All in all it what a decent night for our DraftKings NHL picks as six of our players got on the shoresheet, however it was very disappointing to see our Flames not contribute any of the seven goals Calgary scored last night. Ben Bishop was also torched by the Carolina Hurricanes which did not help matters. Still a decent night and possibly a profitable one depending on the contest or cash game you entered. Let’s go ahead and tackle tonight’s eight-game slate!
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $7,500 vs. BUF
The Penguins sure are in a good spot tonight against the visiting Sabres. Buffalo’s defense ranks 28th in the league and we all know how lethal this Penguins offense can be. Malkin’s line has been doing the bulk of the scoring for the Penguins this season as he has seven goals, 20 points and 55 shots on goal this season. He also has five points and ten shots over his last three games and will be all over the ice again tonight in a favorable matchup.
C – Bryan Little (WPG) – $4,500 vs. ARI
Big time value here with Little as he and the Jets prepare to take on the visiting Arizona Coyotes. Little has been amazingly quiet this season with just a single goal and five points in 16 games with just 16 shots on goal during that span. However, this is a guy that has scored 0.77 points per game over the last two seasons and has been a reliable scorer his entire NHL career. Little is going to have a big game and take off soon, and we would be wise to scoop him up at a very cheap price, especially given his linemates in Nikolaj Ehlers and Patrik Laine.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $6,900 vs. BUF
Kessel has been one of the most lethal wingers in fantasy circles this season as he has seven goals, 22 points and a whopping 78 shots through 19 games on the season. He and Malkin skate together at five on five and on the power play where Kessel has bagged two of his seven markers this season. Pittsburgh ranks 6th with 36.2 shots per game at home and Kessel is a big reason why. His 8.9% shooting percentage is actually still pretty low so let’s stay with the sniper while he’s hot.
W – Carl Hagelin (PIT) – $3,300 vs. BUF
A speedy winger playing with Malkin and Kessel against one of the NHL’s worst defenses at a near-minimum price? Sign me up. The reason Hagelin is so cheap is the fact he has just one goal and two points on the season, however he is still getting shots on goal with 37 of them in 18 games while he continues to skate over 15 minutes per night. The boost to the Malkin line is an effort to get Hagelin going and it could certainly work against the Sabres and their 28th-ranked defense.
W – Patrik Laine (WPG) – $7,300 vs. ARI
Laine is likely to see some ownership tonight against the visiting Coyotes but he is certainly in a nice spot. We all know how poor the Coyotes have been this season and Laine is red-hot at the moment after scoring a goal in five consecutive games entering play tonight. He is averaging more than four shots per game during that stretch as well as I’m looking for the Fin to stay hot tonight against the NHL’s worst defense.
D – Jacob Trouba (WPG) – $5,000 vs. ARI
Trouba brings a nice floor with him as he completes our three-man Jets’ stack tonight. Trouba has plenty of shots on goal with 38 on the season to go along with 36 blocks across 16 games. He has six assists in those 16 games and is a part of the Jets’ second unit power play and is certainly due for his first tally of the season considering the healthy shot total.
D – Matt Benning (EDM) – $3,100 vs. VGK
A contrarian Oilers’ mini-stack starts here with Benning. The young defender has just a goal and an assist in 14 games on the season, but has a healthy 30 shots on goal to go with 14 blocks. He skates on the team’s second power play unit where he has seen over a minute of power play time per game, a figure that should increase moving forward as he is lone defenseman on that second unit. Benning has decent upside considering the price tonight.
G – Devan Dubnyk (MIN) – $7,600 vs. PHI
Dubnyk struggled out of the gate this season but has certainly found his game as of late. Dubnyk has rattled off back-to-back shutouts on the season and now sits with an improved .920 save percentage on the season as it was just .907 a mere few days ago. We all saw what Dubnyk can do while he is hot in past seasons and it certainly appears he is after his last two starts. The Flyers are middle of the pack offensively so why not roster the red-hot goaltender on home ice tonight.
UTIL – Milan Lucic (EDM) – $4,800 vs. VGK
We are getting Lucic at a reasonable price here as he is currently enjoying his most productive stretch of the season. The veteran power forward has four points over his last four games and will form that aforementioned mini-stack with Benning on the Oilers’ second power play unit. He skates on the team’s second line as well which gives him an average of 16:14 of ice time per game, 2:28 of which comes with the man advantage.