Thursday features a nine-game NHL slate that begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups, plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.
The Wild head into Seattle tonight with a 4-1 record and on the back of a 3-2 road win against Vancouver a couple of nights ago. Minnesota has pretty much picked up right where they left off last year, as a team that’s deep in all areas and as a tough opponent to get a win against. The Wild rank first in team expected goal rate, while their opponent, the Kraken, rank just 24th in that same category. Seattle’s also allowed the 12th-most scoring chances against, while Minnesota has allowed the second-fewest in the league. The Kraken are coming off a nice win against Montreal the other night, but Minnesota is a different, far more complete team. The Wild should be favorites here.
Top Line Stack
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames
Evan Rodrigues ($4,000) — Jake Guentzel ($7,400) — Kasperi Kapanen ($4,800)
The Penguins have been hampered by injuries to their top three centers to start the season, but have still managed to churn out wins. One of the main reasons has been the emergence of Rodrigues, who enters tonight’s contest averaging 3.0 shots on goal per game. The former Sabre is carrying the action for Pittsbrugh and leads their first line in goals. While he’s being helped along by playing with the team’s best winger in Guentzel, Rodrigues stepped up even before this latest promotion in a second-line role behind the now sidelined Jeff Carter (health protocols).
Despite the increased action for Rodigues, his price has barely come up and neither has the price on his other winger, Kasperi Kapanen. Kapanen’s production isn't jumping off the page as much as Rodrigues’, but he is averaging well over 2.0 shots on net per game and already has two power-play assists on the season. You’ll have to pay up for Guentzel to complete this trio, but long-term, the winger rates out near the top of this slate in shots per game. The former 40-goal scorer is also due for some positive regression, as his 6% shooting rate on the year is far behind his career 16% mark.
This is a great line to target for correlation purposes, too, as they’ll play all their minutes together at even strength and on the power-play. Taking on a Flames squad on the tail end of a five-game road trip, look to the Penguins top line for value here.
Superstar to Target
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues ($8,600)
The Blues enter this game averaging 5.0 goals per game. Their offense is tearing up the league right now, but the team is also getting in a lot of barnburners, which is great for their opponent’s fantasy value, as well. St. Louis is allowing over 33 shots on net per game and seem due for some regression defensively as their 93% penalty-kill rate seems unlikely to last.
MacKinnon had a delayed start to his season, but he enters having already grabbed six points in four games. He tops all forwards tonight in the long-term shots on goals department by a wide margin (4.16 over the last 12-months) and has scored more times against the Blues than any other team in the league. Paying up for the Colorado top-line is expensive, but on a slate with few true studs at center, MacKinnon feels like the one Avalanche player you’ll be wanting to make room for.
Value on Offense
Jonathan Dahlen, San Jose Sharks vs. Montreal Canadiens ($4,400)
The Sharks have found a true gem with Dahlen, who has stepped right into a first-line role and has provided a spark for a team needing some positive news. The Swede has now registered four or more shots on goal in three of his six games this year, and has also already potted three goals. Dahlen is seeing first-line power-play minutes, but he’s yet to get going on special teams, which actually leaves room for some improvement in his production. The Canadiens have been awful in all areas this year and have the fourth-worst penalty-kill in the league. You should be eating up this cheap price on Dahlen in a great matchup.
Tanner Pearson, Vancouver Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($3,400)
Pearson is seeing solid minutes for the Canucks on their top line and enters this game averaging over 17 minutes of ice and 3.0 shots on goal per game. The Flyers will likely be starting Martin Jones ($7,600) — he of the .896 save percentage from last year — which makes the Vancouver offense that much more attractive. Pearson is a cheap way to get some exposure to that Canucks’ attack, in what is a great spot against a weaker defensive team.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Arizona Coyotes ($8,500)
Vasilevskiy enters this game as a monster favorite on the DraftKings Sportsbook. In fact, the Lightning are the only huge favorite on this slate, which makes Vasilevskiy a very valuable commodity. The downside of a potential low save total can be mitigated by the fact that Vasilevskiy’s win expectancy provides a safe fantasy floor with the potential for a shutout. His price may even help keep ownership to palatable levels.
Craig Anderson, Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks ($7,500)
Anderson has defied the odds and started the season extremely well for the Sabres. He rolls into this game with the Ducks with a .944 save percentage and should be looking at a start after getting Buffalo’s last game off. The Sabres are small underdogs on the DraftKings Sportsbook and the Ducks offense — while improved from last year — isn’t something we should be overly fearful of when picking our goalies. Anderson is playing well, has a weak opponent and is playing behind a defense that has allowed 31 or more shots in three of his four starts. It's a good upside spot to chase in tournaments.
Value on Defense
Keith Yandle, Philadelphia Flyers at Vancouver Canucks ($3,800)
The Flyers are playing on the second night of a back-to-back so their could be a fatigue factor for this veteran squad. That said, the spot is good enough that we’ll want to target their offensive catalysts and special teams. Vancouver ranks 10th-worst in penalty-kill percentage on the season and is once again allowing a ton of shots and scoring chances every night. Yandle handles all of the power-play duties for the Flyers top unit, who are also banged up with Ryan Ellis ($5,900; undisclosed) day-to-day. For under $4K, we’re getting a great price here to chase Yandle, who already has five points and two power-play assists on the season.
Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Arizona Coyotes ($4,300)
Sergachev has been a great fantasy producer to start the year. The Russian made a commitment to improving his shot in the offseason so he could improve his goal scoring upside, and by all accounts it’s worked. He’s already scored twice (after netting just four goals last year) and has posted at least three shots on net in four of his last six games. Being part of the second-unit power-play has some value on a team like Tampa, and Sergachev could see his special teams minutes bumped up soon given his strong start to the year. Considering the Coyotes have the worst penalty-kill in the league (they’re allowing teams to convert on over 40% of their power-plays), Sergachev looks like a great value to target on defense and a player you can stack with any of the big-name Tampa Bay forwards.
Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($5,700)
It’s been a rough start for the Coyotes and their players, and for fantasy purposes, no one is more affected by the team’s poor performance and depth than Chychrun. The 18-goal scorer from last season has yet to land even a single point, as the Coyotes enter this game with just a 12% conversion rate on the power-play and averaging only 1.8 goals per game. However, Chychrun’s peripheral stats are just as strong, if not stronger, than they were last year. He’s averaging 5.0 blocked shots and shots on goal combined through the first six games and he’s still seeing good usage at over 25 minutes a game. Tampa has been a bit lackadaisical on defense to start the year — they’ve given up the 14th-most scoring chances against in the league — and some positive puck luck has to be headed to the talented Chychrun soon. He’s a good bargain here at under $6K in a better than advertised matchup.
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