At long last we have a real slate with which to work as there are eight games on tap tonight in the NHL. None of the teams in action played last night, and most have not played in more than a week because of the All-Star break and bye week. That being said, 12 out of 16 teams on tonight’s slate will play tomorrow as well, which could affect matchups. Therefore, recommended plays could change throughout the day.
Note: Alex Ovechkin will serve his one-game suspension tonight as the Capitals host the Flames.
NSH @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
CGY @ WSH – 7:00pm EST
CHI @ BUF – 7:00pm EST
OTT @ PIT – 7:00pm EST
TBL @ NYI – 7:00pm EST
VGK @ CAR – 7:30pm EST
TOR @ DET – 7:30pm EST
MIN @ DAL – 8:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Last night’s Main FanDuel cash line was able to cash easily with a 188.9, and a suggested variation of the line (with Marcus Johansson) produced a 211. As I wrote in yesterday’s post, NYR 1 was a solid choice. While I went against my better judgment and only used one member of that line, Mika Zibanejad came through with a massive night, scoring a hat trick and an assist and earning 53 fantasy points at just 27% ownership. Mark Scheifele also scored a goal for the Jets, who came from behind to defeat the struggling Sergei Bobrovsky; Scheifele finished the night with a goal, three shots and two blocks for 20 FP. Boston’s top line was a popular target, though Philadelphia was able to extend its winning streak to six games. Fortunately, using David Pastrnak as a one-off paid off as he scored both of Boston’s goals and finished the night with 32.5 FP. Kyle Connor was having a tough night but came through with the game-winning goal with just over a minute left in the game, earning 16.8 FP on the night. The two value wingers from NJD 2 did nothing (though they had high ownership), but Johansson scored a goal and an assist for 23.7 FP. However, the third value player from the Devils, Damon Severson, picked up 16.5 FP with a power-play assist, four shots and a block. Jacob Trouba also had a strong night, contributing 24.5 FP thanks to two assists (one on the man advantage, as he was the guy on the top unit), two shots and three blocks. Lastly, Connor Hellebuyck picked up a win despite giving up three goals on 31 shots. His ownership was surprisingly low considering Bobrovsky was in the crease at the other end of the ice, but he managed 22.4 FP, which was especially helpful since Tuukka Rask and Keith Kinkaid, who ended up being the chalk goalies in FanDuel cash contests, both lost.
As for other players highlighted in yesterday’s post, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello found the scoresheet multiple times, earning 18.6 FP and 29.3 FP, respectively, while Chris Kreider scored a goal for 15.2 FP. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand picked up assists, and Sean Couturier tallied a power-play assist on Travis Sanheim’s game-winning goal. David Krejci and Peter Cehlarik were held to five shots and a block, though they had several good looks throughout the game. Columbus’ top power-play unit had multiple goals, but Pierre-Luc DuBois earned just 3.2 FP as Cam Atkinson was a last-minute scratch. The Devils’ and Rangers’ line combinations changed the value recommendations on the back end, as did the fact that Trouba was the one on the top power-play unit during morning skate. In the end, Josh Morrissey was held to 4.8 FP and Anthony DeAngelo was scratched.
Both Pittsburgh centers are prominent options on tonight’s slate, but it’s tough to choose which one will go off on any given night, and both were held off the scoresheet when these teams last played. The Toronto centers also make life difficult, especially now that the team is rolling three lines. But for elite options, despite the difficult matchup, I would prefer to go with the hot hand in Steven Stamkos ($8,700), who has points in seven straight and in nine out of his last 10 games. He scored a total of five goals and 15 points in that stretch, which includes an assist and five shots for 16 fantasy points when these teams met in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. The Islanders were one of the hottest teams in the league leading up to the break, so there is certainly risk in spending up on a player in a potentially tricky matchup.
One player who could be a little safer is Detroit’s Dylan Larkin ($6,900), who has been a very reliable cash play for most of the season. Larkin has two goals and four points in three games against Toronto this season, recording 14 shots in those three contests. Though the Maple Leafs have improved their blue line with the acquisition of Jake Muzzin, Larkin is one of those players who always seems to contribute with his steady shot volume and ability to find the scoresheet.
Sebastian Aho ($6,900) had points in three straight games before participating in the All-Star game, and he has six goals and 12 points in his last seven games. Aho skates on the Hurricanes’ first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.7 fantasy points per game this season. He and Nino Niederreiter have combined for a 61.43 Corsi For percentage in four games together, and Aho has been particularly effective on home ice this year, scoring 34 points in 25 home contests. He has gone pointless in two career games against Vegas, but he could take advantage of the home matchup.
Mathew Barzal ($6,600) and Brock Nelson ($5,400) will look to take advantage of Andrei Vasilevskiy’s recent struggles. He gave up four goals against the Islanders a few weeks ago and gave up four the other night in Pittsburgh. Though the Islanders’ offense isn’t comparable to Pittsburgh’s, both centers are worth considering, especially since both found the scoresheet when Tampa was in town prior to the break.
Vincent Trocheck ($5,800) has been great since returning to Florida’s lineup. He centers the team’s second line and second power-play unit and has points in three straight, scoring two goals and five points in that time. He managed a goal and an assist against the Predators in Nashville, finishing the game with 26.9 fantasy points. Though the Predators are a difficult opponent, Trocheck has been consistent and remains underpriced at just $5,800.
One under-the-radar value option is Nick Bonino ($4,800), who has goals in three straight games and in five out of his last seven games, a stretch during which he has collected six goals and nine points. He skates on Nashville’s third line and second power-play unit and tallied two points against Florida in the Jan. 19 meeting.
Some could turn to Nazem Kadri ($4,700) since he’s coming off a hat-trick performance as part of a new-look third line. Mikael Backlund ($5,600) could have a favorable matchup against the Ovechkin-less Capitals. Additional options are listed below.
Also consider: John Tavares ($8,200), Sean Monahan ($8,000), Jack Eichel ($7,400), Matt Duchene ($7,000), Eric Staal ($6,400), Nicklas Backstrom ($6,400), Charlie Coyle ($5,200), Casey Mittelstadt ($3,700), Victor Rask ($3,300)
Three of the most prolific wingers are on the slate tonight, though it may not be worth reaching for some of them on FanDuel. One player with a favorable matchup is Patrick Kane ($8,900), who was on fire before the break and will be playing in his home town of Buffalo tonight. He’ll likely remain on the Blackhawks’ top line with Jonathan Toews, though line combinations weren’t available at the time of publish. Kane entered the break with points in nine straight and in 16 out of his last 17 games, collecting 14 goals and 34 points in that span. He is averaging 20.8 fantasy points per game this season.
Another top option on the slate with a potentially favorable matchup is Johnny Gaudreau ($8,700), who will go up against a Capitals team that lost seven games in a row before the break and that will be without Alex Ovechkin as he serves a one-game suspension for missing the All-Star game. Gaudreau showed in his most recent game how costly it can be to spend that much on a player who has an off night, but while there are plenty of games on tonight’s slate, Gaudreau should continue to be a popular play in cash contests, which alleviates some of the risk. He will look to get back on track after he snapped an 11-game point streak the last time out. There’s always a chance the Capitals will bounce back and play well, but the odds aren’t in their favor; Calgary will look to pick up where they left off with a strong start on the road.
Both Jake Guentzel ($7,700) and Phil Kessel ($7,500) are in play, though both are drastically better plays on DraftKings where they are significantly underpriced. That being said, both wingers have been productive of late, and while the Penguins were limited in Ottawa, they could put on a better performance on home ice.
Jeff Skinner ($7,100) and Sam Reinhart ($6,300) have a favorable matchup against a Blackhawks team that is leaking goals. Though Chicago has been much better of late, many of their recent games have been shootouts, which leaves the door open for the Sabres to bounce back after getting shut out in Dallas the other night. Both wingers skate on Buffalo’s top line and top power-play unit with Jack Eichel, who could also be a strong bet tonight against Chicago. Also consider Evan Rodrigues ($3,400) and the second line, which has been a cheap value stack that has found success in recent games. Rodrigues had goals in four straight games before coming up empty in Dallas.
Nino Niederreiter ($5,400) has four goals in his last three games, earning 37.3, 3.2 and 28.8 fantasy points, respectively. He and Sebastian Aho have found instant chemistry, and Niederreiter seems to have fit right in with his new team as a member of the top line and top power-play unit. If Marc-Andre Fleury does not get the start for Vegas, Niederreiter should be that much more of a solid bet, especially for the price. He is somewhat hit-or-miss, but skating with Aho certainly has its perks.
For value, Frank Vatrano ($4,600) is definitely a name that pops out when going through the winger options. He had goals in three straight before the break and enters tonight’s game with points in six out of seven, recording five goals and nine points in that stretch. He managed a four-point game for 46.1 fantasy points in his last outing, and he scored a goal on six shots for 24.8 fantasy points against the Predators. Vatrano skates on Florida’s first line and second power-play unit.
Also consider: Viktor Arvidsson ($7,800), Zach Parise ($7,200), Elias Lindholm ($7,200), Mark Stone ($7,100), Alex Tuch ($5,900), T.J. Oshie ($5,900), Jordan Eberle ($5,700), Evgenii Dadonov ($5,200), Justin Williams ($4,700), Dylan Strome ($4,500)*, Alex Killorn ($4,300), Andreas Johnsson ($4,300), William Nylander ($4,200), Brandon Pirri ($4,100), Brady Tkachuk ($4,000), J.T. Miller ($3,900), Chandler Stephenson ($3,300), Pontus Aberg ($3,200)
*2G, 5P in last 2GP
Kris Letang ($6,800) and Mark Giordano ($6,500) could both garner attention in cash contests tonight, and both are in favorable positions. However, Roman Josi ($6,600) generally offers a safer floor through his peripheral stat coverage (teammates Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis have been reliable of late as well). That doesn’t mean Giordano isn’t in a great spot tonight (the same is true for Letang, who is coming off a huge performance in which he earned 34.4 fantasy points), though Giordano’s most recent game is difficult to forget since he managed just 1.6 fantasy points. That being said, he had been on a roll (15 points during a seven-game point streak) and skates on Calgary’s high-flying top power-play unit. The Nashville rearguards split fantasy points, though they rarely leave you hanging.
Buffalo defenders Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,000) and Rasmus Dahlin ($4,900) are attractive options considering they’re going up against Chicago, a team that has been very generous to opposing blueliners. Ristolainen skates on the team’s top power-play unit, while Dahlin was relegated to the second unit. However, both players have been productive in recent games and are in good spots tonight at home against the Hawks. Ristolainen has points in four out of his last five, while the rookie has eight points in his last eight games.
There are plenty of strong value options on tonight’s slate, many of which are listed below. If you want to go for a three-man mini-stack of Florida’s second power-play unit, Aaron Ekblad ($4,500) is priced reasonably and has points in back-to-back games, including a two-point performance against Nashville (just keep in mind that the team’s top power-play unit is more viable for cash). Jake Muzzin ($4,500) will get his first test drive with his new team, and Marcus Pettersson ($3,700) remains a strong value play despite coming off a goose-egg performance against Tampa Bay. Colin Miller ($3,700) recorded four assists, eight shots and two blocks in three games with the Knights before the break after missing a month of action, and Devon Toews ($3,600) has hit value in four out of his last six games, including the recent game against Tampa in which he scored a goal and came away with 16.8 fantasy points.
Also consider: John Carlson ($6,700), Thomas Chabot ($5,500), Keith Yandle ($5,500), Dougie Hamilton ($4,800), Mikhail Sergachev ($4,100), Mike Matheson ($3,800), Scott Mayfield ($3,700), Jake McCabe ($3,600)
Not one goalie was confirmed at the time of publish, making it difficult to narrow down the list. This is especially true since 12 out of 16 teams will be playing in the first half of back-to-back sets, which means there could be multiple backups in play. However, the only game on the slate with a projected total of 5.5 goals is the Minnesota vs. Dallas game. Considering Ben Bishop is coming off a 30-save shutout, he might make some sense at $8,500, but goalies will have to be reevaluated closer to lock.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: James P. McCoy-Buffalo News