The NHL Cheat Sheet is your quick-hit daily look into totals, fantasy studs, value picks, and more to help you navigate your DFS Hockey lineups.
– Minnesota Wild vs. Ottawa Senators – 5.5
– Boston Bruins vs. San Jose Sharks – 5.5
– Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals – 5
Andrei Vasilevskiy – TB @ TOR – $8,000: This was a tough decision between Vasilevskiy and Braden Holtby, who has equally as good of a matchup against the Hurricanes, but I went with Vas. He had his personal three-game winning streak snapped against the Flyers his last time out when he allowed three goals on 39 shots, but it’s his performance against the Maple Leafs this season that makes him my top starter against them tonight. In three games against Toronto this year, Vasilevskiy has been superb – going 3-0-0 and only allowing five goals against on 99 shots faced, good for a 1.65 GAA and .949 SV%. Just two weeks ago Vas went into Air Canada center and held the Leafs in check, stopping 31 of 32 shots to pick up the victory. He goes for the season sweep of Toronto tonight and with his success against them this season so far, he is easily one of the top netminders available tonight.
Top Line of the Night
Vs. Carolina Hurricanes
The Capitals have hit a bit of a wall as of late, having lost three of their last five games and have needed to get to OT to win both of their games in that span. Ovechkin seemed to hit a wall with the team but has begun to put points back on the board with assists in three of his last four games, despite not scoring a goal in his past six. Backstrom has remained a solid contributor for the Caps in their down stretch, as well, with nine points in their last 10 games including points in three of his last four games. His run of offense has propelled him into the top-10 in the league in scoring with 63 points on the year, joining teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov as the other Capital in the top-10. T.J. Oshie has prominently been the RW for this line all season up to this point, but Beagle skated with the two top playmakers on Monday and could be bumped up to top-line duty in an effort to add some size and grit to the line. Beagle, all of 13 points this season, could see a decent amount of time with Ovie and Backstrom, but monitor this to see confirmation of him playing in that spot and if he does he becomes one of the top value picks of the evening.
Top Upside at Defense
Kris Letang – PIT vs NYI – $7,000: Letang pushed his point streak to four games with an assist against the Rangers on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh’s big divisional win against NY. Now Letang gets the Islanders tonight in Pittsburgh having scored a goal against them just last Tuesday, the second game of his current streak. Overall, Letang has eight points in his last 10 games and has added 23 shots and 15 blocks. The Penguins host the Islanders tonight, who are on the second night of a back-to-back after beating Florida in Brooklyn last night, and they will face either last night’s starter Thomas Greiss or Jean-Francois Berube who hasn’t seen game action in over a month.
Alex Goligoski – DAL vs LA – $4,800: Goligoski has taken the reins of the Stars’ blueline offense with John Klingberg still out, and confirmed to not be playing on Tuesday night against the Kings. Goligoski has eight points, all assists, that have come in seven of his last eight games for Dallas, while posting two multi-assist games. The Stars have a matchup tonight against the Kings who are coming off a 5-0 win last night over the Blackhawks with Jonathan Quick in net, so the Stars tonight might be in line for a matchup with Jonas Enroth.
Superstar to Build Lineups Around
Jamie Benn, LW – DAL vs LA – $8,000: This was a toss-up between Benn and Tyler Seguin tonight, and both are now playing on separate lines. I went with Benn because of his recent stronger performance. With 10 points in his last 10 games, Benn has surged ahead of Seguin in the race for second place in scoring behind Patrick Kane and is now up to 77 points on the year.
“He has back-to-back multi-point games with a goal and an assist”
Benn has been productive lately no matter the opponent, riding a four-game point streak with points against the Senators, Habs, Blackhawks and Blues. He has back-to-back multi-point games with a goal and an assist against each of Chicago and St. Louis and has put up at least one power-play point in each of his last four games. The Stars are facing the Kings tonight in a tough matchup, but they are catching the Kings coming off a game last night in Chicago. I like Benn’s matchup against a tired L.A. team potentially playing backup goalie Jonas Enroth.
Sven Andrighetto, RW – MON vs FLA – $3,800: With the Canadiens almost assuredly out of the playoffs Andrighetto is taking advantage of the prime opportunity to play on the Habs top line with Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk to show what he can bring to the table. It took him a few games there to settle in, but he now has four points in his last three games. All the points have been of the assist variety, with one coming on the PP, but Andrighetto has not been shy about shooting either, with seven shots on goal (SOG) and three blocked shots in those four games, as well. He’s on the higher end of value players with a $3,800 price tag, but he is playing a lot of minutes in a top line role and has a matchup with a team that played a hard-fought game in Brooklyn last night in a loss to the Islanders.
Vincent Lecavalier, C – LA @ DAL – $3,200: Lecavalier has taken on a much larger role with the Kings since his trade from Philly and has 13 points in his 29 games with the Kings this season, after only a point in seven games with Philly to start the season. He’s centering a very solid third line for LA with Dustin Brown and Tanner Pearson and has points in four of his last five games. He has managed a goal in three of his last four overall, including a marker in the Kings 5-0 win over the Blackhawks last night. In his only game against the Stars this season, Vinny notched a power play goal and two SOG.
Jakub Voracek, RW – PHI vs DET – $6,600 Voracek continues to battle a lower-body injury that has kept him out of the Flyers lineup and will continue to keep him out Tuesday night against the Red Wings. Voracek hasn’t suited up for the Flyers in over two weeks, but still holds down the second spot in team scoring on the season.
Nikita Kucherov, RW – TB @ TOR – $6,500 Kucherov took a sucker punch from Columbus’ Dalton Prout on Sunday and was forced to leave their game. Kucherov is listed as day-to-day at the moment, but it is not believed to be serious. Kucherov is the leading scorer on the season for the Lightning, so if he’s active against the lowly Maple Leafs who he has three points against in three games this season, roll him with confidence.