Tonight’s NHL action features six matchups with eight teams in playoff contention as we head into the beginning of the end of the regular season. Washington and Colorado both played last night, with the Capitals clinching the Metropolitan Division in a 3-1 win over Pittsburgh and Colorado blowing a third-period 3-1 lead and losing 4-3 in overtime in Anaheim. With that loss, Colorado has left the door open for St. Louis to take matters into their own hands; if St. Louis wins out, they will make the playoffs and the Avs likely will hit the golf course early, which makes tonight’s matchups do-or-die for several teams.
As for fantasy-relevant injury/lineup notes, Ryan Suter (MIN) is out indefinitely with a fractured fibula, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM) and Dustin Byfuglien (WPG) are NOT expected to play tonight. Justin Faulk (CAR) also will miss tonight’s game.
NOTE: Oshie OUT tonight. Go with Wheeler/Connor instead, or you can opt for Dadonov or one of the Kings wingers if you’re set with the other players. Matthews/McElhinney will be safe/popular in cash, but plenty of options to consider in the main line.
Summary of Last Night’s Results
Last night’s lineup cashed, though it wasn’t exactly a great night considering the cash line fell at just 80 fantasy points (FP). Nicklas Backstrom managed just three shots for 4.8 (FP), the same of which was true for Yanni Gourde. However, Evgeni Malkin tallied an assist, six shots and two blocks for 20.8 FP, Sidney Crosby recorded seven shots for 11.2 FP and Kyle Turris earned 6.4 FP with three shots and a block. The wingers had strong games, aside from Eeli Tolvanen, who registered just one block in his NHL debut. However, Nashville changed up its lines, moving Tolvanen to the third line and having Craig Smith join the top unit with Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen. That line ended up producing all four of Nashville’s goals, leaving Tolvanen out of the picture. It was still worth a shot given his price tag and the hype surrounding his debut even though it didn’t pay off on the scoresheet. However, Taylor Hall, Brendan Gallagher and Patric Hornqvist all contributed to the lineup’s success. Hall scored the first short-handed goal of his career, which turned out to be the game-winner in a 2-1 win for New Jersey; he earned 17.2 FP on the night. Gallagher did not find the scoresheet but, as usual, provided a solid floor with five shots for 8 FP. Hornqvist scored Pittsburgh’s lone goal, finishing the team’s 3-1 loss with 23.2 FP and a 43 percent ownership rate, which was pretty low compared to recent ownership values for the power forward. It was an underwhelming night on the back end as P.K. Subban had the best game among Nashville’s defensemen, leaving Ryan Ellis with just 6.4 FP with two shots and two blocks. Similarly, Will Butcher took a backseat to Sami Vatanen, who hadn’t been nearly as productive as Butcher for quite some time. However, Brian Dumoulin managed 8 FP with two shots and three blocks. In the crease, Keith Kinkaid and Juuse Saros came up with strong fantasy performances; while Jonathan Bernier and the Avalanche blew a 3-1 lead and lost 4-3 in overtime to the Ducks, Bernier’s 38 saves left him with a respectable 14.4 FP. Kinkaid, who made 25 saves, came away with 28 FP, while Saros picked up 31.2 FP with 29 saves on 30 shots in Nashville’s 4-1 victory over Tampa Bay.
Here’s what I played on FanDuel last night:
(1)Main: Malkin, Turris, Hall, Gallagher, Hornqvist, Tolvanen, Butcher, Dumoulin, Kinkaid – $0 remaining, final score: 116.4 (cashed)
(2)Main: Backstrom, Gourde, Hall, Gallagher, Hornqvist, Tolvanen, Ellis, Butcher, Bernier – $300 remaining, final score: 83.6 (cashed)
(3)Backstrom, Turris, Hall, Hornqvist, Oshie, Tolvanen, Josi, Petry, Kinkaid – $100 remaining, final score: 109.2 (cashed)
(4)Malkin, Gourde, Hall, Hornqvist, Hagelin, Watson, Josi, Montour, Saros – $400 remaining, final score: 132.4 (cashed)
- Buffalo @ Toronto – 7:00pm EST
- Winnipeg @ Ottawa – 7:30pm EST
- Carolina @ Florida – 7:30pm EST
- Washington @ St. Louis – 8:00pm EST
- Edmonton @ Minnesota – 8:00pm EST
- Colorado @ Los Angeles – 10:30pm EST
- BUF: Chad Johnson (confirmed) vs. TOR: Curtis McElhinney (confirmed)
- WPG: Connor Hellebuyck (confirmed) vs. OTT: Craig Anderson (confirmed)
- CAR: Scott Darling (confirmed) vs. FLA: Roberto Luongo (confirmed)
- WSH: Braden Holtby (confirmed) vs. STL: Jake Allen (confirmed)
- EDM: Cam Talbot (confirmed) vs. MIN: Devan Dubnyk (confirmed)
- COL: Jonathan Bernier (confirmed) vs. LAK:
FanDuel DFS NHL 4/2/18
Connor McDavid ($9,300) – @ Minnesota
Connor McDavid is coming off a rare goose-egg performance in which he failed to register even a single shot or block. While that was extremely uncharacteristic of the young superstar, McDavid remains a top play on a nightly basis because of his speed and skill. He had goals in five straight games and points in six straight prior to Saturday’s dud, collecting seven goals and 13 points in that stretch. McDavid is averaging 18.9 fantasy points per game and has two goals and four points in two games against the Wild this season.
Auston Matthews ($7,800) – vs. Buffalo
Auston Matthews has found the scoresheet in all six games that followed a lengthy absence from the lineup. He has earned 13.3, 28, 16.8, 18.1, 11.2 and 18.4 fantasy points in his last six games, respectively. Matthews skates on Toronto’s first line and second power-play unit and picked up an assist, four shots and two blocks for 18.1 fantasy points when these teams met in Toronto last week.
Jack Eichel ($7,600) – @ Toronto
Jack Eichel recorded five assists, five shots and one block for 51.6 fantasy points against Nashville over the weekend, playing a large role in the eventual pulling of Pekka Rinne. Eichel also scored two goals against the Leafs in the Mar. 26 matchup, which bodes well for his chances tonight. Though he will be facing a different netminder, Eichel has been on fire, recording points in three straight games with three goals and eight points in that time. He skates on Buffalo’s first line and first power-play unit.
Anze Kopitar ($7,700)/Jeff Carter ($7,000) – vs. Colorado
Anze Kopitar scored four goals when these teams met in Colorado Mar. 22, finishing the game with 59.7 fantasy points. He has points in six out of his last seven games, scoring six goals and 10 points in that stretch. Kopitar skates on the Kings’ first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.3 fantasy points per game this season. Jeff Carter has points in four out of his last five games, picking up five goals and seven points in his last five games and earning 9.6, 44.5, 20.5, 24.8 and 11.2 fantasy points, respectively. He skates on the Kings’ second line and first power-play unit and is averaging 14.8 fantasy points per game.
Also consider: Nathan MacKinnon ($8,700), Evgeny Kuznetsov ($7,700), Aleksander Barkov ($7,600), Eric Staal ($7,300), Vincent Trocheck ($7,100)
Consider: Brayden Schenn ($6,600), Nicklas Backstrom ($6,600), Nazem Kadri ($6,100), Ryan O’Reilly ($6,000), Matt Duchene ($5,900), Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($4,700)
Derek Ryan ($3,800) – @ Florida
Derek Ryan skates on Carolina’s fourth line at even strength but centers the team’s second power-play unit and has points in four straight games, recording one goal and six points as well as five shots and two blocks in that span. He has earned 9.6, 21.6, 11.2 and 20.8 fantasy points, respectively. He doesn’t offer a safe floor without a steady shot volume but has been productive in recent games and is worth a look given the number of expensive center options on tonight’s slate.
Also consider: Lars Eller ($4,400), Alexander Kerfoot ($3,900), Evan Rodrigues ($3,700), Henrik Borgstrom ($3,000)
Alex Ovechkin ($8,800) – @ St. Louis
Alex Ovechkin has has gone pointless in three straight games but has enjoyed success against St. Louis in recent years. He scored a goal and an assist in one game against the Blues earlier this season and had five points in two games against them last year. While he hasn’t been a safe cash play in recent games, he is always worth serious consideration because of his massive ceiling and power-play prowess, especially in GPP formats. Washington’s power play has really plummeted in recent games, though now that the team has clinched the Metropolitan Division, it’s possible the Caps could play a little looser moving forward. Ovechkin skates on Washington’s first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 18.1 fantasy points per game this season.
Blake Wheeler ($7,200) – @ Ottawa
Blake Wheeler has points in eight out of his last nine games, collecting two goals and 11 points in that stretch. He hasn’t been putting up huge numbers but is often a pretty reliable play, and he is in a good spot tonight against a struggling Ottawa defense. Wheeler skates on Winnipeg’s first line and first power-play unit and is averaging 16.4 fantasy points per game. He scored a goal and four points in a game against Ottawa earlier this season.
Also consider: Vladimir Tarasenko ($7,700), Mikko Rantanen ($7,200)
Mitch Marner ($6,800) – vs. Buffalo
Mitch Marner tallied an assist against Buffalo last week but did not register a single shot on goal, finishing the game with just eight fantasy points. He also saw his 11-game point streak come to an end the other night. That being said, Marner has been terrific on home ice this season and does have five goals and 16 points in his last 12 contests. He skates on Toronto’s second line and first power-play unit and has earned 1.6, 28.5, 23.2, 8, 12.8, 27.4, 12.8, 16.5, 18.1, 18.1, 25.8 and 20.5 fantasy points in his last 12 games, respectively.
Zach Parise ($6,500) – vs. Edmonton
Zach Parise has goals in back-to-back games and points in six straight games, scoring five goals and seven points in that span. He skates on Minnesota’s first line and first power-play unit and has recorded at least eight fantasy points in 15 out of his last 16 games, earning 18.9, 32, 9.6, 12.8, 21.6, 16.8, 3.2, 24.8, 14.4, 8, 18.4, 15.7, 24.8, 12.8, 18.4 and 12.8 fantasy points, respectively. Parise recorded five shots for eight fantasy points when these teams met in Edmonton Mar. 10.
Evgenii Dadonov ($6,200) – vs. Carolina
The Panthers are on their last legs as far as making the playoffs, so tonight’s game is an absolute must-win for Florida. Considering the team will face Scott Darling and will be on home ice, one would think the Panthers will be able to pull it off, even if their chances of making the playoffs are dwindling. That suggests that this will be a hard-fought effort, though the Panthers have surprised us in recent games that were considered must-win’s as well. Having said that, the top line is in play tonight, and Evgenii Dadonov has been pretty safe in cash contests. He has goals in three out of his last four games, scoring three goals and four points in that stretch. Dadonov skates on the top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 13.2 fantasy points per game this season. Also consider Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck.
T.J. Oshie ($5,900) – @ St. Louis
T.J. Oshie has points in five straight games, netting two goals and five points in that stretch. He has six goals and 10 points in his last 10 games and is starting to find the scoresheet on a much more regular basis. He will face the team that drafted him in the city in which he played seven seasons of his career, and he has had success against the Blues in recent years. Specifically, he tallied two assists in a game against St. Louis earlier this season and has five points in three games against the Blues over the last few years. Oshie skates on Washington’s second line and first power-play unit.
Also consider: Gabriel Landeskog ($6,000), Dustin Brown ($5,900), Tyler Toffoli ($5,900), Patrick Marleau ($5,500), Nick Bjugstad ($5,300), Sam Reinhart ($5,100), Kyle Connor ($5,000), Bobby Ryan ($4,800)
Jason Pominville ($4,300) – @ Toronto
Jason Pominville has points in three straight games, scoring a goal and two assists and earning 16.8, 12.8 and 11.2 fantasy points, respectively. He skates on Buffalo’s first line with Jack Eichel and on the Sabres’ second power-play unit. Pominville recorded 11.2 fantasy points in Toronto Mar. 26.
Tyson Jost ($4,300) – @ Los Angeles
Tyson Jost has goals in back-to-back games, scoring three goals on five shots in that span. He skates on Colorado’s second line and first power-play unit and has earned 29.3 and 15.2 fantasy points in his last two games, respectively, though he earned zero fantasy points against Los Angeles when these teams met in Denver Mar. 22.
Valentin Zykov ($3,600)/Phillip Di Giuseppe ($3,500) – @ Florida
Carolina has a lot of solid value options to consider, two of which are Valentin Zykov and Phillip Di Giuseppe. Zykov has been fairly safe in cash contests given his ownership, though that may drop tonight with some other cheap wingers available. That being said, Zykov has three goals and six points in seven games with the Hurricanes this season, averaging 12.2 fantasy points per game. He skates on Carolina’s third line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen as well as on the team’s second power-play unit. Di Giuseppe has not had much ownership at all, though he has been very solid. In fact, he has earned 8, 12.8, 18.4, 3.2, 23.2 and 36 fantasy points in his last six games, respectively. Di Giuseppe skates on the Hurricanes’ second line but does not see time on the power play.
Casey Mittelstadt ($3,100) – @ Toronto
Casey Mittelstadt continues to be a strong value option, especially in cash contests considering his legitimate ownership rates. He has assists in both of his NHL games this season, earning 9.6 and 11.2 fantasy points, respectively. Mittelstadt skates on Buffalo’s third line and second power-play unit.
Also consider: Ty Rattie ($3,900), Zemgus Girgensons ($3,600), Andre Burakovsky ($3,600), Scott Wilson ($3,600), Brandon Tanev ($3,300), Tobias Rieder ($3,300)*, Nail Yakupov ($3,000)
*Scored two goals against Colorado Mar. 22, earning 32 FP
Erik Karlsson ($6,900) – vs. Winnipeg
Tonight’s game against Winnipeg very well may be Erik Karlsson’s last home game as an Ottawa Senator. It’s Ottawa’s last home game of the season, and there’s a strong likelihood that the Swedish captain could be traded in the offseason. That makes tonight a pretty special game for Karlsson, who has spent his entire nine-year career in a Senators sweater. The 27-year-old is averaging 14.5 fantasy points per game and has earned 11.2, 12.8, 24.8, 14.4, 6.4, 25.6, 23.2, 20.8, 12.8, 16 and 31.2 fantasy points in his last 11 games, respectively. He skates on Ottawa’s first power-play unit.
Dustin Byfuglien ($6,000)–not expected to play tonight, John Carlson ($6,000)
Keith Yandle ($5,600) – vs. Carolina
Keith Yandle has points in five straight games, recording one goal and six points as well as 14 shots and eight blocks in that span. He has earned 9.6, 13.3, 19.2, 28, 17.6, 8 and 26.4 fantasy points in his last seven games, respectively, and has been one of Florida’s most consistent players in recent games. Tonight’s matchup against Carolina is do-or-die for the Panthers, who are hanging on by a thread in a very tight Eastern Conference race. Yandle skates on the team’s top power-play unit and should be able to find the scoresheet in tonight’s contest.
Jacob Trouba ($5,100) – @ Ottawa
Jacob Trouba has been in and out of the lineup but returned to the lineup Saturday, recording an assist, two shots and two blocks for 14.4 fantasy points. He has points in four out of his last five games and should take over power-play duties on the top unit with Dustin Byfuglien likely out of the lineup tonight.
Jake Gardiner ($4,900) – vs. Buffalo
Jake Gardiner has points in four straight games as well as points in eight out of his last 10, recording one goal and nine points in that stretch. He skates on Toronto’s second power-play unit, correlating well with Auston Matthews. Gardiner earned 14.9 fantasy points when Buffalo was in Toronto Mar. 26 with a power-play assist, two shots and two blocks, and he will look to extend his point streak to five games tonight as the Sabres are in town once again.
Also consider: Drew Doughty ($5,800), Morgan Rielly ($5,200), Rasmus Ristolainen ($5,100), Matt Dumba ($4,800), Jaccob Slavin ($4,700)
Adam Larsson ($3,600) – @ Minnesota
Adam Larsson has earned 9.6, 11.2 and 8 fantasy points in his last three games, respectively, recording one assist as well as nine shots and four blocks in that span. He often provides a safe floor with peripheral stat coverage and has been more reliable than other similarly-priced value defensemen, though he offers little offensive upside.
Also consider: Mike Matheson ($4,000), Josh Morrissey ($4,000), Jonas Brodin ($3,600), Joe Morrow ($3,500)
Jonathan Quick ($8,900) – vs. Colorado
Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings are -200 favorites tonight against the visiting Avalanche, who played last night in Anaheim. Quick stopped 29 of 30 shots in a lopsided win against the Avs when these teams met in Denver Mar. 22, earning 31.2 fantasy points in the victory. Quick has been pretty inconsistent for a while but has a favorable matchup on home ice, and the Kings are just as hungry as Colorado in their playoff push.
Connor Hellebuyck ($8,400) – @ Ottawa
Connor Hellebuyck has won six games in a row, earning 30.4, 18.4, 21.6, 16.8, 26.4 and 24 fantasy points, respectively. He shut out the Senators earlier this season, stopping all 21 shots, and he and the Jets are heavy favorites in tonight’s tilt, even though it could be a high-scoring contest. This is Ottawa’s last home game of the season, and it could be the last home game for several players, including captain Erik Karlsson. So while the Jets look great on paper, there’s always a chance the Sens will play inspired hockey in front of their home fans tonight. That doesn’t take away from Hellebuyck’s success all year, though, and Winnipeg will want to bounce back from an embarrassing loss in Chicago the other night.
Curtis McElhinney ($7,800) – vs. Buffalo
Curtis McElhinney is the biggest favorite on the slate as he takes on the Buffalo Sabres. Chad Johnson and the Sabres defeated the Maple Leafs in Toronto just last week, though McElhinney wasn’t in net at the time. That being said, there’s still some risk in tempting fate, especially after Buffalo scored seven goals against Nashville the other day. However, McElhinney has been strong all year, averaging 22.4 fantasy points per game. He should be a very popular play in cash contests given his price tag and the Vegas odds.
Also consider: Jake Allen ($8,400), Devan Dubnyk ($8,400), Roberto Luongo ($8,300)
Note: As usual, these are not all recommended cash lineups, just examples of how to accommodate certain combinations of players. I have included multiple options in the main line, as requested, but make sure to read through the post for the best overall advice for tonight’s slate.
Kopitar/Barkov, Matthews/Eichel, Parise/Wheeler/Marner, Oshie/Brown/Toffoli or Wheeler/Tarasenko, Connor/Bjugstad or Rieder/Burakovsky/Di Giuseppe/Zykov/Rattie, Mittelstadt, Yandle/Doughty/Pietrangelo, Trouba/Gardiner/Dumba, Hellebuyck/Luongo/McElhinney
McDavid, Eichel, Parise, Oshie, Di Giuseppe, Mittelstadt, Yandle, Trouba, Hellebuyck/Luongo
Eichel/Matthews, Kopitar, Parise, Oshie, Connor, Mittelstadt, Yandle, Trouba, Hellebuyck/Luongo
Eichel, Ryan, Wheeler, Parise, Oshie, Mittelstadt, Karlsson, Yandle, Hellebuyck/Luongo
Kopitar, Barkov/Matthews, Tarasenko, Parise, Pominville/Jost, Mittelstadt, Doughty, Matheson/Larsson, Luongo
Matthews/Eichel, Carter, Parise, Oshie, Brown/Toffoli, Mittelstadt, Trouba, Yandle, Luongo/Hellebuyck
Kopitar, Carter, Parise, Toffoli, Pominville/Jost, Mittelstadt, Karlsson, Doubty, McElhinney
Barkov, Carter, Tarasenko, Oshie, Brown, Mittelstadt, Trouba, Dumba, McElhinney
Scheifele, Trocheck, Schwartz, Dadonov, Marleau, Mittelstadt, Pietrangelo, Trouba, McElhinney
Matthews, Ryan, Wheeler, Parise, Oshie, Zykov/Di Giuseppe, Karlsson, Gardiner, Hellebuyck/Luongo
Carter, Ryan, Ovechkin, Marner, Oshie, Mittelstadt, Karlsson, Gardiner, McElhinney
Barkov, Pageau, Marner, Dadonov, Oshie, Mittelstadt, Karlsson, Gardiner, Quick
Photo credit: USA Today ImagesDaily Fantasy Hockey, DFS Lineup Advice