We had a real productive lineup last night with our DraftKings NHL Picks. Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Shayne Gostisbehere combined for a goal and four assists in our Flyers stack. Derek Stepan was held pointless, but Richard Panik eclipsed value with a goal that was assisted by Clayton Keller. Our Montreal mini-stack also produced, as Artturi Lehkonen scored a goal on four shots while Mike Reilly took three shots and blocked two. Sergei Bobrovsky gave up four goals, but he managed to notch a win thanks to a Columbus comeback. We will take the nice night and look to keep things going on tonight’s tiny three-game slate.
C – Brayden Schenn (STL) – $7,000 vs. CHI
The Blues are in dire need of a couple of points tonight, and they couldn’t ask for a better opponent on home ice against the Chicago Blackhawks. St. Louis averages just 2.75 goals per game at home, good for 25th, however the Blackhawks are atrocious on the road. Chicago ranks 30th with 3.49 goals against per game away from the Madhouse on Madison while they are giving tonight’s not in goal to J-F Berube, the owner of a 4.74 GAA and an .857 Sv% on the road in six appearances. Enter Schenn who has bagged 26 goals on 201 shots this season, numbers that stand to improve tonight.
C – Casey Mittelstadt (BUF) – $3,700 vs. OTT
The Blues are going to cost us a pretty penny tonight, so we will use a value stack to complement the Blues stack. It begins here with Mittelstadt who has played three games for the Sabres after finishing up his campaign with the University of Minnesota. Mittelstadt has posted a pair of assists in those three games, but he is also seeing over two minutes of power play time per game on the Sabres’ second unit. With the Ottawa Senators and their weak blueline in town, Mittelstadt could very well notch his first career goal tonight.
W – Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) – $7,600 vs. CHI
There likely isn’t a player on this slate that has the floor Tarasenko brings to the table while his ceiling is huge thanks to the matchup against the lowly Blackhawks. Tarasenko has notched 32 goals and 32 assists on the season, but his floor is increased by his whopping 296 shots on goal, the fifth most in the NHL this season. He’s been productive down the stretch for the Blues with five goals and an assist over his last six games, and I would be shocked if he were to miss the scoresheet tonight.
W – Jaden Schwartz (STL) – $6,600 vs. CHI
Schwartz was slowed by an ankle injury after his white-hot start to the season, but he brings plenty of upside to this matchup tonight. Despite the injury, he has notched 22 goals this season and 56 points across 59 games. Schwartz flanks Schenn and Tarasenko at both 5v5 and on the power play, and this trio also regularly sees 20+ minutes of ice time per game. With the Blues’ season hanging in the balance, I expect Mike Yeo to rely on the trio in big way tonight, likely seeing at least 21 minutes of ice time each.
W – Alex Nylander (BUF) – $2,800 vs. OTT
It’s another season debut tonight for a Sabres’ rookie. After Mittelstadt made his last week, it’s Alex Nylander’s turn to see some NHL action this season as a highly-touted prospect. Nylander, the brother of the Leafs’ William Nylander, played four NHL games last season and posted just seven goals and 26 points in 48 AHL games this season, but will form a very low-owned stack alongside Mittelstadt on the Sabres’ third line. At this price, it’s hard not to take a good look at the rookie against a very weak Senators’ back end.
D – Alex Pietrangelo (STL) – $6,500 vs. CHI
All things considered, Pietrangelo is the top defenseman on tonight’s slate. We’ve outlined how appetizing of a matchup this is for the Blues, and Pietrangelo brings a very high floor to the table tonight with his cross-category contributions. He’s noted 15 goals, 38 assists, 206 shots and 157 blocks across his 75 games this season. He forms a 5v5 and PP1 stack alongside the above Blues trio as St. Louis makes for a real nice four-man stack on this tiny slate.
D – Marco Scandella (BUF) – $3,600 vs. OTT
Scandella forms a 5v5 stack alongside Mittelstadt and Nylander while he forms a PP2 mini-stack with Mittelstadt as well. Scandella also provides this lineup a little bit of cross-category contribution as he’s scored five goals, added 16 assists, taken 133 shots and blocked 110 for the season. He’s regularly seeing 22+ minutes of ice time on the Sabres’ back end so let’s roll with this three-man Buffalo stack at what should be low ownership despite the small slate.
G – Ryan Miller (ANH) – $8,200 vs. MIN
Miller is my top goaltender of the night for several reasons. He has been rock-solid in place of Jonathan Gibson who has dealt with several ailments this season. Miller has posted a 2.51 GAA and a .925 Sv% this season, but those numbers improve to an elite 1.96 GAA and a .938 Sv% on home ice across eight appearances. The Ducks are the league’s seventh-ranked home defense while the Wild are the league’s 28th-ranked road defense, so a win should be in the cards tonight for the veteran.
UTIL – Ryan Kesler (ANH) – $4,000 vs. MIN
He hasn’t been very productive on the offensive end this season, but Kesler makes for a fine play considering price, opportunity and opponent tonight. Kesler skates as the team’s second line center while also centering the second power play unit. I mentioned the Wild are a brutal road defense, giving his upside another boost. He’s also notched a goal and two assists over his last four games and regularly skates more than 19 minutes a night, so he makes for a solid lower-owned play tonight.