There are 12 teams in action tonight in the NHL, with the Flyers, Ducks and Stars skating in the second half of back-to-back’s. The only one of those three teams that picked up a win last night was the Stars, though starting netminder Ben Bishop left the game with an injury, which leaves his status for tonight’s game against Vegas unclear. Jake Voracek will return to the Flyers’ lineup after serving his two-game suspension; additional players/news updates will be discussed in chat.
CAR @ CBJ – 7:00pm EST
PHI @ TOR – 7:00pm EST
VGK @ DAL – 8:00pm EST
NYR @ CGY – 9:00pm EST
ANA @ COL – 9:00pm EST
NJD @ VAN – 10:00pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: There were some mixed results with last night’s core as well as with the highlighted plays in the article. Both St. Louis and Boston had disappointing results, though there was always a chance Boston’s top line would draw a tough matchup (especially since Danton Heinen was taken off the line during the day). That made David Backes a solid value play on both sites, surpassing Carl Grundstrom as the top value winger; Backes managed four shots for 6.4 fantasy points on FanDuel (and 2 DraftKings fantasy points). Patrice Bergeron was held off the scoresheet but still provided a solid floor with three shots and three blocks for 9.6 FD FP (3 DK FP), but Brad Marchand’s scoring streak came to an end as the elite winger managed just three shots for 4.8 FD FP and 1.5 DK FP. Fortunately, the featured player of yesterday’s article, who was also a core play, was Nikita Kucherov, who had a monster performance. Tampa Bay was trailing but Kucherov and Co. came back with a vengeance; he scored two goals and two assists and added five shots and a block for 50.6 FD FP (13 DK FP). Timo Meier had a quiet night, though, chipping in just three shots for 4.8 FD FP, though his ownership was around 65 percent, which helped. Aleksander Barkov tallied a power-play assist but was held without a shot, which is certainly rare; he picked up just 8.5 FD FP and 2 DK FP, which was disappointing considering the Panthers scored four goals in a 4-2 win against San Jose. Sidney Crosby tallied two assists and 18.6 FD FP (4.5 DK FP) but had a relatively quiet game considering the Pens lit the lamp five times in Buffalo. Ryan O’Reilly and the Blues were shut out by Anders Nilsson and the Senators, so he came away with just 6.4 FD FP (2 DK FP) with four shots. Scott Laughton did find twine, however, so the recommended value center came through once again, offering 13.6 FD FP and 3.5 DK FP. Jared McCann was the other highlighted forward; though he didn’t extend his point streak, he still delivered four shots and two blocks for 9.6 FD FP (3 DK FP), which was a decent return (his ownership was over 40 percent).
On the back end, Roman Josi and MacKenzie Weegar failed to find the scoresheet; Josi still chipped in two shots and five blocks for 11.2 FD FP and 3.5 DK FP (he was primarily a DK play given his price tag). Weegar was a dart that didn’t work out, but he still matched Marchand’s production with three blocks for 4.5 FD FP (1.5 DK FP), which is certainly better than a goose egg. In net, there were 4-5 goalies discussed in chat, though my top two choices were Ben Bishop and Darcy Kuemper. Both goalies picked up wins, but Bishop was knocked out of the game after making just seven saves, leaving him with just 4.4 DK FP. Kuemper had a great game, though (I used Bishop/Kuemper on DK and Kuemper on FD). The Coyotes defeated the Ducks by a final score of 6-1, though Anaheim kept Kuemper busy. He made 36 saves and came away with 36.8 FD FP and 11.2 DK FP (he also tallied an assist, which added 2 FP to his DK total).
Nathan MacKinnon ($8,400)
Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche were shut out in their last game as they were unable to solve Petr Mrazek. Tonight they will face a Ducks team that has turned things around somewhat but that still has defensive troubles. John Gibson will man the crease, and he’s always capable of shutting the door, but it would be surprising to see this bunch held off the scoresheet again. Even though MacKinnon didn’t record a point, he still managed seven shots on goal for 11.2 fantasy points in the loss to Carolina. He scored a goal and two assists for 33.3 fantasy points in the game before that, and tonight’s matchup is definitely a favorable one for the Avs, especially on home ice. MacKinnon skates on Colorado’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 19.7 fantasy points per game this season. Though his production has slowed considerably, he’s still a threat every time he has the puck, and he possesses massive upside. He also hasn’t gone pointless in consecutive games since Jan. 14, which is promising for tonight. He has a goal and two assists on nine shots in two games against the Ducks this season.
Auston Matthews ($8,000)
It’s been an ongoing debate every time the Maple Leafs are on the slate as to which line and which elite center is the best to target. Both Auston Matthews and John Tavares are capable of going off on any given night, and there have been many nights in which they have split the production. However, given the matchups tonight (and the fact that his line is an affordable stack on both sites), Matthews could have the edge (even though Tavares has been more reliable/consistent this season). Matthews has goals in back-to-back games, and he has recorded 28 shots over his last seven games. The Flyers give up a ton of scoring opportunities, which bodes well for his chances tonight. Though Philadelphia is in desperation mode, the Maple Leafs will look to bounce back from back-to-back embarrassing performances (with slow starts), which resulted in Frederik Andersen getting pulled. Matthews and his average of 18.3 fantasy points per game this season should be a popular play tonight, especially given the strength of Toronto’s power play and the weakness of Philadelphia’s kill.
Also consider: John Tavares ($8,300), Sean Couturier ($7,600), Sean Monahan ($7,500), Mikael Backlund ($5,700), Bo Horvat ($5,700), Paul Stastny ($5,500), Nazem Kadri ($5,200), Boone Jenner ($5,100), Jordan Staal ($4,500), Derek Ryan ($4,000), Scott Laughton ($3,800)
Johnny Gaudreau ($8,000)
Johnny Gaudreau is coming off a wild six-point performance in which he scored three goals and three assists on eight shots for a whopping 72.8 fantasy points. Though Calgary’s top line has been mediocre for weeks, Gaudreau will be a tough fade on FanDuel tonight given his expected ownership. He has recorded 17 shots in his last two games alone, though, so even if CGY 1 pulls a disappearing act again, he should at least contribute. If the line/team has truly woken from its slumber, however, Gaudreau could have another big night. The Rangers are a much better defensive team and have significantly better goaltending than New Jersey (though MacKenzie Blackwood had been playing well prior to facing Calgary). Plus, New York will be eager to play well after a frustrating loss in which the team was assessed a five-minute major because Antoine Roussel simply fell into Brendan Lemieux, who was ejected from the game. But another thing working in Gaudreau’s favor is the fact that he scored two goals in a game against the Blueshirts earlier this season, and he and the Flames will look to right the ship as they head into the final stretch of the regular season.
Andreas Johnsson ($4,500)
Andreas Johnsson skates on Toronto’s second line and second power-play unit and has proven himself to be a strong value option throughout the season. He scored a goal and an assist on five shots for 28 fantasy points the other night against Chicago, which gives him points in back-to-back games. Toronto’s second line should have a more favorable matchup than the top line tonight since John Tavares will likely hard-match against the Sean Couturier line. Though both lines could perform well (or, as we’ve seen with Toronto throughout the year, neither line could play well if the team doesn’t show up), Johnsson is an underpriced option with plenty of upside, an he’ll have a favorable matchup against a Flyers team that continues to bleed chances.
Also consider: Mitch Marner ($8,300), Jake Voracek ($7,700), Mikko Rantanen ($7,500), Cam Atkinson ($7,400), Brock Boeser ($7,300), Alexander Radulov ($6,400), Matthew Tkachuk ($6,300), Max Pacioretty ($6,200), Reilly Smith ($6,100), Elias Lindholm ($6,100), Jakob Silfverberg ($5,700)*, William Nylander ($4,800), Oskar Lindblom ($4,700), Blake Coleman ($4,600), Roope Hintz ($4,100)**, Brendan Lemieux ($3,900), Brandon Pirri ($3,600), Trevor Moore ($3,000)–if on TOR1
*Points in seven straight (five goals, nine points)
**Three goals in last two games, skates on DAL1 and PP1
Morgan Rielly ($6,600)
Morgan Rielly has points in five out of his last six games, scoring four goals and six points in that time. He has recorded 20 shots and 12 blocks during that span, good for an average of 5.3 shots+blocks per game, giving him a solid floor. He quarterbacks Toronto’s top power-play unit, which has been the best home power play since Feb. 1; in fact, it has operated at a 40 percent success rate in the last four weeks. Rielly is averaging 15.4 fantasy points per game this season, and he recorded an assist, three shots and two blocks in a game against Philadelphia earlier this season.
Alex Edler ($4,800)
Alex Edler remains quite inexpensive on FanDuel, and he offers one of the safest floors in DFS NHL. He skates on Vancouver’s top power-play unit, which will certainly have some good looks tonight against the struggling Devils. The Devils are one of the worst road teams in the league, and while they have scored 10 goals in their last two games, they have given up 12 goals in that time. Edler has points in three out of his last four games (two goals, one assist) and has earned 12.8, 8, 26.4, 29.6, 9.6 and 8 fantasy points in his last six games, respectively (since returning to the Canucks’ lineup).
Also consider: Mark Giordano ($6,700), Zach Werenski ($5,400), Tyson Barrie ($5,300), Shea Theodore ($4,800), Jake Muzzin ($4,600), Travis Hamonic ($4,200), Tony DeAngelo ($3,800), Nikita Zaitsev ($3,700), Andy Greene ($3,700), Brett Pesce ($3,600)
Since only one goalie has been confirmed at the time of publish, we will discuss goalies in chat once additional starters have been announced.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and core plays.
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