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There are five games on tonight’s Main Slate, which locks at 7:30pm EST. It does not include the 4:00pm EST matchup between the Coyotes and Flames. The Capitals are the only team skating in the second half of a back-to-back, so expect to see Pheonix Copley in net.
NOTE: Today’s recommendations are subject to change depending on goalie confirmations, line changes, news updates, etc. Be sure to check in with us in the FTA+ discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate, get the most up-to-date recommendations and go over lineups.
TBL @ CBJ – 7:30pm EST
OTT @ CHI – 8:30pm EST
VGK @ COL – 9:00pm EST
BOS @ SJS – 10:00pm EST
WSH @ LAK – 10:30pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Last night’s line cashed, though it was a close call thanks to a poor effort from the Washington Capitals. The Caps got off to a very strong start but seemed to unravel, especially once T.J. Oshie sustained an injury and was deemed out for the rest of the night. Fortunately, Alex Ovechkin got the Caps on the board prior to the breakdown; he finished the night with a goal on seven shots and added two blocks for 26.4 fantasy points. Braden Holtby, however, gave up five goals on 39 shots and came away with just 7.2 FP. Both were very chalky on FanDuel, which is what helped the line stay in the green (given Holtby’s rough night). Jeff Skinner, the other elite winger in the line, had a terrible game, managing just two shots on goal, though both value wingers made up for it. Anthony Mantha played a heck of a hockey game against the Flyers but was unable to get one past Carter Hart; still, he finished the game with seven shots for 11.2 FP. Also, Jesper Bratt continued his strong play with a power-play goal and two shots for 15.7 FP. Unfortunately, despite another dominant performance, Dylan Larkin wasn’t able to fare better on home ice in last night’s game, finishing the contest with three shots for 4.8 FP. On the other side of the matchup, though, Sean Couturier picked up two assists as well as two shots and a block for 20.8 FP. Both value defensemen had strong nights, though Mike Green’s performance was thwarted by the post as he nearly scored on the power play but struck iron. However, he still chipped in four shots and a block for 8 FP, which was a decent return for his $4,000 price tag. Andy Greene had a great game, however, especially at just one percent ownership. Greene picked up two assists (one shorthanded) and one block for 19.6 FP.
SATURDAY NIGHT’S RESULTS: The main FanDuel line cashed; what I thought was the “safer” DraftKings line didn’t cash, though the higher-upside highlighted DraftKings line cashed easily. It was not a good night for SJS 2, as Tomas Hertl managed a meager 1.6 FP with just one block. Fortunately, his ownership was extremely high on FanDuel; also, WPG 1 ownership was very high on both sites, so fading the Jets paid off. On FanDuel, it made up for the performances by Ryan Johansen and Kevin Labanc, who both saw point streaks go up in flames. Johansen recorded just two shots, while Labanc put up a rare goose egg in a game that was controlled by San Jose’s top line despite the fact that the second line was dominant throughout the game. Evander Kane managed an assist and two shots at least, but it was not a great fantasy night for the Sharks’ middle-six lines. The elite wingers came through with big nights, however. Nikita Kucherov didn’t hit 40 FP for the fourth straight game but still scored a goal and an assist for 25.3 FP, and Patrick Kane extended his point streak with a goal and an assist on six shots for 30.1 FP. Value winger Anthony Duclair picked up just two shots despite skating on the second line, but that game was decided by Columbus’ top line. Artemi Panarin finally had a big game against his former team after failing to do so in previous attempts. Brady Tkachuk picked up a power-play assist on five shots for 16.5 FP. Linemate Mark Stone had a strong game as well, coming away with 7.5 DK points thanks to a goal and an assist as well as four shots and a block. Though Oscar Fantenberg managed just 3.2 FP (he came very close to a goal but was denied by Tuukka Rask), paying down on defense didn’t backfire, especially since Brent Burns was held to under 20 FP once again. Ryan Pulock, who did not come through when he was in the lineup the other day, scored a power-play goal and added three shots and a block for 18.9 FP. Goaltender Robin Lehner picked up a win as expected, making 34 saves and earning 31.2 FP. Auston Matthews was held off the scoresheet in a 2-0 Maple Leafs loss, though he at least came through with four shots and a block for 2.5 DK points. Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s DK price tag was tempting given how wide-open Toronto has been playing, but he didn’t make it worthwhile with just a shot and a block (though he had fairly decent ownership, all things considered). Adrian Kempe delivered once again, recording an assist, three shots and a block for 4 DK points.
There are several mid-range centers on tonight’s slate that might be worth paying down for in order to accommodate a few of the elite wingers. One of those centers is David Krejci ($5,300), who has been quite successful in recent games. Krejci, who centers Boston’s second line and skates on the team’s second power-play unit, has points in three straight games and in five out of his last six games, scoring a total of three goals and eight points in that stretch. He has earned 22.4, 11.7, 35.7, 4.8, 13.6 and 9.6 fantasy points in his last six games, respectively. He and the Bruins will take on the Sharks at the Shark Tank; Martin Jones tends to give up at least a few goals per game, though it’s unclear if tonight’s game will be a shootout or a close contest. Either way, the Bruins’ second line has played very well of late, including on their current road trip, which makes Krejci an appealing and affordable option.
Paul Stastny ($5,600) is another player of note, especially since Vegas will take on a struggling Avalanche team, the team Stastny used to play for. In fact, Stastny has 14 points in 16 career games against his former team, including a goal and an assist in a game earlier this season. He skates on Vegas’ second line and second power-play unit, though the Knights’ second power-play unit continues to get more ice time than the top unit. Stastny has points in three straight games and in 11 out of his last 13 games, recording two goals and 13 points in that time. His shot volume can be limited, for he’s definitely a pass-first player, though he could be particularly motivated tonight in Denver. Plus, Stastny has a better points percentage on the road than at home this season, scoring 13 points in 14 away games. The Knights recently put Brandon Pirri back on the second line, and Alex Tuch snapped a point drought the other night with two assists against Nashville, so this line could get going once again.
Then there’s Dylan Strome ($5,700), who has a favorable matchup against the visiting Senators. It looks as though Craig Anderson will be in net for Ottawa; he gave up four goals to the Blackhawks earlier this season and has surrendered 21 goals in his last six appearances. Anderson frequently gives up at least two goals, and while the Hawks’ top line has been more consistent of late, the second line has been very productive as well. Strome centers the second line but also skates on the top power-play unit, which gets nearly 85 percent of Chicago’s ice time on the man advantage. He has points in six out of his last seven games and has provided a steady floor, recording two goals and 11 points as well as 13 shots and four blocks in that time.
Value Play — Adrian Kempe ($4,300)
Adrian Kempe continues to hit value night after night. The third-line center has points in six out of his last seven games, which includes an assist against the Capitals when these teams met in Washington a few games ago. Kempe skates on the team’s second power-play unit and has provided a safe floor of shots with 3-4 per game. He is just $3,000 on DraftKings, making him a steal on DK tonight.
Also consider: Steven Stamkos ($8,600), Patrice Bergeron ($8,200), Nathan MacKinnon ($7,800), Brayden Point ($7,700), Jonathan Toews ($7,600), Matt Duchene ($7,200), Tomas Hertl ($6,400), Anze Kopitar ($6,300), Pierre-Luc DuBois ($5,800), Bonne Jenner ($4,600)–DTD
Top Play — Patrick Kane ($9,300)
Patrick Kane has seen another price increase, though he remains the hottest winger in the NHL. Kane has points in 17 straight games, recording 13 goals and 24 assists for a total of 37 points, averaging 27.6 fantasy points per game during that stretch. He skates on Chicago’s top line and top power-play unit and scored a goal and an assist on six shots against Ottawa earlier this season. Kane is averaging 21.5 fantasy points per game this season and remains an elite play, though he does present risk considering the price tag. That being said, he could see higher ownership on tonight’s smaller slate, especially given the matchup. Though the Senators are a lot better than most give them credit for, they give up a ton of scoring chances with a Corsi Against Per 60 of 66.4, which is the highest on the slate. Kane is more than capable of capitalizing on those chances, which means he could be due for yet another impressive performance.
That doesn’t mean that Nikita Kucherov ($9,100) isn’t still a great play, though he will be on the road in Columbus, which is a much less favorable matchup. That being said, Kucherov, who has 94 points in 59 games this season, has recorded at least a goal and an assist in four straight games, earning 25.3, 43.4, 43.4 and 41 fantasy points, respectively. Granted, three of those games were on home ice, but he is as hot as he has been all year. Kucherov is averaging 20 fantasy points per game this season.
Value Play — Brady Tkachuk ($4,200)
On the other side of the Chicago-Ottawa matchup, Brady Tkachuk makes for a strong value option, especially given his recent production. Tkachuk skates on the team’s second line and second power-play unit but has points in back-to-back games and has earned 16.5, 23.2 and 8 fantasy points in his last three games, respectively. As well as Chicago has played offensively, the Blackhawks also give up a ton of scoring chances (63.91 CA/60 over the last 10 games), which puts Tkachuk and linemate Mark Stone in a favorable spot tonight on the road.
Brandon Pirri ($3,600) is once again in the discussion as being one of the strongest FanDuel value options on the slate, especially now that he has been moved back into a top-six role for the Knights. Pirri is skating on the second line with Paul Stastny and Alex Tuch, and he has a goal in two out of his last three games. Pirri also skates on Vegas’ top power-play unit, though the second unit has gotten more ice time in recent games. Pirri is not at all the sure bet as he was earlier this season, but he and the Knights will go up against a struggling Avalanche team, and he played his best hockey of the season while skating with Stastny and Tuch.
Speaking of Alex Tuch ($4,200), he is incredibly cheap on FanDuel tonight at just $4,200, which is a steal. The only concern with Tuch is that he recently went seven games without a point, though he did tally two assists the other night against Nashville. He has been Vegas’ best player all year, and he’s a game-changer on the ice given his size, speed and skill, which makes him a compelling value option tonight.
Also consider: Alex Ovechkin ($8,600), Artemi Panarin ($7,700), Evander Kane ($7,400), Alex DeBrincat ($6,800), Timo Meier ($5,600), Jake DeBrusk ($5,100), Ondrej Palat ($5,000), Ilya Kovalchuk ($4,800), Yanni Gourde ($4,700), Kevin Labanc ($4,700), Alex Killorn ($4,100), Danton Heinen ($4,000), Oscar Lindberg ($3,400), Peter Cehlarik ($3,300), Rudolfs Balcers ($3,200), Anthony Duclair ($3,100)
Though both Brent Burns ($7,600) and Erik Karlsson ($7,100) are elite options, Burns might be the safer play on tonight’s slate. That’s because Boston’s top line has not given up a goal in the last 10 games; since Karlsson generally takes on the tougher assignments, that means Karlsson will be on the ice against BOS 1, whereas Burns will spend most of his even-strength ice time away from that unit. There’s no guarantee that there won’t be overlap, and it’s also possible Karlsson will see more ice time given the hard match. However, since Burns may avoid the tougher matchup and since he quarterbacks the team’s top power-play unit, he may have the edge tonight despite the $500 difference in price. Burns has been rather quiet over the last few games, so he is definitely a risky play given his price tag. That being said, he is generally a safe floor play if you can afford him given his shot volume, and there’s always a good chance he’ll find the scoresheet at least once. Burns is averaging 18.2 fantasy points per game this season and has earned at least 14.4 fantasy points in nine straight games. He’s still rather expensive, and it’s unlikely he’ll be in my main cash lineup, but the upside is undeniable.
Instead, I may settle for one of a few mid-range options, like Erik Gustafsson ($5,500) for Chicago or Thomas Chabot ($5,200), who will be on the other side of that matchup. Chabot only has one point in his last three games, but Chicago is prone to giving up fantasy points to opposing defensemen, and Chabot skates on Ottawa’s top power-play unit. Plus, he’s generally good for at least a few shots and a few blocks, if not more. He is averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game this season.
Value Play — Erik Cernak ($3,500)
Erik Cernak is a min. price option on tonight’s slate, and he has decent peripheral stat coverage in recent games. He has recorded 12 shots and seven blocks in his last three games, and he has goals in two out of his last five games. Though Cernak is unlikely to find the scoresheet, his floor has been relatively stable, and his price tag allows you to spend up elsewhere. There are additional inexpensive options listed below, and more may be recommended in chat throughout the day.
Another value option that is flying under the radar is Nate Schmidt ($4,300), who has earned 9.6, 12.8, 23.2, 18.4, 12.8, 6.4, 8 and 10.1 fantasy points in his last eight games, respectively. He skates on Vegas’ second power-play unit, which gets more ice time than the top unit, as well as on Vegas’ top pairing; expect him to get plenty of ice time tonight with COL 1 on the ice.
Also consider:John Carlson ($6,200), Seth Jones ($5,600), Drew Doughty ($5,400), Erik Johnson ($4,700), Shea Theodore ($4,600), Ryan Murray ($4,100), Charlie McAvoy ($4,000), Colin Miller ($3,900), Oscar Fantenberg ($3,800), Anton Stralman ($3,700), Mikhail Sergachev ($3,700)
It’s difficult if not impossible to recommend goalies before knowing who will be in the crease, but one goalie who has played very well of late is Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9,500), though he is much more affordable on DraftKings, where he is just $8,100. It’s going to be very difficult to spend up for him on FanDuel, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not worth considering. Though he has a difficult matchup on the road in Columbus, he is 2-0 against Columbus this season and has recorded back-to-back shutouts, earning 36 and 45.6 fantasy points in his last two games, respectively. Vasilevskiy has won four games in a row, and he and the Lightning are slight favorites in tonight’s matchup.
That being said, he is not by any means my final cash recommendation on the slate, especially considering his price tag on FanDuel and considering the fact that that game could be a 7-6 barn burner. My top cash plays will be decided later in the day once confirmations are announced, and they will be shared in chat.
Also consider: Cam Ward ($8,100)
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and lineups.
Featured image credit: Brian Cassella-Chicago Tribune