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Sandwiched between Thursday’s heavy slate and Saturday’s 13-game schedule, Friday’s light slate includes just three contests involving five teams from the West. The evening’s two heavy home favorites, the Wild (vs. Blackhawks) and Flames (vs. Blues), did not play Thursday and won’t play again until Sunday. Food for fantastic thought if you like fresh legs free from future distractions.

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All times eastern.

Favorable points matches

8 p.m., Xcel Energy Center, Watch live on ESPN+

Coming off a lone win in the past month, the Blackhawks are slipping badly. Not only is their 1-12-1 record the worst in the league, but they are averaging 4.35 goals per game. Taking center stage, Kirill Kaprizov and Co and: winning. Having been home all week, the Wild are rested and, as mentioned, don’t play again until Sunday. Chicago’s projected starter Petr Mrazek was awful in his last game, surrendering seven goals to the Capitals. This Friday night’s tilt in Minnesota has the potential to be just as tough on the visitors.

Deep league/daily fantasy value hitters

Mikael Backlund, Calgary Flames (8.8%). The center of the third line is on the stove. Competing at even strength alongside Blake Coleman and Adam Ruzicka and Dillon Dube on the power play, Backlund scored with the extra skater in Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Canucks. The veteran has 7 assists and 1 goal in the last 7 games. Get the most out of the 33-year-old before his fantasy value fades once again.

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Mid-range fantasy defenders

Torey Krug, St. Louis Blues (40.9%). Returning to action after missing nearly a week with an upper-body injury, the nimble quarterback is averaging four tackles/game in his return. He also anchors the Blues’ strongest play. Less productive than usual to start 2022-23, Krug will inevitably begin to put up more points on a regular basis. He hasn’t averaged 0.64 ppg in his decade-plus career by accident. Even if the veteran D-man doesn’t score for the Flames, his shots on net and blocks should be a reasonable enough fantasy output.

Deep league / daily fantasy value defenders

Jake McCabe, Chicago Blackhawks (20.9%). The Blackhawks defenseman hits the net and knocks down shots often enough to serve as a valuable asset in leagues that reward both categories. McCabe has been a steady commodity throughout the season, averaging 2.3 fantasy points/contest over his last eight games per ESPN.com standard competition.

Goalkeepers

Karel Weimelka (projected), Arizona Coyotes (19.0%). The Coyotes’ No. 1 loves playing in Tempe. Still losing in regulation at Mallet Arena, Weimelka boasts a 3-0-1 record and a .921 SV% in the comfortable confines of his cozy home. Additionally, the last time Arizona and New York met on Nov. 10, he had 24 saves. Just make sure coach Andre Turini doesn’t reserve his top guy for Saturday’s showdown with the Sabers and instead start Connor Ingram against the visiting Islanders. . Which is entirely possible.

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Sit them down

Thomas Gris (projected), St. Louis Blues (19.0%). The Blues backup has not played well enough this season. Also, having lost three straight in overtime, the opposing Flames need a clean sweep in regulation. If Gris is in favor of Jordan Binnington, who played Thursday, I’ll give him a fantastic pass.

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