We have a meeting of two teams here who have been eliminated from the playoffs and are just playing out the string. The Blackhawks' defensive issues have finally caught up with them as they’ve been allowing a ton of goals down the stretch. Five of the past six Blackhawks games have seen seven or more goals scored now and with the Stars getting healthier on offense of late (Tyler Seguin and Joel Kiviranta are back) the 5.5 total here is worth attacking.
Pavelski enters this game averaging 3.1 SOG, per game, over his past 10 games. The big plus-money odds here look very tempting based on that fact alone but the matchup here really makes this a bet as the Blackhawks have allowed the second-most SOG per game in the league this year at 33.3. Expect a free-wheeling game here between two teams out of the playoff hunt and for the Stars’ best offensive catalysts like Pavelski to get more opportunity to get shots off as a result.
Top Line Stack
Dallas Stars at Chicago Blackhawks
Roope Hintz ($6,700) — Joel Kiviranta ($2,800) — Joe Pavelski ($6,400)
The Stars have been rolling two solid scoring lines now that they are mostly healthy, and while it’s too late for them to use the added depth to make the playoffs, they can certainly take out their frustrations on the Blackhawks. Hintz and Pavelski have been a great fantasy combo all season and come in with 11 points between them over their past three games. The duo will see plenty of power-play time together as well, which is great against a team like Chicago that is bottom five in penalty kill.
Joining them at even strength these days is Joel Kiviranta who has struggled with injuries most of the year but remains an intriguing talent, and makes for a great punt play when he’s getting top-six minutes at this price. Don’t shy away from this great matchup today and target the Stars’ top-six and PP1 at will.
Superstar to Target
Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames ($7,500)
The Senators have played great hockey to end their season as they roll into Calgary having won five of their past six games. While it’s been an all-out team effort, there’s no doubt that Tkachuk remains the team's best offensive catalyst. The winger is averaging just under a point-per-game over his past 10 starts and remains capable of a multiple-goal/SOG bonus kind of game whenever he takes the ice. Both of these teams are essentially done for the year in terms of the playoffs and the Flames haven’t had the nice end-of-season run that the Sens have.
The Flames’ offense has been the biggest disappointment for them this year but they’ve also received shoddy goaltending from Jacob Markstrom — who has just a .904 save percentage — and have mediocre special teams, at best. Tkachuk’s upside as a standalone play trumps anyone else’s in this game and he makes for a great pay-up target on a slate where you should have plenty of good value options to consider, given the matchups.
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Value on Offense
Tim Stützle, Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames ($4,000)
Stützle is coming off a hat-trick and gets another solid matchup here against a Flames team that is just playing out the string and features below-average goaltending and special teams. The rookie forward is getting good power-play exposure on a nightly basis and playing alongside a good offensive driver in Connor Brown ($4,700). You can use Stützle as part of an Ottawa stack here or just use him on his own as he should continue to get solid run to end the season.
Brandon Hagel, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Dallas Stars ($3,500)
Hagel has been a good value target in DFS during the second half of the season as the winger has consistently been getting top-six minutes for the Blackhawks. The versatile forward is averaging over 15 minutes of ice time and has seven points over his past 10 games. His upside isn’t crazy but Hagel has landed two or more SOG now in seven of his past eight starts, which makes him a great floor play at this price too. He has been playing alongside a prolific goal-scorer in Alex Debrincat ($7,300) at even strength and makes for a decent stacking partner if you’re planning on paying up for the high-priced winger.
Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames
Anton Forsberg ($6,800) or Filip Gustavsson ($7,000)
The Senators’ goalies have been playing good hockey of late as their patchwork goaltending network has risen to the occasion down the stretch. While it seems likely that Forsberg would get the start here after Gustavsson played last night — and stopped 27 of 29 SOG — Gustavsson’s solid play means he could see another start here as well.
Forsberg’s a fine target too, though, as he’s won two in a row and stopped 30 of 31 shots in his last outing against Montreal. Despite the Sens being a small underdog today, the Flames’ offense isn’t one to fear as they come in ranked seventh-to-last in goals scored. Don’t be afraid to use the Senators' cheap goalies on this small slate, especially if you need more salary flexibility.
Erik Brännström, Ottawa Senators at Calgary Flames ($3,100)
The Senators seem likely to be without Thomas Chabot today which should open up more playing time for a player like Brännström. The Swede has skated 22 minutes or more in each of his past two games and has been seeing consistent time on the power-play rotation for the Senators, who have a solid matchup here against the Flames. Brännström landed three assists two games ago and his offensive chances are going to keep presenting themselves with the Senators’ biggest minutes eater Chabot out of the lineup here.
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames vs. Ottawa Senators ($6,200)
The Stars’ power play is certainly something you could target today on defense (both John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen are good targets) but there’s little doubt that the best overall play on the back end here is Giordano. The Flames defenseman continues to play big minutes even with Calgary all but eliminated and comes into this game averaging 3.0 SOG and 2.5 blocked shots over his past 10 games. The Senators have improved as the season has progressed, but still allow the fifth-most SOG against per game and have a mediocre penalty kill, so the upside here remains very intact for such a high-end fantasy producer.
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