Max Pacioretty

We have our regular massive Thursday slate on tap as the season inches closer to the all-star break. Even though there’s plenty of players on the IL, the Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault ($5,900) looks like the only real big-name player who is a game-time decision tonight, be sure to check the DKLIVE app for news and updates. Some of the key fantasy match-ups tonight include Predators at Blackhawks, Devils at Rangers, Oilers at Canadiens and Jets at Bruins.


Top Line Stacks

Stars at Ducks

Tyler Seguin ($7,200) – Alexander Radulov ($6,000) – Jamie Benn ($5,900)

While it can be tough to gauge which nights the Stars L1 is going to actually show up for fantasy purposes, there’s no doubting the potential upside here for this slate. While it’s been a bit of a slow few games for the trio, squaring off against the defensively challenged Ducks is a matchup to take advantage of, especially given they may not be that popular target on this large slate. After a solid start to the year, Anaheim now features the 12th worst penalty-kill and 10th worst GAA in the league. Additionally, they give up the 11th most SOG and come into this game having allowed at least four goals against in each of their last five games. Each of these players in the trio has multi-goal potential and of late have stuck together at even strength and on the power-play, giving them solid correlation upside. Even in such a solid matchup, this line should be lower-owned on most GPPs but carry good upside potential here.

Oilers at Canadiens

Leon Draisaitl ($6,900) – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins ($5,200) – Kailer Yamamoto ($3,400)

The Oilers are coming off two solid wins in a row and now face the Montreal Canadiens who feature the eighth-worst penalty-kill in the league and the sixth-worst GAA. Since the Oilers split up their two superstars, determining who to stack there for DFS purposes has become a little more difficult, but since calling up Kailer Yamamoto from the minors the Oilers’ second-line has been able to rack up 15 points between them in their last four games. Leon Draisaitl is available at under $7K here as well, which seems like a huge bargain given that he has come alive of late with multi-point efforts in his last two games and will still see plenty of power-play time alongside Conner McDavid ($8,500) and Nugent-Hopkins. This affordable trio has serious upside and a great matchup to take advantage of here.

Superstar to Target

Max Pacioretty ($6,900), VGK vs. LAK The Golden Knights enter the slate as the biggest favorites against the Kings, and for good reason. Both of LA’s goalies boast save percentages well under .900 into this game and have been at their worst in road starts where neither has a save percentage over .890. Pacioretty may not score at the same rate as some of the elite players in the game but he shoots just as much and comes into this game ranked third in the league in SOG. With injury issues upfront for Vegas, he should see plenty of power-play time here against a Kings team with the fifth-worst penalty-kill in the league. This one is simple. A stud forward under $7K, who shoots a ton against a terrible goalie. Don’t overthink it.

Value on Offense

Ilya Kovalchuk ($4,000), MTL vs. EDM The Canadiens seem committed to making Kovalchuk a thing again and perhaps their injury situation is dire enough to make it work. The 36-year-old, on again off again NHLer, has worked into the Canadiens rotation quickly, averaging over 19 minutes of ice in his last two games while racking up three assists. Even though the Oilers possess one of the league’s best penalty-kills, at $4K it’s hard to say no to getting a piece of the Canadiens first-line here, especially with big minutes locked in against a team with suspect goaltending.

Craig Smith ($4,000), NAS at CHI Smith has come on of late for the Predators, scoring an eye-popping eight goals and three assists over his last 10 games. While that rate is obviously unsustainable long-term, the increased production has led to Smith seeing more power-play time of late and that increased role could pay off tonight against a Blackhawks team who allows the most SOG against per game. If you’re looking to get a piece of Nashville’s offense tonight, in a prime matchup, Smith’s a good cost-effective way to go about doing so.

Stud Goalies

Ben Bishop ($8,000), DAL at ANH Bishop has been sharp in his last two outings, stopping 72 of his last 76 shots faced. The veteran is coming off a night of rest and now takes on an Anaheim team that scores the fourth-fewest goals per game in the league at just 2.5. Dallas may come in as just small favorites here but the Ducks have been on a big slide of late, losing four of their last five games and Bishop looks like a prime candidate here to go after a shutout against a team that’s been held to two or fewer goals now in three of their last five games. He looks like a solid upper-tier value at just $8K.

Mike Smith ($7,500), EDM at MTL Smith is a roll of the dice anytime you choose him as your goalie in DFS but his overall inconsistency means that you can often get him at a discount, even when he’s playing well. The veteran netminder comes into this game having won two games in a row and sports much better road stats overall this year, as he’s posted a .911 save percentage in 13 road starts this year and averaged 13.2 DKFP in those games as well. The Oilers are playing better of late, having won three of their last four games and Smith could be in a good position here to achieve both the win and save bonus against the Canadiens, who lead the league in SOG per game.

Value on Defense

Esa Lindell ($4,000), DAL at ANH Lindell has seen a big boost in ice time of late with the injury to John Klingberg, averaging 24.5 minutes of ice over his last two games. The increase in ice time has largely been as a result of Lindell seeing increased usage on the power-play, and the Fin has taken advantage of that opportunity recording power-play assists in back-to-back games, while accumulating an impressive five assists overall in that same span. While he’s not a huge shot-taker, the opportunity for Lindell to continue his point-streak seems strong tonight against the Ducks, who feature the 11th worst penalty-kill in the league. He’ll remain a solid value target until his role or salary dramatically changes.

Power-Play Defensemen

Shea Theodore ($5,100), VGK vs. LAK The Golden Knights have a terrific matchup tonight and Theodore, who has averaged 3.3 SOG over his last 10 games, should be in a position here to challenge some of the top scorers at his position tonight. The Golden Knights power-play specialist has averaged just over three minutes of power-play time per game this year and has flashed solid upside of late too, posting five games with 15 or more DKFP in his last 10 starts, as well. As mentioned above, the Kings are a great opponent for the Golden Knights power-play specialists and pairing Theodore with one or more of their forwards makes for a good stacking strategy on tonight’s busy slate.

Oscar Klefbom ($6,300), EDM at MTL Klefbom is coming off another solid game in which he posted a goal and four SOG and just missed hitting both the blocked shot and SOG bonus together. The Oilers backend ace has proven that he’s capable of that feat on pretty much any slate and will certainly get a chance at adding to his league-leading blocked shot totals against Montreal who attempt the most SOG every night at 35 per game. Averaging just under 4 mins of power-play time per game on the league’s best power-play unit, Klefbom almost always feels like a steal at this price range and even more so tonight against a weaker defensive team like Montreal that sports a 3.14 team GAA and a below-average penalty-kill.

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