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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for April 23

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

Washington Capitals v Boston Bruins Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Friday features a five-game main NHL slate starting 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.



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DraftKings Sportsbook

New York Rangers Puck line +155 (-1.5) vs. Philadelphia Flyers

The Rangers lost a tight affair to the Flyers in game one of this series but they should be ripe for a bounce-back today. The Flyers look to be starting third-string goalie Alex Lyon ($6,900) in net, who allowed five goals in his only start of the season. The Rangers’ offense now ranks 7th in goals scored and each of their six previous wins have come by two goals or more. They make for a great puck line target here at generous odds.

Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames under 5.5 goals (-121)

Neither of these teams have prolific offenses, with both teams averaging less than 3.0 goals per game. Today will be the seventh meeting of the season between these two teams and five of their first six meetings have resulted in five or less goals being scored. It’s hard not to like the under here even with the odds being a little shorter than we normally see on a total.


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Top Line Stacks

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Mika Zibanejad ($7,500) — Pavel Buchnevich ($6,400) — Chris Kreider ($5,500)

We targeted Mika Zibanejad in this article last night against the Flyers and while he didn’t break the slate he did land four SOG and an assist, so his night wasn’t a complete wash. His salary here hasn’t risen much either and I still love targeting the Rangers’ first line and PP1 against this weak Flyers squad—especially on a quieter five-game slate. Like Zibanejad, Pavel Buchnevich was also busy with his shot in game one, landing four SOG and recording over 19 minutes of ice time. I’d expect to see this line get heavy minutes once again as the Rangers are in desperation mode in terms of trying to land a playoff spot and essentially need a win here just to stay in the hunt.

As I’ve harped on the last couple days, the Flyers’ penalty-kill is awful and it’s a unit the Rangers have absolutely destroyed in the past with New York winning two of the six games between these teams by five or more goals. With a third-stringer in net here, targeting this first line for fantasy purposes makes a ton of sense as you should see them play big minutes and potentially go off if the Rangers end up on the good end of the whistle tonight.


Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $35K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]


Superstar to Target

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres ($8,700)

After a pretty lengthy dry spell, it does seem like Pastrnak has finally risen back to stud relevance for fantasy purposes. The winger comes into this game with nine points over his last five games and is coming off a multi-point night in his last game against the Sabres. The Sabres have looked competent for the last couple of weeks but are completely out-matched against the Bruins, who have looked much better on offense since adding Taylor Hall ($5,000) at the deadline. The Bruins come in averaging 4.6 goals over their last five games and Hall’s inclusion has allowed Pastrnak to go back to his natural spot alongside Patrice Bergeron ($8,000). Pasta can and should be targeted at will tonight and going forward.


Value on Offense

Vinnie Hinostroza, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators ($2,600)

Hinostroza has been given some top-line minutes recently for the Blackhawks, who have been trying to roll two balanced scoring lines of late. That’s meant the 27-year-old is now seeing time alongside Patrick Kane ($8,300) and it’s led to good things. The versatile forward has five points in his last three games and has started to earn more trust from the coaches, who have played him over 15 minutes in his last two games. As long as he’s beside Kane, he makes for a great minimum-price play and a solid stacking partner with the Hawks’ superstar.

Eeli Tolvanen, Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks ($3,900)

Tolvanen returned to action in the Predators’ last game and promptly got on the scoresheet with a goal. The Fin played 15 minutes and was back in a top-line role for the offensively-starved Predators. He’s a got a great matchup here against the Blackhawks, who allow the most shots against in the league and the sixth-worst penalty-kill. Look for Tolvanen to continue to get an opportunity in the top-6 until Filip Forsberg returns.


Stud Goalies

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres ($8,400)

Rask is a monster favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook tonight (-345 to be exact) to the point where his $8.4K salary actually looks relatively cheap. He comes in off a shutout of these same Sabres in his last start and has now won three games in a row since returning from injury, allowing one goal or less in two of those starts. Boston looks to be heating up and should keep rolling here against Buffalo. If you can make the room, Rask is the guy to pay up for in net tonight.

Jake Allen, Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames ($7,900)

Allen has been just average since taking over number one duties with Carey Price out, but he does have three wins in his last five starts and gets a soft matchup here against Calgary. The Flames rank just 22nd in goals scored and 19th in power-play efficiency. The Canadiens and Flames have seen five of their first six games end with five or less goals being scored, so we should expect a low-scoring game here. With the Canadiens set as small road favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, Allen makes sense as a DFS target here at under $8K.


Value on Defense

Wyatt Kalynuk, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators ($3,100)

There isn’t a ton of great value under $4K tonight on defense but Kalynuk makes sense as a target here. The 21-year-old is getting steady minutes for the Blackhawks and has started to get integrated on the power-play of late as well. Kalynuk has shown some offensive upside too and has now landed 4.0 SOG in two of his last four games, while also grabbing goals in three of his last six starts. The Preds have been regressing a bit on defense after a hot run by Juuse Saros ($7,800) and make for decent targets here too. Kalynuk’s a good pay-down option for those looking to punt on defense tonight.


Power-Play Defensemen

Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Bruins at Buffalo Sabres ($5,000)

I mentioned Grzelcyk in this section in the Bruins’ last game against the Sabres and he promptly responded with a goal and an assist for 15.0 DKFP. The Bruins’ defenseman has now played two games since returning from injury and has been placed back in his natural spot on the Bruins’ PP1. Boston has averaged 4.6 goals over their last five games and their power-play makes for a great stacking target in such a prime matchup. Grzelcyk’s an efficient way to get a piece of it tonight and should be included in any Boston PP1 stack.

Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild at Los Angeles Kings ($5,200)

There are some big names on this slate on defense but I still prefer to pay down for a reliable performer like Spurgeon, who won’t break the bank at just $5.2K. Unlike some of the other top-defensemen, Spurgeon isn’t afraid to block shots and he comes in averaging 3.1 blocked shots over his last 10 games—and has now hit the DraftKings bonus five times in his last 10 games in that regard. He still sees plenty of time quarterbacking the Wild PP1 one too, so the upside is real against a weaker team like Los Angeles tonight.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $35K Kick Save [$10K to 1st]


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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.