We have a huge 10-game slate on tap tonight in the NHL after a chalky three-gamer last night. All 20 teams in action did not play last night, though the Flyers, Stars and Ducks will play tomorrow night as well. Carter Hart and Ben Bishop have already been named as the starters for Philadelphia and Dallas, respectively. Jake Voracek and Jack Eichel will serve the second games of their two-game suspensions tonight. Additional player news/updates will be discussed in chat, as will top plays on DraftKings.
WSH @ PHI – 7:00pm EST
MTL @ NYI – 7:00pm EST
PIT @ BUF – 7:00pm EST
STL @ OTT – 7:30pm EST
TBL @ DET – 7:30pm EST
DAL @ MIN – 8:00pm EST
BOS @ WPG – 8:00pm EST
ANA @ ARI – 10:00pm EST
NSH @ LAK – 10:30pm EST
FLA @ SJS – 10:30pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: There were six players highlighted in yesterday’s post, and five of them had strong nights. The one who didn’t have a good game (who also didn’t have a strong game as part of my core) was Leon Draisaitl, who missed multiple prime scoring opportunities and ended the night with just three shots for 4.8 FanDuel fantasy points and 1.5 DraftKings fantasy points. His ownership was incredibly high, however, which made his rough night less harmful. Connor McDavid hit the 100-point mark for the third straight year with his two assists; he finished the game with two assists, three shots and a power-play point for 21.3 FD FP (5.5 DK FP). The value center in yesterday’s post had just as good a night (better on DK) at a fraction of the cost; Blake Coleman scored a short-handed goal and added three shots and a block for 20.4 FD FP (6 DK FP). The other value forward highlighted in yesterday’s post, Brendan Perlini, had a huge game as well; he scored a goal and two assists and registered three shots and two blocks for 36 FD FP (9.5 DK FP). On the back end, Alex Edler was a recommended play for FanDuel given his $4,700 price tag, and he managed an assist, one shot and two blocks for 12.8 FD FP (3.5 DK FP). It was a somewhat quiet night for Edler, who participated in a wild game against the Rangers; however, his ownership exceeded 50 percent in FanDuel cash contests (as expected), so he was an easy play. The elite option highlighted in yesterday’s post was Morgan Rielly, who came through with a power-play goal and an assist as well as four shots and two blocks for 30.1 FD FP (8 DK FP). Of the two goalies recommended in chat, Mikko Koskinen had a brutal night and was pulled after giving up four goals on 18 shots (though he was very chalky on both sites), while Jacob Markstrom gave up one goal but came away victorious in a 4-1 win against the Rangers; he took home 24.8 FD FP and 8.2 DK FP.
Toronto was fortunate that Corey Crawford was unable to finish the game, which was a huge reason why they were able to climb back from the massive deficit. However, it was clear Toronto was going to be chalky, so it was still important to have some representation in your lines on such a small slate. Zach Hyman was a late scratch, which made Toronto’s top line less of a threat, though John Tavares and Mitch Marner still combined for 42.9 FD FP and 11.5 DK FP (Trevor Moore added 6.4 FD FP and 2 DK FP). The TOR2 stack, which was particularly affordable on DraftKings (though definitely manageable on both sites), combined for 83.7 FD FP and 22.5 DK FP. But CHI 3 was another top stack discussed in the article and in chat, which was definitely a lower-owned option. The trio combined for 78.4 FD FP and 22 DK FP. EDM 1 had a very disappointing game, however, as the Oilers looked sluggish and outmatched against a borderline AHL club in the Devils, who were skating in the second half of a back-to-back. The trio was split up during the game but managed just 27.7 FD FP and 7.5 DK FP.
Elite Plays — Sidney Crosby ($9,400), Patrice Bergeron ($8,500), Aleksander Barkov ($8,000)
NOTE: These may change; updates will be discussed in chat.
There are plenty of elite centers on tonight’s slate from which to choose, though three with high ceilings are Sidney Crosby, Patrice Bergeron and Aleksander Barkov.
Crosby and the Penguins will have the advantage of facing a Sabres team that will be without Jack Eichel. Though Crosby’s line contained Eichel’s line for the most part when these teams met in Buffalo a few weeks ago, he should have a lot more open ice with which to work. Plus, PIT 1 has been fantastic in recent games when Jared McCann has skated with Crosby and Jake Guentzel. In fact, the line’s High-Danger Corsi For percentage has been in the 70’s, and they’re scoring at an elite clip. Crosby scored a goal and an assist for 27.4 fantasy points in the Mar. 1 meeting, and he has points in eight out of his last nine games (eight goals, 17 points). He’ll also look to exploit a struggling Sabres penalty kill, which has operated at just 77.3 percent since Feb. 1, good for 11th-worst in the NHL and fourth-worst on the slate. The Penguins have had the third-best road power play over the last month, operating at 30.8 percent since Feb. 15.
Bergeron and the Bruins will be eager to bounce back from a surprising 7-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, though tonight’s matchup will not be easy. The Jets are also looking to rebound after suffering a devastating 5-4 loss to San Jose the other night in which Joe Pavelski scored the game-winning goal with under four seconds left in the game. Though neither team is in jeopardy of missing the playoffs, both teams need every point they can get in order to secure their positioning in the standings. Bergeron skates on Boston’s top line and top power-play unit, which could be without Torey Krug tonight. That being said, he and Brad Marchand have been a dangerous threat at even strength, on the man advantage and even while short-handed. They make for a strong mini-stack, especially if Connor Hellebuyck is in net for Winnipeg. The Jets have had the second-worst home penalty kill since Feb. 1, operating at a miserable 64 percent effectiveness rate. Plus, should WPG 1 match up against BOS 1, that would be an incredibly favorable matchup for Boston. It’s possible that Bryan Little’s line will take on the Bergeron line during this one. WPG 3 has been bleeding changes at home and on the road, though they haven’t been surrendering goals. That being said, it doesn’t take much for Bergeron/Marchand to find twine, and they’ll certainly have their chances. Little’s line has managed a 36.62 Corsi For percentage over the last four games (home/road) and a 34.29 CF% in Winnipeg’s last two home games. While they’ve had some tough matchups, Bergeron could certainly exploit those numbers.
Barkov doesn’t have the best matchup, but he has been stellar of late. He has two goals and nine points during his current three-game point streak as well as 11 goals and 24 points in his last 13 games. Barkov skates on Florida’s first line and first power-play unit but will have a tough matchup against the Sharks’ top line. That being said, San Jose has been giving up goals, and Barkov has been particularly crafty on the man advantage. Florida’s road power play has been the best in the NHL since Feb. 1 (38.9 percent) and has gotten even better over the last month (42.9 percent since Feb. 15). Though San Jose’s penalty kill hasn’t been terrible, it hasn’t been good, either. Since Feb. 1, the Sharks have managed the 10th-worst home penalty kill at 76.9 percent, which could set Barkov up for a strong night.
Mid-Range Play — Ryan O’Reilly ($6,700)
Ryan O’Reilly and the St. Louis Blues have a favorable matchup against a Senators team that is struggling. Plus, with Thomas Chabot out of the fold, Ottawa could be especially leaky. The Blues need wins, so O’Reilly should be firing on all cylinders tonight. He has points in three out of his last four games, and he tallied two assists, six shots and a block in a game against the Senators earlier this season. O’Reilly centers the Blues’ top line and top power-play unit, though Ottawa’s home penalty kill has been the best in the league over the last six weeks.
Value Play — Scott Laughton ($3,600)
Scott Laughton has points in five straight games, recording three goals and five points in that time. He skates on Philadelphia’s third line but does not see time on the power play. He scored a goal on three shots for 16.8 fantasy points when these teams met in Philadelphia a few games ago (Mar. 6).
Also consider: Tyler Seguin ($7,800), Sean Couturier ($7,600), Nicklas Backstrom ($6,800), Tomas Hertl ($6,500), David Krejci ($6,000), Andreas Athanasiou ($5,200), Anthony Cirelli ($4,400), Christian Dvorak ($3,400)
Elite Plays — Nikita Kucherov ($9,200), Brad Marchand ($9,000)
There’s a chance that only one (or none) of these wingers will be worth the price on FanDuel tonight, but I am about to highlight them anyway because of their slate-breaking potential. I don’t think we’ll see a true slate-breaking performance like we saw from CGY 1 the other night, but it’s never a bad thing to have elite players in your cash line. Nikita Kucherov and Brad Marchand are two of the most elite wingers in hockey, and their production this season has been impressive once again (Kucherov leads the entire NHL in scoring with 111 points, while Marchand has 30 goals and 85 points in 69 games). Marchand has been on fire in recent games, though, more so than Kucherov. He has points in eight straight, scoring six goals and 14 points in that stretch, and he’s averaging 17.1 fantasy points per game this season. He could have a very favorable matchup depending on which Winnipeg line he sees tonight, but he’s been able to do damage no matter who he’s facing. Kucherov has slowed down a bit after a torrid pace but remains dangerous. You never know which Tampa Bay team is going to show up to any given game, so it’s never a guarantee that he will go on a scoring rampage. However, Kucherov is one of the most explosive and effective DFS players, and he’ll be facing a team that is giving up a ton of goals. Kucherov scored two goals against the Red Wings when they were in Tampa Bay Mar. 9, finishing the game with six shots and 33.6 fantasy points. Kucherov skates on the Lightning’s second line and first power-play unit and is averaging 20.3 fantasy points per game this season.
Mid-Range Play — Jared McCann ($5,200)
Jared McCann skates on Pittsburgh’s top line with Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel. He was not on this line when these teams played in early March; plus, Jack Eichel will not be in the lineup tonight for Buffalo, so everything will be a bit scrambled. That being said, McCann has been great ever since getting promoted to this line, scoring four goals and eight points in the five games in which he’s been on the top line (he was demoted during Pittsburgh’s 4-1 loss to Columbus on Mar. 9, but head coach Mike Sullivan fixed his mistake for the next game and put McCann back on the top unit). Some of McCann’s points came with the goalie pulled, but it’s interesting to note that he has been on the ice in each of the last two games in which the Penguins’ opponent pulled its goalie, giving him slightly increased odds of finding the scoresheet (obviously Pittsburgh will have to have a lead in order for that to happen, but it’s more a testament to Sullivan’s faith in McCann as a two-way player since the Penguins have plenty of players that could be on the ice in that situation). It’s also somewhat of a consolation since McCann does not see time on the power play.
Value Play — Carl Grundstrom ($3,200)
Carl Grundstrom has been an effective punt in two games this season, scoring a goal in both and coming away with 15.2 and 13.6 fantasy points in his last two games, respectively. He skates on the Kings’ new-look third line along with Adrian Kempe and Tyler Toffoli, so he certainly has talented linemates. He doesn’t get time on the power play, but he’s also essentially a free play at just $3,200 (though there are other cheap value options to consider for tonight’s slate).
Also consider: Alex Ovechkin ($8,900), Blake Wheeler ($8,400), Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,300), Brayden Schenn ($6,200), Timo Meier ($5,700), Conor Sheary ($4,800), Oskar Lindblom ($4,700), Danton Heinen ($4,500), Craig Smith ($4,500), Roope Hintz ($4,000), Marcus Sorensen ($4,000), Daniel Sprong ($3,900), Robert Thomas ($3,700)
Elite Play — Roman Josi ($7,300)
Roman Josi is a much better deal on DraftKings, where he is severely underpriced. However, he’s still worth highlighting given his floor and ceiling. He has points in four straight games, recording one goal and four points along with an impressive 21 shots and seven blocks in that time. The fact that he has registered at least five shots in four straight games is promising, plus there’s a good chance he’ll find the scoresheet as well. He and the Predators have a favorable matchup on the road against a struggling Kings team, and Josi gets plenty of time on Nashville’s power play.
Value Play — MacKenzie Weegar ($3,700)
MacKenzie Weegar has four points in his last two games, scoring two goals and two assists in that time. That level of production isn’t sustainable, but for just $3,700, there’s a chance you could get a great return on a punt play. He has recorded three multi-point games in his last five contests and has hit value in five straight games, earning 22.4, 28.8, 12.8, 8 and 20.8 fantasy points in his last five games, respectively.
Also consider: Alex Pietrangeo ($6,300), Shea Weber ($5,700), Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5,200), Jacob Trouba ($5,000), Justin Schultz ($4,900), Charlie McAvoy ($4,700), Brandon Montour ($4,500), Ryan Pulock ($4,400), Travis Sanheim ($4,300), Tyler Myers ($4,100), Mike Matheson ($4,100), Brandon Carlo ($3,700), Alex Goligoski ($3,700), Tim Heed ($3,600)
Goalies will be discuss in chat once additional starters have been confirmed.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and core plays.
Featured image credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports