We get a solid looking eight-game slate for this Thursday that features four games with puck totals of 6.5. Injury-wise, the biggest names to keep an eye on here will be Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins and Brendan Gallagher of the Canadians. Both men were late scratches in their team’s last games, although Malkin was just dealing with illness and seems likely to return against Toronto tonight. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov is also slated to return tonight for Washington, who takes on the Canadiens tonight.
GOALIES TO CONSIDER
Set your lineups here: NHL $50K Twine [$10K to 1st]
Top Line Stacks
PHI at CBJSean Couturier ($5,900) – Claude Giroux ($5,600) – Jakub Voracek ($4,800)
The Philadelphia offense has been picking up steam of late as they enter this game averaging 4.6 goals over their last six games. A lot of the improved offensive production has come from their top-line, which has shown renewed vigor since being put together. While both Giroux and Voracek have had slow offensive seasons by their standards, both men enter this game showing improved production of late, particularly Giroux who has now scored 11 points in his last six games. The Blue Jackets allowed five goals against when these two teams met two nights ago and, as a team, they’ve now allowed three or more goals against in four straight games. This Flyers trio should play together a ton tonight, at both even strength on the PP1 for Philly, and have a better than advertised matchup against a Columbus team that has struggled defensively over their last few games.
Superstar to TargetBrady Tkachuk ($6,900), OTT vs. WPG – The Senators head into tonight’s game with some serious offensive momentum after scoring 11 goals in their last two games. While Tkachuk’s entire line has been playing well of late, there’s no doubt the best upside and consistency from a fantasy perspective belongs with Tkachuk, who enters this game averaging 4.1 SOG and 1.1 blocked shots per game over his last 10 starts. While his peripheral stats are great, his point-production has also picked up of late and it’s worth noting that he’s been a far more consistent producer at home with 24 of his 38 points this year having been scored in games played in Ottawa. The Jets are a great matchup for the Senators first-line as they have the fifth-worst penalty-kill in the league and allow the fifth-most SOG per night. At under $7K in and blessed with a great matchup, it’s a good time to lean on him as an anchor play tonight.
Value on OffenseAlex Iafallo ($4,900), LAK vs. FLA – Iafallo may be something of a last man standing for the Kings as they’ve just traded away his former linemate, Tyler Toffoli, and have little in the way of offensive producers outside to replace him. Iafallo is already seeing upwards of 2 mins and 30 seconds of power-play time per night and that stat only figures to increase for him going forward now. Iafallo has also played well of late, averaging 11.4 DKFP per game over his last 10-starts and gets a plus matchup here with Florida who is a bottom-10 team in terms of SOG allowed per game and penalty-kill efficiency. At under $5K, he’s a great low-to-mid-tier value you should be looking at here.
Noel Acciari ($4,400), FLA at LAK – Acciari saw a promotion to Florida’s big line across from Alex Barkov ($7,100) in Florida’s last game and it paid off for him immediately for fantasy purposes. While he only recorded one assist and two SOG the winger played just under 18 mins on the night which was more than he had in his last five games. The promotion could not have come at a better time either as the Panthers take on the Kings who are in the middle of trading away most of their best players and have the 10th-worst GAA in the league. Acciari is a nice value target for those wanting a piece of the FLA offense tonight.
Stud GoaliesCarter Hart ($7,200), PHI at CBJ – Hart enters this game having posted wins in four of his last five games. He’s been a solid fantasy contributor in that span going for over 17 DKFP in three of his last four starts overall, too. The only downside for Hart here is that the Flyers allow the fewest SOG per game, so his upside is somewhat capped on a nightly basis. Still, his price here is extremely affordable for a goalie in this good form, and it’s worth noting that the Flyers have played quite well of late, winning six of their last nine games. Columbus actually attempts the ninth-most SOG per game so Hart’s upside is perhaps even better here than it would be most nights.
Mackenzie Blackwood ($7,700), NJD vs. SJS – Blackwood has been on a serious tear of late, recording wins now in four straight starts. He’s been doing well despite playing behind one of the poorer defensive teams in hockey, too, and he comes in having seen an average of 41 Shots Against in his last four starts. Despite trading away some core players over the last few days, the Devils still enter this game as slight favorites at -125 on the money line so Blackwood is in a decent spot here to pick up the win bonus too. With his price remaining steady tonight, there’s no reason not to make him a target here against an offensively challenged Sharks team.
Value on DefenseJoakim Ryan ($3,600), LAK vs. FLA – As mentioned above, the Kings have started to move out several pieces of their core as the trade deadline approaches and they recently sent defenseman Alec Martinez packing to the Golden Knights, leaving a big gap on their back-end. Ryan figures to eat up at least some of those minutes and he was already playing on the Kings’ top pairing with Drew Doughty ($4,700). While he’s not a huge point-producer, the 26-year-old has been aggressive with his shot of late, recording three or more SOG now in five of his last six starts, and will face off against the Panthers here who allow the fifth-most SOG per game. While he’s not likely to land you a multi-point night, his production in other areas — and potential increase in role — continues to make him a solid value given his under $4K salary.
Power-Play DefensemenBrent Burns ($7,200), SJS at NJD – With Erik Karlsson out for the rest of the year, Burns is in a position to end the season strong for fantasy purposes. The former Norris Trophy winner has really picked up his offensive production of late and comes into tonight’s game having scored points in six straight games and averaging 4.5 SOG over his last four games. These were the kinds of numbers we were used to seeing from Burns in prior seasons and it seems like the old fantasy monster is back, for the time being at least. The Devils have been trading away their depth players, including ace shot-blacker Andy Greene, and enter tonight giving up the eighth-most SOG per game. This is another great matchup for Burns who should be considered a near must play until he shows signs of cooling off.
Tyson Barrie ($5,600), TOR vs. PIT– The Maple Leafs were pummeled in their last game with the Penguins but get a chance at some quick redemption tonight. While the Leafs goaltending may stop them from getting the win, you can expect their offense to show up with a better effort here and Barrie is someone you should have on your radar as far as defense targets go in DFS. While he’s only scored three points in his last 10-starts, he’s averaged nearly three SOG over that same spans and has also kicked in 1.5 blocked shots over that span too. With his price now well under $6K, it’s a decent night to consider stacking him with one of the Leafs big forwards as many are quick to dismiss him after the Leafs last poor outing.
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