Thanks to a low-scoring game in Detroit last night our lineup’s quality performance was dragged down by the Red Wings trio we rostered. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Petr Mrazek all posted nice nights, but it was mostly all for naught with the underperformance of the Red Wings. Let’s move on to tonight’s 12-game slate!
C – Vincent Trocheck (FLA) – $6,900 vs. BUF
Despite being a low-scoring road team, the Panthers are in a quality spot tonight as the visit the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo checks in with the league’s 29th-ranked defense and 25th-ranked home defense while they will give tonight’s start to backup Chad Johnson who owns a 3.65 GAA and an .884 Sv% for the season. Enter Trocheck who brings a real high floor with him into play tonight thanks to his 46 points and 171 shots across 48 games for the season.
C – Jordan Staal (CAR) – $5,200 vs. MON
On a large slate it’s quite likely the Hurricanes go overlooked against the visiting Canadiens. Montreal enters tonight’s contest sporting the league’s 27th-ranked road defense, so despite Carolina’s so-so offense, I like this as a GPP look. Staal is the Hurricanes’ top center at both 5v5 and on the power play and enters tonight’s game 14 goals, 31 points and 115 shots on goal for the season. He should get some quality looks tonight on home ice.
W – Dennis Malgin (FLA) – $3,600 vs. BUF
One of tonight’s value plays is Malgin who finds himself in a real nice spot against the Sabres. Malgin will skate on the team’s second line next to Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau who happen to be the Panthers’ top two scorers this season. Malgin has tallied a quality seven goals in 28 games this season after recording 14 points in 13 AHL games prior to his call up. He also sees some time on the Panthers’ second power play group.
W – Sebastian Aho (CAR) – $6,100 vs. MON
Not many NHLers enter tonight’s slate as hot as Aho. The sophomore has tallied ten goals over his last 12 games to bring his total to 17 goals and 38 points in 46 games this season. The talented Fin has also recorded 132 shots on goal to boot. He will flank Staal at both 5v5 and on the power play tonight where the Hurricanes could do some real damage against the league’s 29th-ranked road penalty kill this evening.
W – Taylor Hall (NJ) – $7,300 vs. PHI
Although he’s a one-off play for tonight, Hall has a fine matchup against the visiting Flyers. Philly has been lit up for five goals in back-to-back games including a 5-3 loss in Washington just last night. Hall will also face a rookie goaltender getting his first start as Alex Lyon gets the nod for the Flyers. He has recorded seven goals and 13 points over his last eight games and should be flying tonight on home ice.
D – Keith Yandle (FLA) – $4,800 vs. BUF
We have completed our first three-man stack of the lineup here with the addition of Yandle. He is enjoying a quality season on the Panthers’ blueline with 26 points in 48 games while taking 97 shots on goal. Yandle operates as the lone defenseman on the Panthers’ top power play group, thus forming a power play mini-stack with Trocheck. I like his upside tonight against a porous Sabres’ back end.
D – Justin Faulk (CAR) – $4,700 vs. MON
As far as defenseman in this price range go, I like Faulk the most. He brings nice counting stats into tonight’s matchup as he has taken 147 shots on goal, blocked 62 shots and has tallied 17 points on the season. While that number isn’t high, I like his upside on the power play tonight as he has recorded ten of his 17 points on the man advantage and is set to face one of the worst road penalty kills in the entire league tonight.
G – Pekka Rinne (NSH) – $7,900 vs. LA
Rinne faces a tough test against a solid Kings team tonight, but given his recent play and the Kings’ recent offensive struggles I like his matchup. Rinne owns a .927 Sv% overall this season, but sparkled in January to the tune of a .939 Sv% in six starts. The Kings are playing better hockey over their last few games, but have still managed more than two goals just twice over their last eight contests. Look for this one to be a low-scoring affair with Rinne slamming the door once again.
UTIL – Connor Brown (TOR) – $3,300 vs. NYR
The Rangers are a solid home team, but Brown’s opportunity is too good to pass up at this price. Brown will skate on the Leafs’ third line, but that line also contains James van Riemsdyk and is still an offensive group as a result. He will also skate on the Leafs’ top power play unit with Auston Matthews and William Nylander. He gets plenty of ice time as a result as he kills penalties as well, making him a real intriguing option with plenty of value upside.