Buckle up tight as we have a wild ride ahead of us tonight with a whopping 12 games on tonight’s NHL slate! There are some tasty matchups that need to be exploited tonight and those will certainly be the ones you will find below. Let’s get to it!
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C – Nick Schmaltz (CHI) – $4,500
Schmaltz struck fantasy gold when Artem Anisimov went down with a 3-4 week injury as he now centers Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin at 5v5. That spot has aided the rookie in tallying three points over his last two contests, in one of which he skated well over 18 minutes. He and the Blackhawks have an appetizing matchup on hand tonight as they welcome the Stars to the windy city. Dallas ranks 30th in both goals against per game on the road (3.66) and penalty killing on the road (72.1%) and will be in tough against a stout Blackhawks’ offense that has scored ten goals over their last two contests.
C – Vincent Trocheck (FLA) – $6,200
Trocheck is developing into one of the league’s best up-and-coming pivots as he sits with 50 points and a whopping 209 shots through 72 games on the season. He and the Panthers welcome a favorable matchup tonight as they host the visiting Coyotes. Arizona sits right near Dallas at 29th with 3.56 goals against per game on the road while their 75.8% mark on the penalty kill away from home ranks 28th in the league. Trocheck lines up as the Panthers’ second line center and their pivot on the second power play unit and makes for a great fade to what will be a highly owned top Panthers’ line tonight.
W – Artemi Panarin (CHI) – $6,600
Panarin lines up next to Schmaltz at 5v5 which makes for a solid combo, but unlike Schmaltz Panarin gets that enviable spot on the Blackhawks’ top power play unit. That allows him exposure to Patrick Kane at both 5v5 and on the power play which has been a constant for Panarin since coming to North America a year ago. He and Kane are one of the NHL’s most dangerous combos as the Russian star enters play with 66 points over 73 games including ten points over his last ten games.
W – Zach Parise (MIN) – $5,900
Parise enters play tonight riding a modest three-game point streak with a total of four points in that stretch. He and the Wild welcome one of the NHL’s worst road defenses (aside from Dallas and Arizona) to the Xcel Energy Center tonight in the form of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philly yields 3.36 goals per game on the road while their 76.8% rate on the penalty kill on the road ranks 25th. Parise is a big part of the Wild offense and is also a member of their top power play unit, a comfy spot considering the Wild lead the NHL with a whopping 29.6% clip on the power play at home.
W – Reilly Smith (FLA) – $4,100
Smith is tonight’s value play up front and could deliver plenty of it against the visiting Coyotes. He flanks the aforementioned Trocheck both at 5v5 and on the power play and makes for a great play as part of a fade of the Panthers’ top line and top power play unit as a result. His point totals are suppressed from previous seasons, however he does have 145 shots on goal on the season, in line with averages from previous seasons. However, the difference this season is Smith is suffering from a low shooting percentage of 8.3% compared to his career mark of 11.4%. Expect positive regression in the goal-scoring department from Smith for the remainder of the regular season.
D – Michael Matheson (FLA) – $3,800
Here is a play that could really give this lineup a shot in the arm. With Aaron Ekblad sidelined tonight with a neck injury, Matheson could step into his spot on the Panthers’ second power play unit and form a low-owned stack alongside Trocheck and Smith. He has excellent peripheral numbers this season with 166 shots and 104 blocks across 71 games. While he has just 15 points on the year, he has skated an average of 22:08 per game in March and makes for an excellent low-owned option, especially if he takes over that spot on the second unit power play.
D – Ryan Suter (MIN) – $5,000
The quarterback of the Wild’s top power play unit, Suter is my top defenseman on the slate. He has a solid 36 points in 72 games this season on 145 shots on goal and 84 blocks, but also ranks third in the NHL with an average of 27:07 of ice time per game. Considering the Flyers yield those 3.36 goals per game on the road to go along with that poor penalty kill of just 76.8%, that large amount of ice time will certainly benefit Suter in a favorable matchup tonight.
G – Carey Price (MTL) – $8,500
Interestingly, upon finding out Aaron Ekblad was out tonight, the salary afford to me from the Matheson switch allowed me to upgrade to Price in this spot. While he is the most expensive goalie at DraftKings, I am okay with it considering his matchup against the visiting Hurricanes. Carolina scores just 2.44 goals per game on the road while the Canadiens surrender a minuscule 2.08 goals per game at home. Price has bounced back in a big way from a mediocre season with a .942 save percentage in the month of March while allowing one goal or less in six of his last eight starts. He has also allowed two goals or less in ten of his last 12 starts. Roll with the hot hand here.
UTIL – Charlie Coyle (MIN) – $5,100
Coyle had a stretch where he scored just twice over 31 games, however he now has goals in back-to-back contests and has a solid opportunity for further production tonight against the Flyers. Playing alongside Zach Parise at both 5v5 and on the power play, Coyle forms an excellent stack with Parise and Suter on that top power play unit at an affordable price. He’s up to 17 goals and 49 points on the season and his 145 shots on goal have already surpassed his 140 from last season in ten less games.