some longshots to consider, available in more than 80% of TSN leagues:

Mikael Backlund - The Flames centre has three goals and an assist in the past four games. Owned: 10.6%

Patrick Maroon - With four points in his first four games with the Oilers, the former Ducks winger is taking advantage of an increased role. Owned: 3.4%

Lindey Vey - As injuries have decimated the Canucks centre position, Vey is getting more ice time, and has five points (2 G, 3 A) in the past seven games. Owned: 0.1%

Much of the data included comes from www.war-on-ice.com, corsica.hockey, stats.hockeyanalysis.com www.hockey-reference and www.naturalstattrick.com

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca