We have a massive 11-game NHL slate this Thursday, featuring a ton of interesting fantasy matchups. On a slate this big there will be multiple “Game of the Night” candidates, but some interesting matchups to keep an eye on include Washington at Florida, the Rangers at Carolina and Los Angeles at Ottawa, as all offer some good offensive players to choose from in great fantasy matchups. Other games that should catch the eye are Colorado-Nashville and Pittsburgh-Islanders, as the Islanders will be putting their 10-game win streak on the line against the conference-rival Penguins.
Top Line Stacks
PHI vs. MTL
Claude Giroux ($6,200) – James Van Riemsdyk ($6,200) – Joel Farabee ($4,200)
The Flyers take on a Montreal team ranked second last in penalty killing and that has allowed four or more goals in each of its past three games. Meanwhile, the Flyers’ power play has been one of the best in the league, converting at a 24% rate thus far. Giroux finally has started to catch a bit of heat as he enters this game with four points in his past two games, including two power play points. New linemate Farabee has been a decent fantasy target since getting bumped up with Giroux. Averaging nearly three SOG per game on the season, Farabee has two goals over his past three games and is averaging more than 16 minutes of ice over his past three game. These three anchor the Flyers’ first-unit power play and are a great correlation target available at a respectable price tag given the matchup.
VGK at TOR
Paul Stastny ($4,800) – Mark Stone ($6,900) – Max Pacioretty ($6,300)
Toronto comes in with the sixth worst penalty kill in the league while also featuring the eighth worst goals against average in the league. This trio has handled the majority of the Golden Knights’ power play minutes over its past three games and skates together almost exclusively at even strength as well. While Stastny isn’t a big shooter, he has scored six of his nine points on the power play, which translates well to this matchup. Pacioretty seems due for a big game soon, as he enters averaging four SOG per game and third in the league in SOG, but with only three goals on the season. Given how poor defensively the Maple Leafs can be, this trio is in a great spot to put up multiple points and possibly hit some DK bonuses.
Superstar to Target
Nathan MacKinnon ($7,500), COL vs. NAS– The Avalanche are banged up, with both of their top two wingers out, and that has hurt the production of MacKinnon as he enters this contest with no points in his past two games. Still, tonight offers us a great “buy-low” spot as the $7,500 salary we are getting on Great Nate is the cheapest we’ve seen him since early October. MacKinnon enters this game second in the league in SOG and will be going up against a Nashville squad that features the ninth worst penalty kill in the league. Despite the obvious hit his upside has taken without his top two wingers, MacKinnon’s shot volume and ice time have remained intact. He also will be playing at home tonight, where he’s averaged more than four more DKFP per game than on the road. This is a nice spot to pay up for relatively “cheap” Avalanche star.
Value on Offense
Joonas Donskoi ($4,300), COL vs. NAS– With so many Colorado forwards injured, Donskoi has moved up to the Avalanche’s top line to play with MacKinnon. The former Shark is averaging around 19 minutes per game over his past four games and is getting ample power play exposure at the moment, playing more than 60% of all Colorado’s man-advantage opportunities over its past three games. As mentioned above, Nashville has a bottom-10 penalty kill, which makes this a good spot for Colorado’s special teams to get back on track. Donskoi’s a great target either on his own or in a stack with MacKinnon tonight.
Vladislav Namestnikov ($4,000), OTT vs. LA- Namestnikov and the Senators have a strong matchup tonight against the Kings, who come into this game with the third worst penalty kill in the league and two goalies featuring save percentages under .890. The 25-year-old forward is starting to show some promise of late, recording three points over his past two games, two of which were power play tallies. Averaging around 2.5 SOG per game and seeing more than three minutes of power play time per game, Namestnikov looks like great value considering his price and the fact he’ll be facing off against one of the weakest defensive teams in the league.
Carter Hart ($7,700), PHI vs. MTL– Hart is coming into this game having won his past two starts. The Flyers’ starter stopped 33 of 34 shots in his most recent outing against Carolina and should be a nice upside play tonight. The Flyers are only -120 favorites but will be at home, where Hart has recorded three of his four wins and posted a save percentage of .933 on the year. Montreal’s averaging just under 35 SOG per game coming in and also should give Hart a great shot at the save bonus if he maintains his current level of sharpness. He’s struggled at times this year but has nice upside tonight against the shot-happy Canadiens.
Braden Holtby ($7,600), WAS at FLA– Despite there being 11 games on this slate, there aren’t a ton of heavy favorites to choose from. Holtby and the Capitals are only -110 on the puckline as of writing but should be in a decent spot to pick up a road win against the hot-and-cold Panthers, regardless. Holtby comes in having stopped 57 of the past 61 shots he’s faced and generally has been sharper on the road, where he’s picked up four of his six wins this year. The Panthers are averaging around 34 SOG per game so far this year, giving Holtby a good floor and as much upside as any goalie on this slate.
Value on Defense
Duncan Keith ($3,900), CHI vs. VAN– Keith has rolled back the clock a bit of late, scoring points in each of his past three games while averaging three SOG in that span as well. The 36-year-old is back to manning the power play for the Blackhawks as he’s been on the ice for more than 60% of the team’s power play opportunities over the past three games. The matchup against the Canucks isn’t the greatest, but it’s hard to find a defenseman averaging nearly 25 minutes a game while offering elite power play exposure at under $4K in price these days. Keith is one of the best values out there tonight on this bigger slate.
Brian Dumoulin ($3,800), PIT at NYI Dumoulin enters this game averaging around 22 minutes of ice per game while playing on the Penguins’ first defense pairing. While his power play time is somewhat scarce, Dumoulin still is good at getting his shots through and enters this game averaging two SOG per game. He’s scored points in three of his past four games, and while his matchup against the Islanders also isn’t the greatest, he should see plenty of ice in what should be a competitive game. Dumoulin’s solid peripheral stats make him hard to beat at this price.
Mark Giordano ($6,400), CGY vs. NJ- Ranked seventh in blocked shots on the season and third in SOG among defensemen, Giordano continues to be a solid contributor in multiple areas and a great pay-up target on most slates. The Devils have had issues keeping the puck out of their own net all year and feature the seventh worst penalty kill in the league. Coming off a massive 30-point night on DraftKings in his most recent outing, Giordano should be in a good position for a big follow-up performance, too, and offers some solid savings considering he’s just the fifth most expensive defenseman on this slate.
Drew Doughty ($6,000), LA at OTT– Doughty has been one of the lone bright spots for the Kings this year. The veteran is averaging 2.5 SOG and more than two blocked shots per game, giving him a nice shot at hitting multiple DK bonuses on any slate — a feat he accomplished his most recent time out. The Senators still are a bottom-tier team in both penalty kill and overall GAA, making this a nice upside spot for Doughty, who is averaging more than 16 DKFP in his past three games. With his scoring picking up of late and a soft opponent, Doughty’s ability to contribute in all areas make him a fine pay-up target tonight, despite being laden with terrible teammates.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.