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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for June 3

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Thursday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thursday features a two-game main NHL slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups, plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.

DraftKings Sportsbook

Hurricanes ML (+133)

The Hurricanes head into this game down 2-0, but not out of the series. Carolina has outshot the Lightning 70-45 through two games, and while that counts for nothing in the win column, it does let us know these have been a closely contested two games. These two teams split the season series 4-4, so a sweep here by the Lightning seems almost impossible to think about, especially considering how close both were during the regular season in points, records and some advance stats — Carolina actually rated better in expected goal rate and scoring chances against. The plus-money here on the moneyline is big enough to give the ‘Canes one more shot.

Jordan Eberle to score 1+ point (+100)

These are decent odds for Eberle to show up on the scoreboard tonight. The Isles’ top-line with Eberle and Mathew Barzal has been quiet in the playoffs, but Eberle does have five points in his last six games and he grabbed 24 of his 38 points playing at home. At even money, you should be adding this prop to your card tonight.

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

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

Top Line Stack

Boston Bruins at New York Islanders

Patrice Bergeron ($7,700) — Brad Marchand ($7,100) — David Pastrnak ($8,100)

The Bruins top-line produced a combined 54.7 DKFP in Game 2 of the series and 81.0 DKFP in Game 1. This trio remains the priciest on the slate, but with just two games, you need to get exposure to the incredible point-floor they provide, especially with the other series on this slate having produced only six goals in two games thus far.

It’s hard to rank these three in terms of importance, as all of them have produced in the SOG and points categories since the series began, but Bergeron is the stud I’d least want to fade. The center is certainly the Bruins most versatile forward and is a lock for 19-plus minutes every game. He’s averaging 4.3 SOG and 15.9 DKFP over his last 10 games, which are some of the best fantasy outputs of his career. Pairing him with both wingers is fine — even if it means sacrificing in other areas — and the Isles have allowed the second-most opponent SOG per game in the playoffs thus far.

Superstar to Target

Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($7,000)

Aho has had a tough start to this series as the center rolls into Game 3 with no points and just four SOG through two games. However, Aho stepped up last series when the ‘Canes needed him the most, scoring two goals in Game 6. The Hurricanes may be against the wall today, but they have carried more of the offensive play thus far and have outshot TB badly through two games. After collecting five goals and 30 SOG last series, I’m buying-low on the ‘Canes best center. Carolina’s offense should breakout at least once before this series ends and, with the season on the proverbial line tonight, liftoff for Aho seems likely.

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Value on Offense

Jordan Eberle, New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins ($4,200)

For the most part, Eberle has been New York’s forgotten winger, as the Isles second-line has done a lot of the scoring in the playoffs thus far. Both Josh Bailey ($4,000) and article favorite Anthony Beauvillier ($5,400) — he hit our point bet for us two days ago — have actually outproduced Eberle. Going back to his junior days, though, Eberle has always been a clutch performer and I’d expect him to eventually show up with a significant goal or two before the playoffs end. He’s scored 14 of his 18 goals at home this year and remains exceedingly cheap for a first-line winger playing around 17 minutes per game.

Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($4,300)

Staal is another Hurricane forward I like targeting in DFS today as I expect their offense to get rolling in Game 3. The veteran was a force in the series against the Predators, landing four goals including the series-clincher. Staal has been getting more offensive opportunities since being paired with Alex Svechnikov ($5,100) on a depth scoring line, and the two make for a good mini-stack that shouldn’t be heavily owned on this two-game slate. If you want a piece of the ‘Canes offense, but want to avoid their expensive forwards, Staal’s a great target here.

Stud Goalies

Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins ($7,900)

Varlamov came in for the start in Game 2 of this series and stole a win for the Isles, stopping 39-of-42 shots and producing 25.9 DKFP. The Isles goalies have been GPP winners for DFS players in the playoffs, as their team has allowed an uncharacteristically high number of shots against per game (second-most in the league), which has lead to a few 35-save bonuses. Varlamov is the slight underdog here, but the veteran also posted a 12-4-3 record at home this season with a .931 save percentage. He’s a good value target (assuming he starts) and likely won’t be heavily targeted as the Isles remain the underdogs.

Value on Defense

Ryan McDonagh, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes ($3,700)

McDonagh is the type of defenseman you don’t mind targeting in low-scoring series as he sees plenty of ice-time — he’s averaging over 23 minutes in the last three games — and he brings solid production in both the SOG and blocks categories. McDonagh has now collected multiple blocked shots in five of his last seven games in the playoffs and remains exceedingly cheap for a player who threatens the bonus every night in that category. Paying up for the big names on defense in the CAR/TB series hasn’t done people much good thus far, so if you’re wanting to go the cheap route today, McDonagh is still playing big minutes and producing good peripheral stats.

Power-Play Defensemen

Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins ($4,800)

Pulock has been a consistent performer in these playoffs, averaging just under 10.0 DKFP over his last 10 games. While he splits power-play time with some of the Isles other defensemen, Pulock does produce well in blocked shots, where he’s averaging 2.2 for the playoffs and has hit the bonus in that category four times in his last six games. The Bruins are a tough opponent, but we’ve already seen seven goals scored in each of the first two games and Pulock remains the Isles’ most talented offensive D-man. He’s a solid one-off target here under $5K.

Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($6,400)

If you think the ‘Canes are ripe for a bounce-back today then paying up for Hamilton seems like a near must in DFS. He’s yet to record a point in this series, but does have eight SOG in two games. The Hurricanes power-play does feel like it’s a good buy-low candidate and they were the second-most effective unit in the regular season. Who you pay up for at defense does depend on who you think wins this game — Victor Hedman ($5,600) is an option on the other side — but Hamilton remains the best upside asset on the slate and he’s averaging 13.2 DKFP over his last 10 starts.

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.

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