We have a nine-game slate on our hands this evening, and although that number is a tad light for a Thursday, there are some matchups that stand out to me as exploitable. Let’s go ahead and target those matchups for today’s DraftKings NHL picks.
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C – Patrice Bergeron (BOS) – $7,200
Bergeron is a must-have for tonight’s slate. Personally, his 278 shots on goal are tied for third in the league and he logs a significant amount of ice time per game to the tune of 19:23 a night. He is undoubtedly the Bruins’ top centerman at both 5v5 and on the power play. From a team standpoint, the Bruins have an excellent matchup tonight in form of the visiting Dallas Stars. The Stars rank 29th with 3.55 goals against per game on the road while their 72.4% figure on the penalty kill away from home ranks dead last in the league. Boston should certainly produce plenty of offense in this matchup tonight.
C – Valtteri Filppula (PHI) – $3,700
A value play down the middle, Filppula appears to be centering Wayne Simmonds and Jordan Weal on the Flyers’ second line tonight while also seeing some reps on the team’s second unit power play. The former is a good spot to be considering Simmonds is one of the NHL’s top goal scorers year after year and has 29 this season. Weal has three points and six shots over his last two games, so Filppula seems to have benefited from the line juggling on behalf of coach Dave Hakstol for tonight’s contest against the Islanders. New York gives up 3.05 goals against per game on the road this season.
W – Viktor Arvidsson (NSH) – $6,100
There is plenty to like about Arvidsson for tonight’s home game against Toronto. Nashville ranks third in the NHL with 3.31 goals per game at home and Arvidsson has been a huge part of that. 18 of his 29 goals and 34 of his 56 points have come at home this season. He also leads the NHL in shorthanded goals with five and is tied for the lead league in shorthanded points with seven. Those shorthanded points are just another reason to like the soon-to-be 30-goal scorer tonight. He also has a whopping 229 shots on goal this season, giving the second-year forward a solid floor tonight.
W – Brad Marchand (BOS) – $7,200
The pest-turned-superstar is having an incredible season for the Bruins. His 81 points rank fifth in the league while his 37 goals are third behind only Nikita Kucherov and Sidney Crosby. Marchand hasn’t scored in his last five games but there is simply no better matchup than the visiting Stars to cure that ailment. Simply put this guy is as effective of a player as there is in the league right now and the Marchand-Bergeron combo is a must-have for tonight’s slate.
W – Jakub Voracek (PHI) – $5,800
I absolutely love getting Voracek at this reduced price. He has some of the most outrageous splits in the league this season. Voracek has 13 goals, 34 points and 151 shots on goal in 37 home games this season compared to six goals, 23 points and 88 shots across 39 road contests. He also gets that favorable home matchup against the Islanders who have struggled away from home for the majority of the season. Voracek has moved up onto the Flyers’ top line next to Claude Giroux while he will form a nice, low-owned second unit power play combo with Filppula for this lineup.
D – Torey Krug (BOS) – $5,100
I continue to load up on Bruins for tonight’s home date with the Stars. Krug has had an excellent second-half to the season and now sits with seven goals, 49 points and 198 shots for the year. Those 198 shots rank eighth among NHL blueliners while his 23 points on the power play ranks sixth among rear guards. He is the lone defenseman on a dangerous Bruins’ top power play group and should be firing plenty of pucks on net tonight while quite likely getting on the scoresheet as well.
D – Jeff Petry (MTL) – $3,900
I used Petry in my lineup on Tuesday night, and while he didn’t hit the scoresheet his value was on full display in the form of three shots and two blocks on the night. That might not seem like much production, but those stats now put him up to 154 shots on goal and 141 blocks for the season, excellent peripheral figures for a player at this price level, which also give him a solid floor. He also has eight goals and 28 points and plays on the Habs’ second unit power play. Montreal should do some scoring tonight against Panthers’ third-string goalie Reto Berra who is making just his second start of the season after allowing four goals to low-scoring Hurricanes in his only other NHL start on the campaign.
G – Alex Stalock (MIN) – $6,500
Hold on to your hats with this pick. The goalies I truly wanted were Carey Price and Andrei Vasilevskiy, who just so happened to be so expensive I couldn’t come close to affording them. So here I go with easily the cheapest goalie on the board, but I do have my reasons. Stalock will make his first start in the NHL this evening after posting very solid numbers in the AHL to the tune of a .924 save percentage and a 2.34 goals against average. The Wild as a team have only surrendered 2.29 goals per game at home this season and the Senators aren’t exactly an offensive powerhouse, scoring a decent 2.67 goals per game on the road. While it’s not optimal, Stalock could be an absolute steal in GPP formats if the Wild can play some solid defense as a group this evening.
UTIL – Alexander Radulov (MTL) – $5,000
Radulov makes for a nice play in this lineup considering I couldn’t afford his linemate Max Pacioretty. This gives me exposure to Pacioretty at both even strength and on the power play against a poor goaltender tonight. He’s having a nice season in his return to North America with 16 goals and 49 points across 71 games. He should certainly be in on the action tonight against a vulnerable Panthers squad.