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The inexplicable and painful slump is over

Forwards rising and fallingAnze Kopitar, C, Los Angeles Kings (up 14 spots to No. 34): The inexplicable and painful slump is over. After scoring seven points or fewer in each of the season’s first three months, Kopitar finished January with 14 points in 12 games. As I’ve mentioned previously this season, he’s been doing everything right this whole time and just not getting the results. His shooting percentage spiked up to a more Kopitar-esque 15 percent in January and the results followed cheap hockey jerseys. Getting Tyler Toffoli back to balance out the offense for the Kings can only help.
Defensemen rising and fallingRoman Josi, D, Nashville Predators (up 28 spots to No. 67): The return from a nine-game absence was enough to rocket Josi back up the rankings, but I’m singling him out to remind you that he’s still not a No. 1 fantasy defenseman this season. We have him ranked 14th among defenders and, to be frank, that’s higher than he deserves, based on the on-ice results. That said, he is still in a position to succeed and even though he was eased back into the lineup on the third pair, Josi still got about half the team’s power-play duties on the blue line.


Alex Galchenyuk, C, Montreal Canadiens (down 23 spots to No. 82): Sometimes your buddies can save your seat for you, sometimes they can’t. After Galchenyuk missed more than a month with a knee injury, he didn’t come back to find his regular spot in the lineup as the top-line pivot between Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov. Although the Habs skated him there to make his return welcome, he was quickly relegated to the second line, while upstart Phillip Danault was returned to the top trio . Galchenyuk still gets to see his pals on the power play, but that isn’t enough for him to resume his quality campaign with confidence. This could change again, and Galchenyuk could replace Danault during a slump, but for now his value takes a big hit, as the Canadiens can offer only one dangerous line to their opponents as long as Pacioretty and Radulov are playing together.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 45 saves and James Neal scored both goals to lead the NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, to a 2–1 win at Dallas in the first game in franchise history. Fleury’s 45 saves were the second-most by a goaltender in the first regular-season game for a team entering the NHL since 1967–68, behind the 48 saves made by Jeff Hackett in the Sharks’ debut, a 4–3 loss at Vancouver in October 1991. Neal is the seventh player since 1967–68 to score more than one goal for a team playing its first game in the NHL. The others: Bill Hicke (1967–68 Seals, two goals), Brian Kilrea (1967–68 Kings, two goals), Real Cloutier (1979–80 Nordiques, three goals), Pat McLeod (1991–92 Sharks, two goals), Chris Kontos (1992–93 Lightning, four goals) and Doug Smail (1992–93 Senators, two goals).
The NHL has nothing in its rule book addressing anthem protocol – what players must do or even where they need to be while it is performed.
Editor’s PicksForecaster: Matchups, projections for Feb. 6-12A preview of the upcoming week in fantasy hockey, with key matchups and projections in a downloadable PDF cheat sheet, as well as notes on specific teams and players to use.
1:42 PM ETSean AllenSpecial to ESPN.com CloseSean Allen is a fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He was the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hockey Writer of the Year . You can tweet him @seanard.Follow on MessengerEmailprintcommentWe’ve passed the symbolic halfway point of the NHL season that is the All-Star break. No, it’s not the mathematical halfway point, but it’s the dividing line that is readily available for statistics and the point often used when fantasy teams buckle down and decide what they need to win.