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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for May 1

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

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a 13-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

Ottawa Senators +140 Moneyline at Montreal Canadiens

Don’t look now, but here come the Sens. Ottawa has won six of its past eight games and is already 5-3 against Montreal on the season. Ottawa has averaged 3.3 goals in the last eight games and faces off against a Montreal team that has the seventh-worst penalty kill and just a 3-5 record over its past eight games. The Sens’ plus-Moneyline here actually feels too big for once as they make for a decent underdog target tonight.

Mark Stone over 2.5 SOG +155

Stone typically isn’t who we target for these SOG props, as he’s more of a playmaker, but he’s got a solid matchup tonight and some very juicy odds. Stone’s also been a touch more aggressive than usual shooting of late and has landed three or more SOG in four of his past six games. With Arizona allowing over 30 SOG per game and Vegas coming off a shutout loss, expect their star forwards to be slightly more aggressive here. These odds feel worth taking on.

Place your NHL bets at DraftKings Sportsbook and bet online by downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Top Line Stack

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

Sebastian Aho ($7,100) — Andrei Svechnikov ($6,100) — Teuvo Teravainen ($4,600)

The Canes finally reunited their veteran trio after Teravainen returned from injury and the results have been solid. These three come into this game with 11 points scored over their past two games and with another soft matchup on tap. Columbus has allowed the sixth-most goals against per game and the fourth-most scoring chances against overall. Expect this trio to get plenty of ice time and power-play exposure together here in one of the softest matchups on this slate.

Florida Panthers at Chicago Blackhawks

Sam Bennett ($5,500) — Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,400) — Owen Tippett ($2,800)

They’ve finally raised Bennett’s price on DraftKings, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play him. This Panthers’ second line has been absolutely buzzing every night of late and gets a great matchup against Chicago, which has allowed the most shots against per game and has the sixth-worst penalty kill in the league. Expect Huberdeau and Bennett to get plenty of PP1 exposure together, while Tippett provides great value. He’s landed 17 SOG in his past three games combined and played over 14 minutes in the past two games.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K Sticks [$10K to 1st]

Superstar to Target

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks ($9,100)

Matthews gets another prime matchup with the Canucks tonight, who have allowed the second-most shots against per game this year and have been outscored 12-5 in their past three games. Matthews has hit the SOG bonus in six straight games now (averaging 4.9 SOG over his past 10 starts) and is averaging 21.7 DKFP per game over his past 10 starts, higher than either Connor McDavid ($9,200) or Nathan MacKinnon ($9,000) over that same span.

This may be a night to think about using more than one of these studs in a lineup but if you’re going with just one, there’s little doubt that Matthews has the best matchup and has shown the most consistent returns of these three over the last little stretch (although all three have been very good). Matthews is a fine pay-up option on a massive slate where value shouldn’t be too hard to find at other positions.

Value on Offense

Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($4,400)

Zacha has been a great source of value in this Flyers series and enters this game with three goals and five points in his past three games (all against Philly). The Flyers are now officially the worst defensive team in hockey (last in goals allowed) and have even allowed this pop-gun power play of the Devils to go off, as Zacha himself landed two points with the man advantage against them in game two. Zacha’s playing big minutes on the top six for New Jersey and is in a great matchup here. With his price remaining static, there’s little reason not to go back to him if you need a cheap winger.

Denis Gurianov, Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators ($4,200)

Gurianov has been the epitome of boom or bust for most of his career. Over his past 10 games, he’s landed four games with 15 or more DKFP but also produced four games with 5 or fewer DKFP. The Stars’ offense should be motivated here after scoring just once in their past two games and get a decent matchup against Nashville, which carries the third-worst penalty kill in the league. Entrenched in the top six for Dallas, Gurianov’s a great GPP target here at nearly $4K flat and a player who could explode in a matchup against a weaker team like Nashville.

Stud Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes ($8,300)

With Robin Lehner starting the last game against Arizona and losing 3-0, Fleury figures to get the call here. The Golden Knights’ offense seems likely to bounce back tonight against the Coyotes, who enter this game ranked just 23rd in xGF% and with a -23 goal differential. Fleury has been great all season and looks like a solid pay-up target as just the third-most-expensive goalie on this slate. Expect a big bounce back from Vegas today.

Cal Petersen, Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Ducks ($7,800)

Petersen should get the start for the Kings tonight after Jonathan Quick started the last game against them. Petersen comes into this game having lost three straight games but still sports a .916 save percentage and has a great matchup here against the Ducks. The Kings are -136 on the Moneyline tonight on DraftKings Sportsbook as it looks like the Ducks will be starting Ryan Miller ($7,100), who has been in worse form than Petersen of late. If he gets confirmed as the starter, Petersen’s a good pay-down target against a terrible offense.

Value on Defense

Rasmus Sandin, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vancouver Canucks ($2,900)

Sandin has started to take more regular shifts for the Leafs of late and played a season-high 21 minutes in his last outing. The young defenseman is getting shifts on the power play for Toronto and landed an assist and a blocked shot in his last outing against the Canucks. The matchup here is the right kind of one to take a shot with a near min-priced defenseman like Sandin who brings some offensive talent and seems likely to get a few opportunities against a bad defensive team like the Canucks.

Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils vs. Philadelphia Flyers ($3,300)

I like targeting this cheap New Jersey defense as a source of value in big tournaments as the matchup with the Flyers has been fruitful. The Devils are playing the Flyers for the fourth-straight game and have scored 14 times already in the first three meetings. Severson earned two power-play assists in his last outing and currently has just a 3.6% shooting percentage on the season, which is well below his career average. If he keeps getting opportunities on the man advantage against bad teams like Philly, good things will come eventually and he makes for a good target here if you need savings on defense.

Power-Play Defensemen

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche vs. San Jose Sharks ($6,100)

Colorado is a little short-handed on defense right now with injuries to Samuel Girard and Ryan Graves. That should mean bigger minutes for Makar, who played over 28 minutes in his last game against the Sharks, a matchup where he also put up 33.9 DKFP. The Avalanche defenseman was dominant against a poor Sharks defense, landing seven SOG and two power-play points (1 G, 1 A). There’s no reason to think he gets dialed back in game two of this series, as the Avs don’t have their usual rotation on the backend right now. At just $6.1K, he’s too cheap considering the circumstances and a great way to get exposure to the Avs' potent offense today.

Shea Theodore, Vegas Golden Knights at Arizona Coyotes ($6,700)

Theodore was a bust for us yesterday, along with the entire Vegas offense which shockingly got shutout against the Coyotes of all teams. Arizona has allowed the fifth-most scoring chances in the league to date though and the 11th-most goals against per game. Despite going pointless in his last game, Theodore is still averaging over a point-per-game in his past 10 starts and carries plenty of upside in what is a pretty high-end matchup for Vegas’ stud forwards. The process here says ignore the outlier in the last game and go back to Vegas’ offense today, which still sits fifth in the league in expected goal rate and goals per game.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K Sticks [$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.