The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into the top lines and line changes, fantasy studs, value picks and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
Top Lines of the Night
Washington Capitals vs Toronto Maple Leafs
Alex Ovechkin ($8,600) – Nicklas Backstrom ($7,300) – T.J. Oshie ($6,800)
Ovechkin once again led the Capitals in goals scored this season, becoming the first player in NHL history to lead his team in goals scored for 12 consecutive seasons. It was also his fourth straight season with over 300 shots on goal (SOG). Ovie has 82 points in 84 career playoff games. Backstrom finished the regular season fourth in the NHL in scoring, having scored the third-most amount of points in the league with 86. Oshie capped the best goal-scoring season of his career, posting a new season best with 33. Frederik Andersen struggled both against the Caps and on the road in the regular season, making this a solid matchup for the Caps’ top line.
Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators
Patrick Kane ($7,900) – Artemi Panarin ($6,700) – Artem Anisimov ($4,800)
One of the top lines in the NHL, this line was particularly dominant against the Predators this season, led by Kane. Kane finished in a tie for second in the NHL in scoring this season, and has the most points in the NHL since the beginning of last season. He had nine points in five games against the Predators in the regular season. Panarin posted his second straight season of at least 30 goals, 40 assists and 70 points and finished the year with points in six of his last seven games. Anisimov will draw back into the lineup for the first time since mid-March, after missing the final 13 games of the year with an injury. He solidly put up 45 points in 62 games on the year.
Superstar to Build Around
Auston Matthews ($7,700) – Matthews broke numerous Maple Leafs rookie records on his way to what could be a Rookie of the Year award at seasons end. He finished with 40 goals and 69 points, tying for second in the NHL in goals scored. Despite the tough matchup tonight against the Capitals, he had success against Washington during the regular season, posting three points and a 3.8 FPTs average in three games this year.
Value on Offense
Kris Versteeg ($3,600) – Versteeg finished the regular season on an absolute tear, riding a four-game point streak into the playoffs and garnering points in eight of his last 10 games. He had five points in four games against the Ducks this year, with three points coming in two games against Anaheim last week.
Nick Schmaltz ($4,400) – Schmaltz found himself entrenched in the Blackhawks top-six at the end of the season and should stick on Jonathan Toews’ line to open the playoffs. He had six points in his last 10 games and had an assist and seven SOG in his last two games of the season.
Braden Holtby ($8,400) – Holtby capped what could be a second straight Vezina-winning season with a solid 40 minutes of play against the Panthers on Sunday. Holtby led the league in wins and shutouts, was second in goals against average (GAA) and fourth in save percentage. He struggled in two games against the Leafs in the regular season, but was phenomenal at home posting a 27-7-2 record and a 1.69 GAA on home ice.
John Gibson ($7,900) – Gibson will tend the net for the Ducks in the series opener after retaking the position upon his return from injury. He played three games in April before the end of the season, winning his last two starts of the year and finishing the season with a 37-save shutout against the Blackhawks. He was 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA this season vs the Flames.
Value on Defense
Shea Theodore ($2,700) – Theodore drew into the Ducks lineup for the final four games of the season and played some very solid hockey. He posted a goal in the season finale against the Kings and added six blocked shots and 10 SOG over his final four contests. He has also been running the point on the Ducks first power play (PP) unit.
Brent Seabrook ($4,500) – Seabrook had another solid season for Chicago, anchoring their second pair and running the point on their first PP unit with Duncan Keith. He had a great year against the Predators, posting five points against Nashville with three coming on the PP.
Power Play Defensemen
Kevin Shattenkirk ($6,100) – Shattenkirk settled in well with the Capitals after the trade deadline, putting up a 2-12-14 stat line in 19 games. He fired off 46 SOG and had one power play goal (PPG) and seven power play points (PPP) overall. He had three points and eight SOG in three games against Toronto in the regular season between the Blues and Capitals.
P.K. Subban ($5,100) – It was a down season for Subban in his first season in Nashville, posting 41 points and playing in only 67 games. However, his game really came alive in the second half of the season, and he finished the year with 16 PPP. Subban had three points, two PPP, eight blocks and eight SOG in three games against Chicago in the regular season, averaging 3.8 FPTs per game against them this year.
Make sure to check out the Cheat Sheet every day, and, as always, for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is HardingJ2) 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.