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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for February 21

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Sunday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:00 p.m. ET.

NHL: Boston Bruins at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s big contests feature a three-game NHL slate starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. In this article find DFS advice for DraftKings plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target as well.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $50K Sticks [$10K to 1st]

DK Sportsbook

Vancouver Canucks Puck line +220 vs. Winnipeg Jets

It’s a small three-game slate, so let’s throw caution to the wind a bit here and chase some big puck line odds. The Canucks and Jets aren’t that different when we look at team makeup — they both allow too many shots against and scoring chances. The first game of this two-gamer was really close, with both teams getting over 29 SOG and both goalies standing tall. The Canucks have been far better at home this year though, sporting a winning record overall, and teams playing on the second end of these back-to-back series do have the edge in the W/L column thus far. Vancouver’s likely a little disrespected here at these big odds and it’s worth noting that each of their past three wins came by two goals or more. Target the big odds here as a big bounce back for Vancouver seems likely.

Top Line Stacks

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators

Brendan Gallagher ($6,400) – Tyler Toffoli ($7,300) – Jeff Petry ($6,500)

The Canadiens are coming off a bad stretch, as they’ve now lost four of their past six games and have scored two or fewer goals now in five of their past six starts. The offense has dried up a bit for the Canadiens after a hot start, but they do have the perfect ailment this Sunday as a matchup with the Senators is on tap. Ottawa has given up the most goals against per game in the entire league and the third-most scoring chances against as well. The Senators also make for a great target for the Canadiens’ PP1 as they currently sport the fourth-worst penalty-kill unit in the league as well.

Montreal finally moved Toffoli up onto their top line and the move has paid off well for him, at least, as the former King has now averaged over 17 minutes of ice time over his past four games and has been one of the lone bright spots for Montreal recently as he has three points over his past two games. Targeting him with Gallagher and Petry makes some sense here as Petry has seen four of his nine assists come on the power play, while Gallagher has assisted on both of Toffoli’s goals in Montreal’s past two games. This trio correlates well, are all high-ceiling players and have the best possible matchup on the board tonight in Ottawa.

Superstar to Target

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers ($8,600)

It’s a small three-game slate, so while I’d like to offer up some kind of hot take in this section Pastrnak is far and away the best fantasy play on this slate and should be recognized as such. The Bruins forward has averaged four shots per game since coming back to the Bruins and broke a four-game scoreless drought in his last outing against the Devils. Pastrnak is averaging 18.4 DKFP per game and is seeing massive amounts of PP1 time with his linemates Brad Marchand ($7,700) and Patrice Bergeron ($8,100), who also make for good pay-up plays but don’t carry the kind of one-off upside Pastrnak does. Philly has suffered through some injury woes and poor defensive play this year and the Flyers now rank third-to-last in penalty-kill percentage. Boston’s been converting at a near 30% clip with the man advantage, so the spot for Pastrnak and the entire Bruins PP1 is a good/great one.

Value on Offense

Evgenii Dadonov, Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens ($3,400)

Dadonov continues to see minutes in the top-six for Ottawa and on their PP1, which makes his nightly sub-$4K salary also continue to look very intriguing. He’s overcome a slow start and now has five goals in his past eight games and is averaging over 16 minutes of ice time per game. The Habs have started to show some vulnerability of late, especially on defense, as they’re losers of three of their past four games and have allowed three or more goals in three of their past four starts. Dadonov makes for a solid value here.

Stud Goalies

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins at Philadelphia Flyers ($7,900)

Rask comes into tonight’s game playing solid hockey of late as he’s now posted save percentages of over .900 in three straight games and is averaging right around 18.5 DKFP over his past three starts as well. Boston comes in as -180 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook — the second biggest on the slate — so his sub-$8K salary here looks extremely tempting. Boston has owned Philly so far in 2021, winning all of the first four games in the series. Rask sets up as solid value, regardless, given the dichotomy between these two teams right now in terms of quality.

Braden Holtby, Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets ($7,700)

Holtby played fantastic in his last outing for the Canucks, turning aside 35 of 36 shots faced in a 5-1 win over Calgary. Despite Holtby being extremely inconsistent this year, the Canucks’ goalies always have upside for GPP purposes as the team allows the most shots against, per game, of any team in the league. In his past nine games, Holtby’s stopped 30 or more shots in five of them, and with the Canucks at just -108 on the money line on DraftKings Sportsbook, he’ll have a decent shot at grabbing a win for you too.

Value on Defense

Derek Forbort, Winnipeg Jets at Vancouver Canucks ($3,600)

Forbort’s a good minutes eater for the Jets and he comes into this game averaging 21.5 minutes of ice per game along with 1.8 blocked shots over his past 10 starts. The former King doesn’t produce a ton of offense but is playing against Vancouver here, which allows the most shots against per game in the entire league. At under $4K, there’s no shame in going for the blocked shots and the decent floor that Forbort provides, especially against a weak opponent. There aren’t many better pure values out there at this price range so Forbort is someone who should be high on your list if punting on defense.

Power-Play Defensemen

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($6,000)

As mentioned above, the Bruins’ power play is in a good spot tonight against a Flyers team that has been terrible at limiting opponents when they have the man advantage. You don’t have to pay up for the entire Bruins first line, but if you want to get a piece of their dominant PP1, McAvoy is a good way to go about it on the cheap. He’s turned into their most reliable defenseman and best point man on the power play with Matt Grzelcyk out and is now averaging 13.8 DKFP and over 2.0 blocked shots per game over his past 10 starts. On a short slate, taking the solid floor here is smart.

Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks vs. Winnipeg Jets ($5,500)

Hughes and the Canucks’ offense could be in for a quick rebound after getting shutout by Winnipeg in their first meeting. The Jets have received solid goaltending for most of the season but this is still a team that has allowed the eighth-most scoring chances against and seems to be running a bit lucky on the defensive side right now. Hughes and the Canucks’ PP1 make for a solid contrarian target and Hughes, on his own, now has nine points in his past 10 games while averaging 2.8 SOG over that same span. The offensive upside with Hughes is big here if the Canucks forwards can find the net on the PP and using him with one of their more prolific forwards makes for a good GPP strategy given their assumed lower ownership today.

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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