Monday December 15th, 2014

Play our new daily fantasy hockey game!

If you haven't tried our daily Hockey fantasy game, check it out. The link in the tile will take you to the game page where you can set up a head-to-head challenge with a friend, an enemy, the cable guy, the vicar, me ... basically anyone. Pick three players on three different NHL teams who you think will surpass their projected totals in such categories as wins, saves and goals-against average for goalies; and goals, assists, plus-minus, PIM and shots on goal for forwards and defensemen. Your team earns points based on live game stats. Highest score wins. You can play for free or wager anywhere from $1 to $500.

Each day, I offer up three picks that I think are primed to have a big night. Here are today's best bets:

Forward: Evgeni Malkin, Penguins (hosting Lightning, 7 p.m. EST; NBCSN, TVA, SN, ROOT)

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As I mentioned in Off The Draw (click on the tile on the left) this morning, there's something about the Lightning that brings out the best in Malkin, who has scored 35 points in 27 career games against them. He's done much of that damage by lighting them up for 12 goals and 21 points during an eight-game scoring streak against Tampa Bay. His projections are fairly aggressive (0.4 G, 0.6 A, -0.1 +/-, 0.9 PIM, 3.4 SOG, 0.5 PPP), but given that track record they shouldn't scare you off.

Defense: Nick LeddyIslanders (hosting Devils, 7 p.m. EST; MSG, MSG+)

The Islanders may be struggling but Leddy is plugging along, making his way onto the scoresheet in four of his past five games (five assists). He's averaging about 21 minutes per night and he's playing in all situations, so he's got a good shot at topping his numbers (0.1 G, 0.3 A, 0.2 +/-, 0.3 PIM, 1.7 SOG, 0.2 PPP) against a New Jersey team that allowed four goals and 36 shots against the stumbling Stars on Saturday night.

Goalie: Jhonas Enroth, Sabres (hosting Senators, 7 p.m. EST; RDS, TSN5, MSG-B, BELL TV​)

You can't go wrong betting on the hottest keeper in hockey. Enroth has won eight of his past 10 starts, allowing two or fewer goals six times while compiling a stunning .940 save percentage. There's no other logic here. The Sabres are a bad team that allows a metric ton of high-end chances but Enroth is in the zone right now, making him (0.5 W, 2.2 GA, 23.4 SV, 0.1 SO) the smart play.

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