DFS NHL Optimal Lineups and Top Plays: February 24 Cover Image
DFS NHL Optimal Lineups and Top Plays: February 24
Kenneth Le

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Kevin Durant Headshot

Durant left Thursday's game after injuring a finger on his left hand, but was able to return and played 34 minutes in a 123-113 win over the Clippers, Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He finished with 25 points (8-15 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 5-6 FT) with 15 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

Durant sustained the injury early in the first quarter, but played through it before checking out at his usual time. He went to the locker room where X-rays were negative, then checked back into the game late in the second quarter. The injury does not appear to be an issue heading into Saturday's game against Brooklyn, but we'll see how the finger feels Friday.
7:14 am (EST)
Lucas Giolito Headshot

Giolito expressed frustration at being yanked around last season when he was up and down with the Nationals, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago reports. "The time in the big leagues was definitely fun. But going up and down a lot can be like a grind. Getting on the plane, doing this, you're pitching the next day. You have to be able to try and stay level headed and focus on the next day or task at hand. But when you're moving around a lot it can be difficult," said the pitcher.

Giolito, who posted a 6.75 ERA and walked 12 batters in 21.1 innings while up with Washington last year, felt part of his struggles were the result of him being called up to Washington on five separate occasions. He feels his new organization, which isn't expected to be involved in the heat of a pennant race, will allow a young pitcher to settle in. Giolito is likely to start the season at Triple-A Charlotte, but once he's promoted to Chicago, he's expected to remain there regardless of performance results.
6:36 am (EST)
Roman Josi Headshot

Josi picked up two helpers and a plus-2 rating in Thursday night's 4-2 victory over Colorado.

He's been racking up the points lately -- 10 of 'em in his last eight games. However, Josi also uncharacteristically owns a minus-2 rating in that span, and he's still well off the pace that brought him 61 points last year (or even the prior season's 55). Still, if he can be his old self down the stretch, fantasy owners will probably forgive Josi's first-half struggles.
4:10 am (EST)
Ryan Johansen Headshot

Johansen notched assists on the first two goals of Filip Forsberg's hat trick in Thursday's 4-2 win over Colorado.

It's been a slow February for Johansen; since opening the month with a two-point game, he had just three more points in the next eight contests before busting out Thursday. In fact, this has been a slow year in general for Johansen -- his assists are keeping his point total in the range of normality, but he still hasn't cracked double-digit goals 60 games into the season.
3:44 am (EST)
Jarome Iginla Headshot

Iginla picked up a goal and an assist over just 12:32 of ice time in Thursday's 4-2 loss to Nashville.

This was minimal usage even by his standards; Iginla's average ice time is a modest 14:43, which is already a big drop from his heyday. With just 18 points and a minus-19 rating over 60 games, the 39-year-old winger looks like he's ready for retirement.
2:35 am (EST)
Filip Forsberg Headshot

Forsberg scored the final three goals (one into an empty net) in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Avalanche.

He hadn't had a multi-point game in a month-plus (Jan. 22), so it was only a matter of time until Forsberg busted out with another big game. The young Swede did so at a big moment in this one, turning a second-period 2-1 deficit on its head. At just 22 years old, Forsberg could still post his third consecutive 60-point season if he picks up the pace a little.
2:31 am (EST)
Jeremy Smith Headshot

Smith gave up three goals on 28 shots during Thursday's 4-2 loss in Nashville.

It looked for a while like the Avs might have something cooking in this one... until Smith got burned twice by Filip Forsberg, turning a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit. Of course, that's been the story of Colorado's season. Don't count on Smith to see too many starts behind Calvin Pickard down the stretch, and even when he does, he'll be a risky fantasy play.
1:56 am (EST)
Pekka Rinne Headshot

Rinne made 20 saves on 22 shots in Thursday's 4-2 victory over the Avalanche.

Considering Colorado's struggles this season, this was kind of a disappointing outing for Rinne even though he won, as that's not a dominating stat line. Still, after he put up an atrocious 5.23 GA and .817 save mark over his prior four outings, this was a breath of fresh air for Rinne's fantasy owners.
1:38 am (EST)
Dougie Hamilton Headshot

Hamilton scored a power-play goal and handed out two assists with a plus-2 rating, two PIM and five shots in Thursday's 3-2 win over the Lightning.

That's about as good as it gets, as Hamilton was involved in all of Calgary's offense despite falling short of 20 minutes on the ice. The impressive young blueliner has now hit double-digit goals in three straight seasons, and with 38 points and 173 shots through 60 games, he's set to blow by last year's career bests of 43 and 190, respectively.
1:15 am (EST)
Robbie Grossman Headshot

Grossman is the leading candidate to win a reserve outfielder role this spring, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. He'll compete with Zach Granite, Daniel Palka, Drew Stubbs and J.B. Shuck.

Grossman will most likely begin the season as the fourth outfiedler, but it's possible he could win the DH job or platoon in left field with Eddie Rosario. Grossman had the most productive offensive season of his big league career last year (.280/.386/.443), so it would be an upset if he didn't make the final 25-man roster. His only worry would be if the Twins decided to keep a better outfielder on he bench for his glove, as Grossman was a poor fielder by most advanced metrics.
1:04 am (EST)
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