The Stars’ offense has been clicking up to this point in the season as they sit first in the league with 4.0 goals per game. The ’Hawks have got some good goaltending of late from Kevin Lankinen ($7,300), but he is coming off a game where he allowed four goals on 34 shots, so perhaps a bit of regression is coming for him, too. Dallas is starting backup Jake Oettinger ($7,800), who hasn’t looked great in his handful of starts thus far. The over here looks like a nice pre-Super Bowl target.
The Golden Knights’ offense also sits near the top of the league in goals produced as they come in averaging 3.5 goals per game. The Kings have been slightly better this year on offense as well, but they’re still one of the worst teams in the league and have given up the 12th-most scoring chances against thus far in 2021. Six of the eight Golden Knights games have hit six goals or more, so whenever you get a 5.5 total on them you should probably bet over and against L.A., that seems like an even better than normal play today.
Top Line Stacks
Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Joe Pavelski ($7,100) – Alex Radulov ($6,400 - questionable) – Jamie Benn ($6,200)
The Stars have been mixing lines with a couple of their bigger-name forwards out, including Tyler Seguin, and lately, they’ve combined their best offensive weapons into a solid fantasy producing first line. Things didn’t click offensively much for Pavelski in his first year with the Stars, but it seems to be going much better in 2021. So far, Pavelski has 15 points through just eight games and is thriving in a main offensive role once again. While his shooting percentage may be ripe for some regression at some point, today is not a spot I’d want to be fading one of the hottest players in hockey as the Blackhawks have allowed 34.2 shots against per game this far (second-most in the league) and given up the third-most scoring chances against.
This matchup should also open things up for Pavelski’s wingers in Radulov and Benn, who are both averaging a point per game and are mainstays on the power play with Pavelski as well. The only news to watch here is on Radulov, who is questionable for this game, but if he doesn’t go Denis Gurianov ($5,900) or even rookie Jason Robertson ($2,500) could potentially get a look on the top line. Either way, the Stars’ studs are worth targeting in this spot and offer good upside for the price here.
Superstar to Target
Max Pacioretty, Vegas Golden Knights vs. L.A. Kings ($7,500)
It’s a short slate and the Golden Knights have a great matchup against the Kings (who have allowed the eighth-most SOG against thus far), so why not target our old pal Max Pacioretty again. Patches has now accumulated six points over his past two games and when he’s in this kind of zone it’s best to just keep rostering him. While his SOG totals were a little slower than normal to start the year he’s now fired 15 SOG in his past two games combined and is now averaging just a smidge under 5.0 SOG per game. Opponents against the Kings are averaging 3.4 goals per game, so while they’re scoring more as a team this year, the Kings are also now giving up more chances to opposing teams. This makes them a very solid target for your studs. On the short slate, there’s no other forward who offers better pure upside, so even with the slight price jump here, Pacioretty should be high on your list of anchors today.
Value on Offense
Reilly Smith, Vegas Golden Knights vs. L.A. Kings ($4,200)
Smith has started the season quietly, as he enters today’s game with the Kings with just three points in eight games. Vegas hasn’t needed him much thus far, but Smith is still getting regular minutes on their second line, a unit that provided lots of offense for Vegas last year in bursts. He’s averaged 3.5 SOG in his past three games and that kind of increased aggression should pay off here against the Kings who are eighth-to-last in SOG against and 12th-worst in scoring chances against. Smith makes for a good value as his potential for multi-points is good given the weak opponent and his role in the top six for a solid team like Vegas.
Jack Roslovic, Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Carolina Hurricanes ($3,500)
Roslovic is seeing time alongside his former Jet teammate Patrik Laine ($7,200) in Columbus, a role that has allowed him to land points in three straight games now. Laine eventually found his first goal as a Blue Jacket in his second game with the team and while Laine may never recover to the goal-scoring rate he showed early in his career with the Jets, he’s still an elite goal scorer who lifts the value of a player like Roslovic when playing alongside him. CBJ is devoid of true talent at center, so the move into the top six may stick for Roslovic and at this price, he’s going to be a great value until he moves from this spot.
James Reimer, Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets ($7,800)
The Hurricanes are still without Petr Mrazek in net, so the starts should fall mostly to Reimer until he returns. Reimer’s admittedly been a touch shaky thus far, as he enters this game with a 4-1 record but with just a .900 save percentage. The average stats are at least part of the reason why he’s salaried under $8K today as the Canes actually enter this game as -148 favorites on the moneyline, putting Reimer in a decent spot for the win. Columbus is averaging over 28 SOG per game, but the Blue Jackets don’t convert well and come in averaging just 2.5 goals per game (seventh-worst in the league). It’s a solid matchup for fantasy purposes and with a good price attached, Reimer makes for a solid goalie target if he starts.
Value on Defense
Christian Djoos, Detroit Red Wings at Florida Panthers ($3,200)
Somebody has to anchor the power-play for the Red Wings, a team devoid of any huge back-end talent. Right now, that task has fallen to Djoos, a 26-year-old Swede who is now with his third team in the NHL. For his part, Djoos is a competent puck-mover and while he’s hasn’t produced any power-play points yet, he has managed 13 SOG over his past five games and is using the increased opportunity to get his shot through. Florida is not the worst opponent to consider the Red Wings’ power play against either, as the Panthers come into this game with the 10th-worst penalty kill in the league. Djoos is a nice value on defense and someone you could consider stacking with one or more of the Red Wings’ forwards today on this short slate.
Keith Yandle, Florida Panthers vs. Detroit Red Wings ($5,300)
The Panthers' power-play is a must-target today as they enter as one of the best units in the league, hitting with a fourth-best 36% efficiency rate thus far. The Panthers are going up against the Red Wings, whose penalty kill sits third-to-last in the league this season. Yandle remains a solid offensive target and comes in averaging just under a point per game while seeing plenty of time on the PP1 for the Panthers. Five of his seven points have come on the PP thus far and with such a weak opponent here using him as part of a Panthers PP1 stack makes a ton of sense given the affordable price tag.
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks at Dallas Stars ($5,100)
I mentioned the Stars’ offense above being in a good spot, but the Blackhawks are going up against a backup goaltender tonight too and their offense should offer us some value. The Blackhawks’ power play has been quite good to start the year as well, hitting on over 37% of their chances. Keith has been anchoring the PP1 on many nights for Chicago and while he’s only got five assists on the year, more points should start to flow here for him eventually if he keeps getting this kind of opportunity. He’s also put up multiple blocked shots in three of his past four games and is now averaging over two SOG per game and over 24 minutes of ice per game. The price here looks too cheap for the exposure he’s getting and he makes for a great stacking target if you’re going with a contrarian Blackhawks PP1 stack today.
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