FanDuel NHL DFS Picks – February 27, 2020

We got some production from our lineup last night but it was a very low-scoring slate and our main stack simply wasn’t good enough.

My three-man Penguins stack managed to be in on the Penguins’ lone goal of the night as Bryan Rust scored his 24th of the season with Evgeni Malkin recording an assist on the marker. Both of those players recorded four shots on goal as well while defenseman Kris Letang added three shots and three blocks despite missing the scoresheet.

Our three-man Avalanche stack wasn’t as productive as Nathan MacKinnon’s assist was the only time we managed to get on the scoresheet while each member of the stack put two shots on goal.

Our Oilers mini-stack didn’t get on the scoresheet, but that was the case with every Oiler in a 3-0 loss in Vegas.

Finally, Tristan Jarry made just 20 saves and failed to get into the win column, capping a disappointing lineup to be sure.

We’ll have to put that one behind us and move onto tonight’s much-bigger 10-game slate!

FanDuel NHL DFS Picks & Breakdowns

C – Elias Pettersson (VAN) – $6,700 vs. OTT

The Vancouver Canucks continue their road trip tonight in Ottawa coming off a 4-3 OT win in Montreal on Tuesday and will take on a Senators team that’s been leaky on the back end regardless of where they’ve played this season.

Their defense is superior at home, but they still rank 30th with 3.34 goals against per game overall and tied for 21st with 3.06 goals against per game at home this season. For good measure, they’ve surrendered an average of 3.80 goals per game over their last five. For their part, the Canucks enter this one ranked 19th with 2.87 goals per game on the road, but have scored a lot lately with an average of 4.33 goals per game over their last six.

They’re in a full-blown dogfight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference at the moment and I would expect desperate hockey from this club moving forward while Pettersson and his line should lead the way on offense. He’s had a nice sophomore season, scoring 25 goals and 59 points in 61 games to go along with 150 shots on goal and 20 points on the power play. He’s been productive on the road with 26 points in 30 road games and while he was held off the scoresheet in Tuesday’s win in Montreal I expect him to bounce back and notch a multi-point game in a favorable road matchup tonight.

C – Logan Couture (SJ) – $6,500 vs. NJ

Tonight will mark just the second game Couture has played since returning from a broken ankle and while he was held pointless in his return during a 4-2 loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday, I’ll look for him to get his first point(s) since the injury in a much more favorable matchup tonight against the visiting Devils.

The Devils have struggled to defend all season long, especially on the road where they rank 27th with 3.47 goals against per game and with a mediocre penalty kill that sits 16th with a 79.5% mark on the road as well. Now, the Sharks are certainly no juggernaut on offense this season as they rank 25th with 2.77 goals per game on home ice this season and have struggled on the power play at home as well with a 13.6% clip on the season at the SAP Center. Nonetheless, those types of factors can lead to lower ownership and that’s the idea with this group tonight.

It’s been a pretty standard season for Couture nonetheless as he’s tallied 14 goals and 36 points on 112 shots in his 46 games this season, but one thing of note with him is that he somehow hasn’t scored a power play goal this season with all eight of his power play points coming in assist form. He’s been a little better at home where he’s posted six goals and 20 points in 23 games, however, and I’ll look for him and his linemates to lead the way for a low-scoring Sharks team in a favorable home matchup.

W – Tyler Toffoli (VAN) – $5,700 vs. OTT

Toffoli was the hero in Montreal on Tuesday as the OT winner came off his stick as he remains white-hot with his new club while he was actually hot with his old club before getting dealt from the Kings.

Prior to the trade, Toffoli scored four goals in his final two games with the Kings, tallying a hat trick in the team’s 3-1 outdoor win over the Avalanche in what was his final game with Los Angeles. He notched an assist in his Canucks debut and followed that up with two goals and an assist in a 9-3 blowout of the Bruins on Saturday before playing hero in Montreal on Tuesday. He’s also been putting a ton of rubber on goal as well, registering 29 shots over his last six games, good for 4.8 shots per game in that time.

Toffoli is enjoying a nice bounce back season. After falling to just 13 goals in 82 games with a tiny 5.8% shooting rate last season, Toffoli has notched 21 goals in 61 games this time around as his shooting rate has normalized to 10.9%, a number much more in line with his 10.3% mark for his career. He’s been able to score this season despite the Kings sporting one of the worst offenses in the league, but it appears he’s loving life alongside Pettersson at 5v5 and on the Canucks’ top power play unit. I’ll simply look for him to stay hot in a nice road matchup tonight.

W – Evander Kane (SJ) – $6,000 vs. NJ

By no means is he cheap, but I think this is an attractive price for Kane considering the cross-category potential he brings into the lineup tonight. Kane enters this one with 21 goals and 37 points in 57 games on the season, but also brings a real nice floor in the form of 182 shots on goal while he’s been a monster on the power play where he’s scored 11 of his 21 goals on the season.

Due to his reputation as an agitator and someone that can sometimes step over the line, some may forget just how productive this guy is. He scored 30 goals on a whopping 268 shots on goal last season and and scored 29 on 307 shots the season prior, split between the Sharks and Sabres. Of course, the Sharks are aware of just how productive he is as they inked him to a seven-year contract prior to the season.

For this matchup tonight, he will line up alongside Couture on the team’s top line and top power play unit, a spot that I hope will get him going as he’s been held off the scoresheet in five straight games entering play tonight. He hasn’t scored on his last 16 shots, so I would expect him to break out of this slump any game now and tonight seemingly presents a nice opportunity for that to take place.

W – Kevin Labanc (SJ) – $4,400 vs. NJ

Completing this three-man Sharks stack here is Labanc who will form a 5v5 and PP1 stack while skating alongside Couture and Kane in all offensive situations for this one tonight.

Labanc isn’t going to tally as many points this season as he did last year with just 32 points this season compared to the 56 he notched last season, but the good news is that he could very well set a new career-high in goals as he’s notched 14 so far this season after notching 17 a season ago. Furthermore, Labanc has already posted a new career-high in shots on goal with 160 on the season, shattering the 130 he took all of last season but also easy getting past his previous career-high of 156 that he registered in the 2017-18 season.

His splits actually favor the road and Labanc has been held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games entering this one, but again we’re all about the matchup here. The Sharks’ roster as it currently stands is paper-thin, and I would expect them to lean heavily on this trio tonight in order to notch the win over a weak Devils defense.

W – Mitchell Marner (TOR) – $7,200 vs. FLA

It’s a monumental clash tonight in Sunrise as the Maple Leafs and Panthers get together while sitting just two points apart for third spot in the Atlantic Division, Florida currently trailing the Leafs but also holding a game in hand.

It’s also a battle of a couple of weak defenses and the Maple Leafs are missing three of their top four defensemen for this one, but I think they can still outscore the Panthers tonight. Florida enters this one tied for 29th with 3.40 goals against per game at home this season while their penalty kill has also struggled at home where they own a 77.3% mark, good for 25th league wide.

For their part, the Leafs will enter this one as the NHL’s best road offense where they’ve scored 3.59 goals per game while their road power play sits third with a 24.7% clip. They’re coming off a win in Tampa Bay where they scored four goals on Tuesday, so it’s a confident offense as well.

Enter Marner who has had another big year from a points perspective with 62 of them in his 53 games while he’s put 133 shots on goal in that time. Of course, he’s a playmaker by trade with 47 of his 62 points coming as assists while he has six goals and 16 assists on the power play this season. He’s skating alongside Auston Matthews on the team’s top line and top power play unit for this one, while he’s tallied 11 of his 14 goals on the road this season where he’s notched 25 points in 23 games. I think we’ll be in good hands with Marner in Florida tonight.

D – Quinn Hughes (VAN) – $5,300 vs. OTT

Completing our three-man Canucks stack tonight is Hughes who might just be taking over the lead in what is now a fascinating Calder Trophy race between himself and fellow rookie blueliner Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.

Regardless of stature in that race, it’s been a monster year for Hughes as he’s surpassed any and all expectations placed on him prior to the season. The 20-year-old enters this one with eight goals and 50 points in 61 games on the season while he’s been a big factor in a potent Canucks power play as he’s tallied three goals and 23 points on the man advantage this season as part of his 21:43 of average ice time per game.

Hughes is also white-hot entering this one. He’s actually been on a heater for quite some time at this point as he’s recorded three goals and 16 points over his last 12 games and he’s registered at least one point in 17 of his last 23 games, not a bad little tidbit for a 20-year-old rookie defenseman. If you want to narrow it down, he’s notched nine assists over his last six games.

You could certainly use J.T. Miller alongside Pettersson and Toffoli tonight, but if you’re looking for a defenseman Hughes makes a ton of sense given his recent production and his work on the Canucks’ top power play unit.

D – Tyson Barrie (TOR) – $4,900 vs. FLA

At this price I am a huge fan of this play as Barrie lines up against the Panthers tonight.

On top of the Panthers being one of the worst home defenses in the NHL with a poor home penalty kill and the fact the Maple Leafs are the best road offense in the NHL with a top-notch power play where Barrie skates as the lone defenseman, the current state of the Maple Leafs’ blueline means Barrie is going to get a ton of usage in this one tonight.

Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci are already out of the lineup while top-four defender Jake Muzzin broke his hand in Tuesday’s win, so the Maple Leafs are undermanned big-time on the back end and I could see Barrie skating more than the 24:06 he logged on Tuesday night. He averages 21:40 for the season, but expect him exceed that in a big way in this one.

He hasn’t quite lived up to expectations this season in his first year in Toronto, but Barrie still has five goals and 37 points in 64 games and puts a ton of pucks on goal with 160 shots on the year as well. He had a big game with two helpers in Tuesday’s win, both of which came on the power play while it was his second consecutive two-assists game after going four straight without a point.

To me, the stars are aligning for Barrie to get a ton of minutes tonight against a very poor Panthers back end.

G – Curtis McElhinney (TB) – $8,100 vs. CHI

It’s a night off tonight for Andrei Vasilevskiy who has run into some struggles over his last three games as backup Curtis McElhinney will get the starting nod for this home matchup with the Blackhawks tonight.

McElhinney’s Lightning tenure didn’t get off to a great start, but he’s been fantastic of late. The journeyman backup has posted a 2.76 GAA and .911 Sv% on the season in 16 starts, but he’s also posted a stout 1.31 GAA and .955 Sv% over his last three starts including a shutout of the Sharks in San Jose. All three of those starts resulted in wins.

The Lightning are a solid home defense in allowing 2.77 goals per game at Amalie Arena to rank 12th in that department and while the Blackhawks have been pretty good on offense away from home with they’re averaging an even 3.00 goals per game, this is still a nice matchup in my books considering his play of late and the fact that the Lightning are huge -230 favorites to win this one on the moneyline.

At this price, I suggest rolling with McElhinney and his value potential tonight.


Brenton Kemp / Author

Brenton is a lifelong sports fan who resides in Ontario, Canada. Brenton is a fan of most all sports but specializes in hockey, baseball, football, basketball, and golf. He’s a fierce researcher with a strong appetite to deliver accurate and relevant facts that in turn have led to past success with picks and DFS advice across the board. Brenton’s biggest goal is to deliver readers with the picks and advice that can build their bankroll. He takes great pride in his success and loves nothing more than to share that success for the benefit of everyone involved.