We enjoyed a quality night with last night’s DraftKings NHL DFS Picks and there’s a good chance that this lineup got you into profit territory, although it would have depended on what goaltender you used as Carey Price indeed missed his second consecutive game with a bout of the flu.
Our Maple Leafs mini-stack delivered some nice production as John Tavares and Mitch Marner connected for a goal, which was scored by Marner and primarily assisted by Tavares.
Our Montreal stack is where the vast majority of the damage was done as the trio of Gallagher, Tatar and Reilly combined to score two goals and three assists with seven shots and two blocks to boot.
Our Stars three-man group didn’t do nearly as much damage as Dallas was somehow held to just one goal in Ottawa against one of the worst defenses in hockey. Jason Spezza notched an assist on the lone Stars goal while the trio of Spezza, Nichushkin and Heiskanen combined for seven shots on goal.
Again, the fate of this lineup depended on who you used in lieu of Price in goal, however most of our picks performed well and we will look to ride that momentum into tonight’s eight-game slate!
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $6,700 vs. VAN
Whenever you are stacking the Penguins the biggest question is whether you want to stack around Crosby or Malkin. In this case I am going with Malkin as he will line up with Phil Kessel at both 5v5 and on the Penguins’ lethal top power play unit, whereas Crosby will only skate with his projected linemates at even strength. I believe this gives us a leg up and it also helps that Malkin is a bit cheaper. This is actually going to be a four-man stack beginning with Malkin who has started his season off with a cool eight points in four games while he gets a dynamite home matchup against the league’s 26th-ranked defense from last season and a group that has allowed 3.40 goals per game this year. Best matchup on the slate in my opinion.
C – Tyler Johnson (TB) – $4,900 vs. CAR
The Tampa Bay Lightning switched up their lines after a couple of sluggish outings to begin the season, and the result was an 8-2 pounding of the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, so we can expect the same lineup tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. The new-look lineup has Johnson skating as the second line center in between Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat, a trio that combined for five points on Saturday. Johnson notched a pair of assists in said outing, his first two points of the season. Playing with a player of Kucherov’s caliber is certainly a bonus with Johnson, although we will be mini-stacking him with another cost-efficient winger against a middle-of-the-pack defense tonight in Tampa Bay.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $7,000 vs. VAN
As mentioned, Kessel and Malkin will skate together in all situations tonight, and it’s certainly a dangerous duo as Malkin has those eight points while Kessel has four goals and seven points himself across four games. He’s coming off a huge season where he bagged 34 goals but also recorded a career-high 58 assists while firing 261 shots on goal. He brings a super-high floor with him due to his willingness to put the puck on net and his ceiling is sky-high against a very vulnerable Canucks back end that has allowed 3.75 goals per game on the road this season. Expect some serious production from the American winger tonight.
W – Carl Hagelin (PIT) – $3,900 vs. VAN
Given the matchup and his spot to the left of Malkin and Kessel at even strength, I’m liking the value upside of Hagelin tonight as the Penguins should put up plenty of offense in this one tonight. He’s notched just one assist on the season, however he’s also taken eight shots in four games and is averaging more than 15 minutes of ice time per game. There aren’t a whole lot of wingers in this price range that have the matchup that Hagelin does, but more importantly, the linemates that Hagelin has and I think we can extract some value out of the diminutive winger tonight as a result.
W – Ondrej Palat (TB) – $4,200 vs. CAR
Palat and Johnson for a 5v5 and second power play unit stack tonight in what I believe to be a favorable home matchup. The Hurricanes have been about league-average defensively so far, however they also aren’t going to face a stout goaltender tonight in either Petr Mrazek (.870 Sv%) or Curtis McElhinney (.900 Sv%), so I think some offense is going to be had here. Palat and Johnson have long had chemistry dating back to their rookie seasons. He’s only notched one assist in three games so far, but Palat has produced at a very nice 0.69 points per game clip in his career, so we can expect him to be a solid source of offense this season. He and Johnson provide plenty of upside at these attractive prices.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,400 vs. VAN
We will complete our four-man Penguins stack here with Letang who happens to be the highest-priced blueliner on the slate. Like Malkin and Kessel, Letang is off to a brilliant start this season with three goals and six points in four games to go along with 12 shots, or three per game. He’s already logging a ton of minutes on that Penguins blueline at a whopping 26:35 per game, ice time that obviously includes quarterbacking the Pens’ lethal top power play unit that has clicked at a nice 25% clip this young season. The price represents the upside here. I also believe as a four-man stack, these Penguins will be lower owned than you may think and some production from Hagelin would go a long way to complement the production of the trio of Malkin, Kessel and Letang.
D – Aaron Ekblad (FLA) – $4,800 vs. PHI
I think the Panthers could be a sneaky lower-owned play tonight as they hit the road to take on a Flyers team that has largely struggled defensively so far this season. They allowed just one goal in their most recent game on Saturday afternoon, but the Flyers have still allowed four goals per game, which ranks them in a 29th-place tie league-wide. They have also received just an .878 Sv% from their goaltenders. Enter Ekblad who brings a solid floor with him as he loves to shoot the puck coming off a 189-shot season. He tied for second last year among defenseman with 16 goals scored and while he isn’t skating on the top power play unit, he does form a mini-stack with our utility player on the second unit against a team that ranks 24th with a poor 72.7% clip on the penalty kill.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $8,400 vs. EDM
The Oilers are still struggling to get goal scoring from anyone not named Connor McDavid, so I think Hellebuyck and the Jets can take care of Edmonton tonight as the heavy -196 favorites in this one from Winnipeg. Hellebuyck has been fairly sharp this season with a 2.50 GAA and .919 Sv% across four starts entering this one, but he allowed just one goal in a 2-1 Jets win in his only home start this season against the Kings. Last season’s splits were fairly even in terms of GAA and Sv%, however Hellebuyck went a whopping 30-5-2 at Bell MTS Place last season, and I expect this to be one of the best home teams in the league again this time around. His win upside is certainly among the best on the slate.
UTIL – Dennis Malgin (FLA) – $3,700 vs. PHI
I like Malgin’s upside here for many reasons. First, he forms that aforementioned stack with Ekblad on the second power play unit. Second, Malgin has been moved up to the Panthers’ second line to skate alongside talented stars in Jonathan Huberdeau and Vincent Trocheck. Third is the matchup against a Flyers team that has struggled badly on the back end. Lastly is the price. Malgin showed flashes of offensive upside last season as he notched 11 goals and 22 points in 51 games and I expect the 21-year-old to take another step forward this season. His spot on that second line should certainly help as I believe he is going to provide excellent value upside tonight at low ownership.