After a solid eight-game slate last night, tonight’s packed nine-game schedule gives DraftKings DFS hockey players another player pool filled with talent on this important night of hockey action with playoff implications on the line. There are some top players and lines out there tonight with teams like the Blues, Penguins and Stars all playing and there are some decent value plays as well tonight, so let’s take a look:
FLORIDA PANTHERS (VS TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS)
“I’ve got the hair. I’ve got the beard. I’ve got everything.” That’s the mindset of Jaromir Jagr going into the playoffs and quite frankly there isn’t much to argue with. Finishing up his 23rd NHL season Jagr is actually on pace to break his numbers from his rookie year when as a 19-year-old he scored 27 goals and had 57 points (he has 25 and 57 at the moment). He has been as consistent as he could be this season, despite dealing with injuries to some of his linesmates. Now that this line is healthy and have been playing together for a few weeks, they’re rounding into prime form again for Florida’s stretch run to the playoffs. Jagr and Huberdeau both are in the double-digit point outputs in their last 10 games (Jagr 10, Hub 11) and all three members of this line have found the scoresheet in their last two outings. Barkov has three assists in those games, Jagr a goal and two assists and Huberdeau has netted two and added a helper. This has been Florida’s best line all season and when healthy has been one of the more underrated top-scoring lines in all the NHL. The trio has a fantastic matchup tonight against a Leafs coming off a 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay last night and should be at the top of your Line Stacks list tonight.
SAN JOSE (@ VANCOUVER)
I have been a huge fan of this line all season and much like the Panthers top line, this line has been severely underrated. Both Pavelski and Thornton are tied for fifth in the league in scoring with 73 points joining Tyler Seguin, Johnny Gaudreau and Evgeny Kuznetsov at that mark. This trio has matched each other with nine points apiece in each of their last 10 games. Pavelski has points in three straight games, two goals and two assists, adding two on the PP and 14 SOG in those three games. Thornton has three points in those three games with two helpers against the Oilers and then a goal against the Kings. Hertl has a point in two straight as well with a goal against the Stars and an assist vs the Kings on Thornton’s goal. This line has dominated the Canucks all season posting a combined 3-5-8 stat line in three games against them this year.
DALLAS STARS (VS NASHVILLE)
Benn and Sharp have been dynamic when together this season, albeit mostly with Tyler Seguin before he went down with an injury. They have continued to be solid for the Stars down the stretch since losing Seguin almost two weeks ago. Benn has three points in four games since losing Seguin, netting a goal and putting up two assists, giving him 83 points on the year good for second in the league. Sharp snapped a long scoring drought with an assist against the Islanders and then posted his best game of the month with a goal and an assist against the Sharks on Saturday. Eakin has been very formidable filling in for Seguin since he went down chipping in two points of his own and posting nine points in his last 10 games overall. They face a Predators team coming off a tough loss last night and potentially could face backup Carter Hutton, despite him coming in to relieve Pekka Rinne last night. I like the matchup tonight for the Stars top line.
ST. LOUIS BLUES (VS COLORADO)
Tarasenko has netted himself another 30/30 season and has quickly established himself as one of the best snipers in the league. He’s been a point-per-game player over his last 10 games and has a point in four of five. Lehtera is good for about five or six points every 10 games and added an assist in the Blues game against the Caps over the weekend. Schwartz was on a tear but has been held in check over his last three games, but he has played well against the Avalanche in his career with seven points in 10 career matchups. This line is dynamic and can put up the offense, especially Tarasenko, at any moment. I love their matchup tonight against Colorado who are coming off a tough game last night in Nashville and are starting Semyon Varlamov, who has allowed three goals against in each of his last three starts, for the second consecutive night.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (VS BUFFALO)
The Penguins who are not named Crosby that have been making a stir lately are their second line. Kessel this season has really excelled when he has not been playing with Sidney Crosby at Even Strength, and that has especially been on display lately with seven points in his last two games and only two coming on the man advantage. This line was the key cog for the Penguins against the Red Wings on Saturday in Pitt’s 7-2 win, with this line pitching in 12 points totals between the three of them. Kessel and Bonino matched each other with a goal and four assists apiece. Kessel added six shots in that game, and then followed it up with a goal and an assist on five shots against the Rangers on Sunday. Bonino was held in check by the Rangers while only posting one shot. Hagelin has been fantastic since coming over from the Ducks putting up 21 points in 30 games, after only 12 in 43 games to start the year. He netted a multi-goal game against the Red Wings and then hooked up with Kessel for the tying goal on Sunday against the Rangers that sent the game to OT. This line is skating very well right now and has a great matchup tonight against the lowly Maple Leafs in a game the Penguins must get points in for the playoff race.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS (VS BOSTON)
The Devils have been one of the surprises of the season in the NHL this year, competing in the standings more than most expected them to before the season began. They have been riddled with the injury bug, which has led to the formation of their best, current scoring line. Palmieri is in the midst of a career breakout season leading the Devils with career highs in goals (29), points (53) and third on the team with a career-high 24 assists. He has surged offensively lately to put himself in that position with eight points in his last six games. Zajac is one of the longest-tenured Devils on the roster who finds himself playing a myriad of spots throughout the lineup. He’s currently centering this line and has five points in his last seven games, including a goal and three SOG in Sunday’s game against the Hurricanes. Boucher has been kept in line his last two games, going scoreless after netting seven points in eight games before that. The Devils still have a slim chance to make the playoffs meaning they aren’t giving up, and they catch a Bruins team tonight that has been struggling overall lately losing five in a row before beating the Leafs over the weekend. Roll the Devils line tonight as one of the better value stacks out there.
Make sure to check out my NHL Cheat Sheet and NHL Targets posts today before finalizing your lineups. As always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey