There are 12 games on tonight’s slate, and a ton of strong options are in play. There are some cases where certain players could see less ice time, which is something to keep in mind; for example, if the Bruins jump out to an early lead against the Devils, they may rest a few of their star players, much like Washington did Tuesday night. That doesn’t mean the Bruins aren’t in a great matchup, nor does it mean Boston doesn’t care about tonight’s game. On the contrary, the Bruins need to continue to win in order to secure home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. They currently sit four points ahead of Toronto but have a game in hand, so tonight’s game is anything but meaningless. Other teams on tonight’s slate that need points for the playoff race include Montreal, the Islanders, Pittsburgh, Carolina, Columbus, St. Louis, Dallas, Colorado, San Jose, Calgary, Arizona and even teams like Philadelphia and Chicago. In other words, there are a ton of teams playing for something, though some of those teams are hanging on by a thread. That doesn’t mean only teams that need points will show up; sometimes teams with nothing to play for are more relaxed and therefore perform better. It’s just something to keep in mind. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Lightning, Senators and Jets are skating in the second half of back-to-back sets, while the Sharks play tomorrow night as well.
ARI @ FLA – 7:00pm EST
BOS @ NJD – 7:00pm EST
TBL @ CAR – 7:00pm EST
NYI @ MTL – 7:30pm EST
DET @ STL – 8:00pm EST
PIT @ NSH – 8:00pm EST
COL @ DAL – 8:30pm EST
PHI @ CHI – 8:30pm EST
OTT @ CGY – 9:00pm EST
CBJ @ EDM – 9:00pm EST
WPG @ VGK – 10:00pm EST
SJS @ LAK – 10:30pm EST
LAST NIGHT’S RESULTS: Auston Matthews scored a goal and an assist on seven shots and added a block for 32.8 fantasy points, while Jack Eichel had a much quieter game but still found the scoresheet, recording a power-play assist and three shots for 13.3 FP. Alex Edler tallied three assists (two of which came on the man advantage) as well as two shots and two blocks for 31.4 FP. Other top recommendations from the article/chat were Nikita Kucherov, who scored two power-play goals on eight shots for 37.8 FP, as well as Alex Ovechkin, who recorded a power-play assist and 11 shots on goal for 26.1 FP. Max Veronneau scored his first career goal and earned 15.2 FP as part of Ottawa’s third-period comeback. Alex Killorn and Brett Connolly managed just a few FP each, though their linemates had strong games, including value center Anthony Cirelli, who came through with 16.8 FP at just a $4,200 price tag. The other recommended value center was Chris Tierney, who picked up a power-play assist and one shot for 10.1 FP. Jacob Markstrom came away with the win, as expected, but gave up four third-period goals when he and his team stopped playing against an underrated Ottawa offense. He finished the night with just 12.8 FP. The Ducks wildly outplayed the Jets, but Connor Hellebuyck had a heck of a game, which left John Gibson with the loss. I was interested in Gibson for a few reasons; for one thing, his price tag was favorable on both sites. For another thing, Hellebuyck has been better in recent games but has struggled a lot this season. But my main reason was because my research led me to believe Anaheim would outplay the Jets. That ended up happening, but the Ducks were unable to beat Hellebuyck.
Most of my GPP stacks were secondary stacks that would see low ownership and allow you to afford one of the more appealing expensive lines. BUF 2 didn’t do much, though Alexander Nylander did score a goal. The Ducks were unable to beat Hellebuyck, so that held them in check. Washington’s third line had a strong game as Lars Eller and Carl Hagelin each had multi-point efforts, though the Senators stack was one of the more successful ones after a brutal first 40 minutes of play. Brady Tkachuk, Veronneau, Rudolfs Balcers, Tierney and Jean-Gabriel Pageau all picked up points in a wild third period, and most of them (aside from Tkachuk) were extremely affordable. It was Dylan DeMelo who had the huge game from the blue line, though, as Christian Wolanin didn’t play much of a role.
The core combined for 77.5 FP (with Ovechkin: 103.6 FP; with Kucherov: 115.3).
Below are the results from one of my lines; I had Eichel in many as well, though I thought he’d have higher ownership (he did in some of my contests, though it was lower in others). I also had some exposure to Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and John Tavares, as discussed in chat. I used Nick Ritchie and Zach Bogosian as additional punts; they earned 8 and 12.8 FP, respectively.
Patrice Bergeron ($8,400) and the Boston Bruins will be in New Jersey to take on a borderline NHL team in the Devils, who have the worst Corsi For percentage in the NHL since Feb. 1 (44.2). MacKenzie Blackwood was exceptional when these teams met in Boston a few weeks ago, but it’ll be Cory Schneider manning the crease tonight. He has been decent at home, but it’ll be asking a lot of him to slow down the Bruins’ offense. Boston is definitely a team worth targeting tonight, but it’s possible Bruce Cassidy will rest some of his star players if the Bruins get out to a large lead. I doubt the minute reduction will be significant, and of course there’s always a chance this game won’t be a blowout, but Bergeron and Brad Marchand have shown that they are capable of working quickly and efficiently.
Tyler Seguin ($8,100) and the Dallas Stars will take on the Colorado Avalanche tonight in a critical game for both teams. Seguin has two goals and five points in three games against Colorado this season and is coming off a four-assist performance. The Avs have gotten some great goaltending of late, but Dallas’ top power-play unit is explosive and could have another big game tonight.
Aleksander Barkov ($8,100) has a tough matchup against the stingy Coyotes, especially given how strong their penalty kill is, but Barkov has been so dominant of late that it’s difficult to ignore him. He has points in six straight games, recording four goals and 17 points in that stretch. He skates on Florida’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 16.6 fantasy points per game this season. He still has a tough matchup, though, so while he’s been incredibly productive, there’s still risk in this play.
Ryan O’Reilly ($6,600) and the Blues are heavy home favorites against the visiting Red Wings. ROR likely will hard-match against the Dylan Larkin line, but he should have more room to find the scoresheet tonight compared to the other night when he and the rest of STL 1 completely shut down Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. O’Reilly also centers the top power-play unit; he is averaging 14.4 fantasy points per game this season.
Also consider: Jonathan Toews ($7,700), Sean Couturier ($7,600), Logan Couture ($7,400), Sebastian Aho ($7,200), William Karlsson ($6,600), David Krejci ($6,100), Mikael Backlund ($5,800), Paul Stastny ($5,500), Andreas Athanasiou ($5,500), Anthony Cirelli ($4,200), Chris Tierney ($3,800), Oskar Sundqvist ($3,700), Christian Dvorak ($3,500), Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($3,500)
Johnny Gaudreau ($8,300) and Matthew Tkachuk ($6,600) should be popular options tonight, though on a 12-game slate, chalk isn’t as much of an issue. Even so, considering the Senators gave up seven goals last night to a much more offensively-challenged team and now find themselves in the second half of a back-to-back, Calgary will be a popular target. Sean Monahan will be back on the top line for the Flames, but both Gaudreau and Tkachuk are in strong spots tonight.
Alexander Radulov ($6,800) is a tough fade considering how well he has been playing. He scored two goals and an assist and earned 40-plus fantasy points the other night, and he has three goals and seven points in three games against Colorado this season.
Kyle Connor ($6,200) is more of a gut play, but he has very strong numbers against Vegas this season and likely will have very low ownership tonight. Connor scored a goal last night in Anaheim and has three goals and five points in two games against the Knights this season. He skates on Winnipeg’s second line and first power-play unit.
It will be no surprise that I am once again going to turn to David Perron ($5,800), whose point streak has now hit 16 games; he has scored nine goals and 21 points in that time. He is coming off a two-goal performance and has been very reliable this season. Linemate Jaden Schwartz ($5,500) is coming off a hat-trick performance in which he earned 54.1 fantasy points. Don’t expect that level of production again, especially against an unpredictable Jonathan Bernier, but the Blues are heavy favorites tonight, and this line will avoid the Larkin matchup.
Max Veronneau ($3,000) continues to be an excellent value option. He scored his first career goal last night and now has a goal and an assist on nine shots in three games this season. He skates on Ottawa’s top line and top power-play unit and is averaging 12.5 fantasy points per game.
Don’t underestimate how well the Golden Knights have been playing. They have a tough matchup tonight but will get the Jets in the second half of a back-to-back. Vegas is 9-1-0 since the trade deadline; join us in chat for the top player(s) to target.
Also consider: Nikita Kucherov ($9,300), Patrick Kane ($9,000), Brad Marchand ($8,500), Vladimir Tarasenko ($8,000), Mark Stone ($7,600), David Pastrnak ($7,600), Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,500), Jonathan Marchessault ($6,900), Reilly Smith ($6,100), Jake DeBrusk ($6,000), Timo Meier ($5,500), Josh Anderson ($5,200), Dylan Sikura ($3,200)
Alex Pietrangelo ($6,200) and the Blues are coming off a huge 7-2 win against the Oilers, and everyone in the lineup will garner interest tonight as St. Louis takes on a struggling Red Wings team. Pietrangelo skates on St. Louis’ top power-play unit, though Vince Dunn ($3,700) is a much more affordable option if you want a piece of St. Louis. Neither defenseman has been overly reliable, but both could have decent nights.
Shea Weber ($5,700) has really improved his fantasy game of late, providing a safe floor through peripheral stat coverage and recording six points in his last seven games. He and the Canadiens take on a stingy Islanders team, but Weber often provides double-digit fantasy production through shots and blocks alone, and considering how significant tonight’s game is for the Habs, look for the captain to lead the way.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic ($4,300) has earned at least 8 fantasy points in five straight games thanks to one goal and six points as well as nine shots and 12 blocks. He skates on the Sharks’ second power-play unit and is an inexpensive option on tonight’s slate in a favorable matchup against the Kings.
Also consider: Mark Giordano ($6,900), Tyson Barrie ($5,900), Zach Werenski ($5,500), Jacob Trouba ($5,200), Shea Theodore ($4,800), Travis Hamonic ($4,100), Dylan DeMelo ($3,700), Vince Dunn ($3,700), Roman Polak ($3,600), David Savard ($3,500)
Goalies will be discussed in chat once additional starters have been confirmed. That being said, a few goalies I like at first glance are Ben Bishop (GPP at that price), Tuukka Rask (though I worry about shot volume), Carey Price, Jordan Binnington, Petr Mrazek (GPP) and Mike Smith.
Join us in the FTA+ DFS NHL discord chat to discuss tonight’s slate and core plays.
Featured image credit: David Becker-Getty Images