We have an eight-game NHL slate to dive into tonight as the stretch run to the playoffs continues. Let’s get right into tonight’s lineup and see who can earn us some cash this evening!
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C – Auston Matthews (TOR) – $7,700
Matthews and the Maple Leafs were dealt a blow on Tuesday by the Dallas Stars in the form of a 6-3 loss. As the Leafs move on to St. Louis tonight, they face a team in turmoil. St. Louis has lost five of their last six games and have surrendered the second-most goals on home ice this season with only the Avalanche yielding more. Matthews has actually been much more productive on the road this season having scored 28 of his 40 points on the road in just 26 contests. He is also a shot on goal machine with 168 of them on the season, tied for seventh in the league.
C – Jason Spezza (DAL) – $5,200
Spezza makes for a very intriguing play tonight for multiple of reasons. After putting up six goals on Tuesday night the Dallas offense should be oozing with confidence. Second, Spezza lines up at center next to Tyler Seguin who is one of the NHL’s most productive players. Lastly, the Stars host the Jets this evening who give up 3.18 goals per game and have surrendered at least three goals in six straight road contests. Winnipeg has the most unreliable goaltending in the entire league so be sure to reach for the Stars this evening.
W – Nikita Kucherov (TB) – $6,300
Kucherov has been about as steady a point producer as there has been in the NHL this season. He has 44 points in as many games while throwing a whopping 139 pucks on goal. He is the go-to guy up front for the Lightning and Tampa Bay has owned Ottawa in recent seasons. In fact, the Lightning have scored at least four goals in six of their last eight games against the Sens. I will ride their best player tonight with that in mind.
W – Tyler Seguin (DAL) – $7,300
My top pairing tonight is the Spezza-Seguin duo. As mentioned Seguin is one of the NHL’s most productive players as his 49 points are tied for eighth and his 179 shots on goal sit in fifth spot league-wide. While the bottom-six guys did most of the damage Tuesday against the Leafs, I expect the top-six to do most of the damage tonight against a brutal Jets defense. That top-six starts with Seguin and his linemate Spezza this evening.
W – Jimmy Vesey (NYR) – $3,700
Vesey has struggled lately after a hot first month of his NHL career. However, the rookie did get back on the scoresheet Tuesday night with a goal on three shots, and appears to be skating on the Rangers’ top line tonight next to Derek Stepan and Rick Nash. He will also appear on the Rangers’ top power play unit for tonight’s road matchup in Buffalo. The Rangers are second to only the Penguins with their 3.38 goals per game and I am banking on Vesey’s Tuesday tally to jump start him getting in on the offensive fun the Rangers have enjoyed all season.
D – Nathan Beaulieu (MTL) – $4,200
One of the top young offensive blueliners in the league, Montreal fans are getting a nice glimpse of what this kid can bring. He now has 19 points in 45 games this season, but more recently has five points in his last ten contests while taking 18 shots and blocking 9. He is getting it done in all categories right now and should enjoy some more success tonight against a Flyers team that ranks 25th with 3.06 goals against per game.
D – Jake Gardiner (TOR) – $4,400
On pace for a career-year, Gardiner is the top offensive option on the Maple Leafs blueline. He is also the only d-man on the Maple Leafs’ top power play unit, a group that owns the league’s best road power play (by far) at 29.7%. He is certainly an offense-first rear guard who has a good shot and playmaking abilities. He should be able to show off some his offensive skill against a Blues team that has struggled on the back end all season long.
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy (TB) – $7,600
Vasilevskiy will get the nod over Ben Bishop for tonight’s home game against the Senators. As mentioned under Kucherov’s comments, the Lightning have dominated the Sens lately. Ottawa has managed just four goals over their previous three trips to Amalie Arena and should be in tough once again tonight. Sometimes teams struggle in certain venues and this certainly seems to be the case for Ottawa when they travel to Tampa.
UTIL – Benoit Pouliot (EDM) – $3,600
Pouliot is not having his best offensive season of his career, however he does have an opportunity for offense tonight in Nashville. Pouliot appears to have moved up onto the team’s second line with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, a certain boon to his fantasy prospects. He is an offensively gifted player, but for whatever reason he hasn’t put it together this time around. Perhaps a shit to a top-six role can once again get the veteran producing with regularity.