It was a solid night with our FanDuel NHL picks last night and it would have been real close to cashing, depending on the contests. The night was led by Filip Forsberg who scored a pair of goals on seven shots while Ryan Johansen notched a pair of assists. Nicklas Backstrom also notched two assists, however both of his linemates went pointless. Will Butcher picked up a low owned power play assist and Pekka Rinne notched a win with 24 fantasy points racked up. We will take the solid night and move onto a lineup that is going to go a little against the grain this evening.
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $9,200 vs. PHI
This pick certainly isn’t against the grain as Malkin and the Penguins host the Flyers for Game 2 this evening. It was a thorough thrashing of the Flyers in Game 1 which included a beautiful individual effort from Malkin himself. Malkin has been dynamite on home ice all season long, posting 1.47 points per game at PPG Paints Arena. He finished fourth in goals with 42 and fourth in points with 98, so let’s go ahead and roster the superstar as part of a three-man Pens stack.
C – Nolan Patrick (PHI) – $4,700 vs. PIT
This is where the lineup goes against the grain. After the Flyers were blown out while scoring zero goals on Wednesday, I believe their ownership will be down tonight, but I think they will get their offense going at the same time. Patrick is a nice play as he skates as the team’s second line center but he’s also been moved up to the top power play group where he skated just short of five minutes on Wednesday. He’s improved dramatically in the season’s second half and I like how he is part of the league’s fourth-ranked road power play tonight.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $6,500 vs. PHI
Hornqvist saw his five-game goal streak snapped on Wednesday despite the Penguins scoring seven, but at least he kept his point streak going with an assist. Regardless, I’m not going to deviate from Hornqvist as he’s a beast on the power play with 15 of his 29 goals this season coming on the man advantage despite missing 12 games with injury. He skates with Malkin in all situations so let’s not overthink this one and lock this guy in.
W – Jakub Voracek (PHI) – $6,800 vs. PIT
Now that Patrick is on the top power play unit we once again have an all-situation stack going here with Voracek. Voracek’s 68 assists in the regular season were tied for the most in the NHL while he also pumped in 20 goals on 228 shots. He also notched 35 points on the power play which ranked him in an eighth-place tie league wide. I think the Flyers have some real nice upside as Matt Murray posted an .896 Sv% in his previous nine outings prior to Game 1.
W – Oskar Lindblom (PHI) – $3,500 vs. PIT
Here is a real low owned player as part of a four-man Flyers stack, which as a stack will see tiny ownership despite the small slate. Lindblom posted just two goals and four assists in 23 regular season contests, but he has upside tonight. The reason is he is skating on the second line with Patrick and Voracek while seeing second unit power play time where he skated more than two minutes in Game 1. At this price, as part of a stack, Lindblom makes perfect sense tonight.
W – Jordan Greenway (MIN) – $3,000 vs. WPG
We have some pricey players in this lineup so we’re going to need a big-time value play and I am rolling with Greenway. In fact, Greenway eclipsed his value in Game 1 as he posted an assist on linemate Matt Cullen’s tying goal. He should skate with Cullen again on the third line tonight where he saw just short of 12 minutes in Game 1. He doesn’t have flashy stats, but at the minimum price I think Greenway can contribute again this evening.
D – Kris Letang (PIT) – $6,300 vs. PHI
I am paying up big-time for my blueliners tonight. Letang notched an assist, three shots and two blocks in Game 1’s blowout win. He brings a real nice floor with him into play as he scored nine goals and added 42 assists on 222 shots across 79 games. He scored four of his nine goals on the power play while he also blocked 108 shots to boot. Letang didn’t log too much ice at just over 21 minutes in Game 1, but he’s still the primary offensive defenseman on the league’s second highest scoring team on home ice.
D – Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – $6,200 vs. PIT
Gostisbehere, in my opinion, could be the top-scoring blueliner tonight. It’s a bold call on this slate, but he brings so much upside to the table. He scored 13 goals and added 52 assists on 221 shots across 78 games this season. Seven of his 13 tallies came on the man advantage while he also blocked 116 shots on the year. If the Penguins get into any sort of penalty trouble tonight the man known as The Ghost could be in for a big evening.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $8,700 vs. MIN
I said it on Wednesday night and it resonates again here tonight. In terms of pure win upside, Hellebuyck is the best bet on the slate. That Game 1 win didn’t come easy, but he yielded just two goals and improved his home record to 31-5-2 on the season. The Jets scored just three themselves, but they should be able to give Hellebuyck the goal support required for the win against a real weak Wild road defense that is missing their top member in Ryan Suter. Lock this guy in at a nice price tonight.
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