These two teams have now played five times, with three of the games seeing seven or more goals scored. The Kings did beat the Wild 4-0 a week and a half ago, but the Wild were coming off a long COVID-19 break for that game, and since then the Minnesota offense has caught fire, landing 20 goals over their last four games—including six against the defensive minded Avalanche their last time out. L.A.’s offense has also been respectable this year, so with a low 5.5 O/U here on DraftKings Sportsbook, I like targeting the over at decent enough odds.
The Avalanche are coming off of two bad losses to the Wild and Golden Knights and are at risk of letting Vegas get too far in front of them for the division lead. Luckily, they get the Coyotes tonight, who they turned into their own personal punching bags last playoffs. Colorado outscored Arizona 22-8 in a five-game series last season and will be facing an Arizona team who had to scratch and claw for comeback wins against the Ducks in their last two games. A letdown here for Arizona seems plausible and a big game for the Avs’ big players seems likely as well. The cover here is a solid play.
Top Line Stacks
Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings
Victor Rask ($2,900) – Kirill Kaprizov ($4,400) – Mats Zuccarello ($4,700)
There’s not a hotter line in the NHL right now than this one. While technically the Wild’s second line, this trio has now combined for 20 points between them over their last four games. Also, while they may be the second line, the Wild are without a dominant center and with winger Kevin Fiala ($6,600) currently trying to carry a couple of two-way players on the Wild’s other top-six line, both Kaprizov and Zuccarello have been left to roam free against lesser competition.
The Kings have improved in 2021 by decent margins but they’re still a good opponent for opposing forwards, allowing over 31 SOG per game. This slate does have a couple of studs to pay up for, so while you could just choose to roster Kaprizov and Zuccarello here—the main offensive catalysts of this group—throwing Rask in for a complete stack gives you room to jam in an extra stud tonight. Given these three are now playing on the power-play together as well, there’s no reason not to stack all three if you want to.
Superstar to Target
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche at Arizona Coyotes ($9,000)
MacKinnon and the Avs are coming off back-to-back losses of the embarrassing variety, so we’ll likely get a better effort from them here tonight. Any offensive outburst of course is most likely going to start from their captain who comes into this game without a point in his last two games. It’s been a bit of an up and down season for MacKinnon who has suffered through injury issues along with the Avalanche’s own COVID-19 hiatus. Still, the two-game slump shouldn’t be reason to get off him here as he looked fine last weekend, scoring two goals in two games against a solid defensive team in the Golden Knights.
This short slate has some firepower on it with the Bruins’ and Rangers’ forwards all offering elite upside, but with the Bruins’ offense struggling a bit of late and the Rangers’ forwards also shorthanded—and in a poor matchup—paying up for Nate the great here seems like the correct move. Considering how badly the Avs pummeled the Coyotes in the playoffs last season—MacKinnon had 10 points against them in five games—another big effort from him here seems likely.
Value on Offense
Colin Blackwell, New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins ($3,100)
The Rangers have some holes to fill in their top-six after the sudden departure of Artemi Panarin, and while most expected rookie Alexis Lafreniere ($2,900) to be the person who picked up the slack, so far the 27-year-old Blackwell has been the more productive fantasy producer. Blackwell’s playing on a top-six line right now with Ryan Strome ($4,400) and Chris Kreider ($4,600) and has picked up three points now in his last four games, while also skating over 16 minutes in his last outing. The Bruins are banged up right now on the back-end so Blackwell’s in a decent spot here to keep producing.
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins at New York Rangers ($3,600)
DeBrusk has had a tough start to the new season as he only has one goal and four points through 12 games. The Bruins’ winger, who is supposed to be one of the Bruins’ best secondary scorers, does now have points in two of his last three games, so perhaps a barrage of goals will come soon. DeBrusk did see his minutes go up a bit last game and he’s still shooting the puck, averaging 2.7 SOG per game on the season. He’s a decent stand-alone punt play at this price and someone capable of surprising with multiple points for you in DraftKings GPPs.
Kaapo Kahkonen ($7,800) (or Cam Talbot $7,800), Minnesota Wild vs. Los Angeles Kings
Kahkonen is really coming on after a slow start to his rookie season. The Wild netminder has now won four straight games and posted save percentages of .938 or better in each of those starts. Touted as a potential dark horse for the rookie of the year in the preseason, he’s clearly starting to live up to some of those expectations and has a nice fantasy matchup here against the Kings, who have played better of late but still don’t create a ton of quality scoring opportunities (they’re sixth to last in xGF%). Regardless of who starts in net tonight—Kahkonen or Talbot—the Wild goalie position is one to target here.
Alexandar Georgiev, New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins ($6,600)
Georgiev is slated to get the start for the Rangers here tonight and while he’s been the lesser goalie of their current combo, the Rangers could be catching the Bruins here at an opportune time. The Bruins have injury issues and their offense hasn’t looked great of late as they’ve now failed to score more than two goals in four of their last five games. Georgiev has now posted a save percentage of over .900 in each of his last two starts and is coming off a solid win against Philly. I like targeting him in GPPs tonight as it does feel like Boston could be ripe for the upset here.
Value on Defense
Urho Vaakanainen, Boston Bruins at New York Rangers ($3,100)
There’s two ways you can take advantage of the Bruins’ injury issues tonight. The first is to roster some of the Rangers, and the second is to use the player who is getting the increased opportunity created by said injuries, and right now, that’s Vaakanainen. The Fin is playing on the top-pairing with Charlie McAvoy ($5,900) right now and while it’s led to mixed results on the W-L column for the Bruins, fantasy-wise he’s more than paid off his near minimum-price salary. Vaakanainen has now averaged over 20 minutes in his last two games and averaged 10.8 DKFP in the process. While he’s not going to grab you an assist every night, he’s firing his shot when he gets the chance (3.0 SOG per game) and has the kind of ice time that can lead to more blocked shots over time as well. He’s a great punt play if you want to pay down on defense in your builds here.
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche at Arizona Coyotes ($6,000)
Like many of the offensive studs on Colorado, Makar is coming off a slow couple of games. The Avalanche’s top point man and power-play QB should get things going soon though and it is worth noting that he enters this game with just a 3.6% shooting percentage, which is far lower than his 8.7% career average. The Coyotes have a decent enough penalty-kill, but so do plenty of other teams on this slate, and realistically, this matchup has been terrible for the Coyotes over the last year or two. Makar scored six points vs. them last year in five playoff games (three of them were on the PP) and should be looking to get back on track with MacKinnon here on the PP against one of the weaker divisional opponents. If I like Colorado here to get back on track with a win, then I almost have to like Makar, who provides as much upside as any defenseman on the slate tonight.
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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.