This Thursday features a busy eight-game NHL slate with several non-conference matchups. The Senators travel to Vegas to take on the Golden Knights, while the Sabres are in L.A. to take on the Kings. Additionally, we have the Red Wings in Calgary and the Islanders on the road in Winnipeg. With these non-typical matchups, we also have lots of potential mismatches on the slate, making this a good spot to deploy some serious line-stacking.
Top Line Stacks
Rangers at Devils
Mika Zibanejad ($7,800) – Artemi Panarin ($6,300) – Pavel Buchnevich ($4,900)
The Devils have gotten off to a horrific start, allowing more than four goals a game thus far and losing six in a row. Having already produced 16 points in three games, the Rangers’ first line should be in a spot to take advantage here. Both Zibanejad and Panarin have averaged more than three shots per game and are averaging more than 20 minutes of ice, making their salaries look quite reasonable. Buchnevich hasn’t been as productive but still is averaging more than 18 minutes of ice and comes at a big reduction in price, especially considering he’s been averaging more than three minutes of power play time per game thus far. The Rangers’ big line might cool off at some point, but it needs to be heavily considered here as a stacking target against a weak opponent like the Devils for now.
Islanders at Jets
Matthew Barzal ($5,300) – Anders Lee ($4,600) – Tom Kuhnhackl ($2,800)
The Islanders’ first line represents a strong matchup target tonight as they’ll be on the road against the Jets. Winnipeg has allowed just under four goals per game thus far and has the second-worst penalty kill in the league. Barzal and Lee should stick together most of the game — even on the power play — and Kuhnhackl looks slated to skate on their wing at even strength again. He got 16.5 minutes of ice with four shots in the Islanders’ most recent game as their winger, a win, setting him up as a nice value addition here at sub-$3K in price.
Superstar to Build Around
Johnny Gaudreau ($6,600), CAL vs. DET – The Flames forward has started the season on a decent note, scoring seven points in seven games and will be going up against a Red Wing team that got slaughtered last night 5-1 by the Canucks. The Wings have started the season out stronger than some expected, but regression might be seeping in for a team that allowed the fifth most goals last year. The Wings have allowed five goals in each of their past two games and have the seventh-worst penalty kill in the league, making this a good spot for Johnny Hockey, who regularly sees three or more minutes on the power play per night. He’s a nice anchor for lineups and surprisingly cheap compared to other big names in worse spots.
Value on Offense
Cody Glass ($3,900), VGK vs. OTT– The Golden Knights have a nice matchup against the Senators, setting Glass up as a good value target. Glass has gotten off to a fast start for Vegas, scoring five points in seven games while averaging two shots per game. His main value stems from the fact he’s seeing first-unit power play time at the moment — despite skating on the third line most nights — and comes in averaging just under three minutes per game on the power play. Ottawa isn’t allowing goals at the rate it was last year (yet), but it still is one of the weakest teams in the league and makes for a great matchup here.
Joel Armia ($4,200), MTL vs. MIN– Armia has gotten off to a nice start for the Canadians, as he comes into tonight’s game against the Wild averaging 2.7 SOG per game with three goals. He’s seeing over more than minutes of power play time per game so far and is skating on a line at even strength with Jonathan Drouin, which boosts his scoring potential. The Wild have been surprisingly poor defensively thus far and sit as the 12th worst penalty kill in the league, making this a decent matchup for Armia as well.
Alexandar Georgiev ($7,100), NYR at NJ – Georgiev was stellar in his first appearance for the Rangers this year, stopping 31 of 32 shots in a win over Ottawa. He’s expected to get his second start tonight against the Devils, who are averaging just 2.12 goals per game coming into tonight. This game sets up as close to a pick’em in odds, but Georgiev should expect to see lots of shots as the Rangers have allowed 35 per game thus far on the season. It’s a good upside start for a moderately priced goalie.
Carter Hutton ($7,700), BUF at LA – Hutton’s started the season out strong, posting four wins and a .931 save percentage through four starts. The Sabres aren’t huge favorites here on the road, but Hutton’s strong start plus the overall weakness of the Kings, who have been outscored by eight goals so far on the season, make this a good place for both a win bonus and for Hutton to potentially reach the 35-save bonus on DraftKings tonight. The Kings, despite being below-average, have averaged 35 SOG per game thus far.
Value on Defense
Colin Miller ($3,300), BUF at LA – Miller has started the season playing as a top-four defenseman for the Sabres with three assists in six games. While his blocked shot stats and shots aren’t the best, Miller’s true value stems from the fact he’s averaging nearly two minutes of power mplay time per night on the league’s leading power play unit. Buffalo is taking on the Kings, who feature the fifth-worst penalty kill, making this a nice spot to deploy Miller at a sub-$3,500 price.
Devon Toews ($4,100), NYI at WPG – Toews’ price on DraftKings still hasn’t caught up with his usage, and until that happens, he’ll remain a solid nightly target. The second-year defenseman has taken over as the main point-man on the power play for the Islanders of late and is averaging around a minute and a half of power play time per game. Even in a non-workhorse sort of role, he still has been ultra productive, scoring four points already while averaging 1.5 blocked shots per game. The Jets lead the league in goals against so far and have the second-worst penalty kill, making this a fantastic spot for Toews.
Shea Theodore ($5,800), VGK vs. OTT – As mentioned previously, the matchup tonight for the Golden Knights looks promising and, coming off a loss to the Predators, they likely will be in the mood for some quick revenge. Theodore comes into this game with five points on the season, averaging a tidy two SOG per game and playing heavy minutes on the power play. The Knights’ sixth-best power play easily could deliver a couple of goals in this spot, and Theodore sets up as a great target to anchor your blueline in DFS as a result.
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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.