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
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Evgeni Malkin ($7,900) – Phil Kessel ($6,200) – Bryan Rust ($4,400)
This line played a role in two of the Penguins’ three goals in their Game 1 victory over the Blue Jackets. Rust opened the scoring in the game with a goal, assisted by both Kessel and Malkin. Kessel added a power play (PP) goal later in the second period with Malkin picking up one of the two assists with Justin Schultz. Kessel, who finished the regular season on a three-game point streak, fired off seven shots on goal (SOG) in the game. This line will continue to be leaned on heavily by the Penguins going forward.
San Jose Sharks @ Edmonton Oilers
Joe Pavelski ($6,700) – Logan Couture ($5,500) – Melker Karlsson ($3,000)
With the Sharks’ top-six forwards still banged up, this was the top line San Jose rolled out on Wednesday night and it had a solid game against the Oilers. Pavelski has 80 points in 106 career playoff games. He dished out an assist on the game-winning goal on Wednesday night and also fired off three SOG. Karlsson scored the game-winner and added two blocks and two SOG to post a 5.0 FPT game. He will have fantasy value as long as he remains on the top line. Couture returned to the lineup after missing the last two weeks of the season to injury. Couture put up four points in three games against the Oilers during the regular season.
Superstar to Build Around
Zach Parise ($6,300) – Parise scored the Wild’s only goal in their loss to the Blues on Wednesday night. He fired off seven SOG in the losing effort. It was a down regular season for Parise, but dating back to the end of the regular season Parise has six points and 17 SOG in his last five games. Parise had 25 of his 42 points on the season in 36 games at home, and he has three points in six games vs the Blues this year.
Value on Offense
Vladimir Sobotka ($3,100) – Sobotka returned to the NHL last week after his contract in Russia ended and he re-joined the Blues right in time for the playoffs. He scored a goal in their season finale and followed that up with the opening goal of Game 1, while firing off two SOG.
Milan Lucic ($5,200) – Lucic ended the season on a five-game point streak and carried it over to the playoffs. He had a great Game 1 for the Oilers against the Sharks on Wednesday night, having a hand in both of the Edmonton goals on the evening. He picked up an assist on Oscar Klefbom’s opening goal and then scored on the PP later in the first period. He has six points in six games against the Sharks this year between the regular season and the playoffs.
Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,100) – Fleury was pressed into service for the Penguins on Wednesday night when Matt Murray was injured in warmups and was fantastic, stopping 31 of 32 shots to stymie the Blue Jackets. He was solid all season at home, posting a 15-3-2 record and is a great option tonight.
Jake Allen ($7,500) – Allen continued his impressive play from the end of the season into his start on Wednesday against the Wild. He stopped 51 of 52 shots he faced in the Blues OT victory, posting one of the best games of his career. He’ll get the nod again tonight as the Blues visit the Wild in Game 2.
Value on Defense
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4,200) – Vlasic had a great game against the Oilers in Game 1, dishing out two assists with one coming on the PP. Vlasic also added three blocks and two SOG, and carried his point streak over from the regular season and pushed it to three games.
Joel Edmundson ($3,200) – Edmundson netted the game-winning goal for the Blues on Wednesday night in OT to secure the Game 1 victory for St. Louis. He saw over 27 minutes of action in the game and posted a 5.5 FPT night in the process. He is not one for the offense but could continue to be a sneaky fantasy play.
* Power Play Defensemen*
Olli Maatta ($3,000) – Maatta dished out an assist in the series opener against the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night, while adding two SOG and four blocks to cap his 5.0 FPTs night. He missed 25 of the final 26 games of the season with injuries, returning to the Penguins lineup for their season finale.
Oscar Klefbom ($5,500) – Klefbom ended the regular season on a tear and was one of the NHL players of the week for the final week of the regular season. He kept it going with a goal, two SOG and two blocked shots in Game 1. He had five PP points in his last four games of the regular season, and continues to get plenty of time on the Oilers PP in the playoffs.
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.