At the moment there are only contests that include five of the six NHL games on the docket tonight with the scheduling change of the Capitals vs Ducks game moved to a 5 PM start due to the weather conditions in Washington, so check DraftKings later on to see if they start any contests that have all six games included. That being said, I will not have any players from that game in this post due to the uncertainty of that games being put into contests. Let’s take a look at some of top and bargain buys for tonight’s game:
Jaroslav Halak ($7,500) – With the drubbing that the Senators took last night against the Devils, and the fact that they have to travel back to Ottawa for the second half of their back-to-back game slate with the Islanders, I like the matchup for Halak tonight against the Sens. Halak is having a great season, 11-8-4 record aside, by posting a 2.11 GAA and a .924 SV%. He has posted back-to-back fantastic outings allowing one goal against to each of the Canucks and Rangers. He is one of the top goalies on the evening and comes in $400 less than the threshold of the top goalies on the board tonight allowing you some more flexibility in your lineups.
Henrik Lundqvist ($7,900) – Hank is back to playing great hockey for the Rangers and has been on a tear as of late allowing two goals or less in five of his last six starts, powering him to a 4-1-1 record over that time span. Lundy has a great matchup tonight against the Hurricanes, another team traveling home after playing on the road last night, a team that he has owned his entire career. In 32 matchups vs Carolina Lundqvist has posted a 22-9-1 mark with a 2.06 GAA and .928 SV%. With Carolina’s struggles in net, and their lack of depth at the position, the Rangers and Lundqvist will have fantastic opportunity to pick up a win and keep a struggling team in check.
Others to Consider: Petr Mrazek ($7,600), Brian Elliott ($8,000), Roberto Luongo ($8,000), Calvin Pickard ($6,400)
Duncan Keith ($6,000) – Keith is my top defensemen of the evening when the Blackhawks take on the Panthers on the second night of their back-to-back Florida swing. Keith still had a solid game last night against the Lightning despite being kept off the scoresheet and ending his four-game point streak. He had two blocked shots and three SOG against the Lightning. Keith has seven points, 13 blocks and 21 SOG in his last 10 games, averaging over three FPPG over that span, and in limited action vs Florida in his career he has managed eight points in 12 matchups.
Ryan McDonagh ($4,900) – McDonagh is up to 23 points on the season for the Rangers and has come on strong as of late as their blueline offense with Keith Yandle’s continued inconsistencies this season. The Rangers Captain is riding a three-game point streak with an assist in each of his last three games. He has also added 10 blocked shots and six SOG on the streak. Overall he has points in five of his last six games (7 assists). The Rangers face the Hurricanes on the road tonight and this season in two games against Carolina McDonagh has a goal, two SOG and eight blocked shots.
Nick Leddy ($4,200) – The Islanders defensive corps has taken a huge hit from the injury bug this season and took a bigger hit with the loss of promising rookie Adam Pelech. Even with the potential return of Travis Hamonic tonight Leddy is a solid value play on a limited blueline night. After a slow start to his season Leddy has eight points in his last 10 games with 10 blocks and 20 SOG over that time span. He has points in two straight games with a goal against the Rangers and an assist against the Canucks with four blocks and six SOG in those two games. The Islanders can turn on the offense and Leddy will be the focal point of their offense from the blueline in this matchup that could quickly turn into a high-scoring affair.
Others to Consider: Justin Faulk ($6,200), Kevin Shattenkirk ($6,600), Rasmus Ristolainen ($6,000), Aaron Ekblad ($5,000), Mike Green ($4,600), Nick Holden ($3,900), Brendan Smith ($2,700)
Derek Stepan ($5,100) – Stepan has not had the season that many were expecting him to save after signing his massive extension last offseason, but he has been a very good player just not fantasy relevant. However, Step has come on strong as of late with seven points in his last 10 games. He’s riding a three-game point streak with a goal and three assists against Philly, Washington and had a multi-point game against the Canucks. With Derick Brassard uncertain to be back in the lineup tonight Stepan could see an even larger role in the offense, but he will be heavily involved in the Rangers top-six rotation regardless and should be considered tonight especially for the price.
Carl Soderberg ($4,800) – It might come as a surprise to some, but Soderberg is the leading scorer on Colorado since Thanksgiving. One of the more underrated signings of the off-season coming over from the Bruins, Soderberg has solidified the Avs top-six on a line with Gabriel Landeskog and Blake Comeau. He has points in five of his last seven games for Colorado and has now moved into second on the team in points with 33 and leads Nathan MacKinnon by one in the assist column with 24. Soderberg has a goal and two assists in his last two games and is skating on the Avs hottest line at the moment. With Duchene and MacKinnon slumping lately, and Soderberg costing roughly $2,000 less than either player, he is a great mid-level play for them this evening.
Artemi Panarin ($6,200) – Panarin continues his march toward the Rookie of the Year and sits ninth overall in the league in scoring with 45 points. The Russian rookie has extended his lead in the rookie scoring race to 14 points with Max Domi’s 31 points sitting second. He was on a huge run before being kept off the scoresheet last night against the Lightning with two multi-point games and points in three straight overall with a goal and five assists. Playing with Patrick Kane helps greatly, but he has a great matchup tonight against the suddenly slumping Panthers who have lost four straight and have allowed 16 goals against in that span. He has been slightly better this season on the road with 24 of his 45 points coming in 24 away games and with the struggles of Luongo and the Panthers, Panarin is one of my top skaters of the evening.
Bobby Ryan ($5,500) – Ryan picked up an assist last night in the Senators losing effort to the Devils. He’s up to 40 points in 46 games this season. Ryan is second on the Sens in all three scoring categories sitting behind Erik Karlsson in points and assist and Mike Hoffman in goals on the team. He has points in three straight games against solid goaltending for LA, San Jose and the Devils and has been a thorn in the Islander side over his career with six points in nine games vs NY. He is an affordable price tonight and on the season has 19 points in 21 games on home ice.
Evander Kane ($6,000) – It took Kane awhile to settle into the lineup in Buffalo this season but he has found a great chemistry with Ryan O’Reilly on the Sabres top line and is starting to hit his offensive stride. Kane has points in four of his last six games putting up two goals and three assists with 28 SOG in those games. He has not seen the offensive output that many were expecting with only 18 points in 37 games this year, but 10 have come at home. In his career vs Detroit he has six points in eight games and I like the Kane/O’Reilly line tonight despite a tough matchup vs Detroit starter Petr Mrazek.
Others to Consider: John Tavares ($7,700), Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,800), Brock Nelson ($4,800), Henrik Zetterberg ($5,700), Jack Eichel ($5,500), Artem Anisimov ($4,800), Jonathan Toews ($6,300), Rick Nash ($7,000), Jaromir Jagr ($5,700), Kyle Okposo ($5,600), Jeff Skinner ($4,600), Andrew Shaw ($4,000), Alex Tanguay ($3,800), Richard Panik ($2,700)
Make sure to check out the NHL Cheat Sheet and NHL Line Stacks posts today and as always for any DFS Hockey questions or comments this season, find me on Twitter at: @JHarding_Hockey