FanDuel NHL Picks – December 12th

That FanDuel lineup wasn’t the start we were looking for this week. It was a difficult night all around in the NHL, but with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders combining for just four goals it made it difficult for the lineup to cash. Perhaps you were able to use players such as Rick Nash, Kyle Connor and Connor Hellebuyck to help your lineup, but at the end of the day it was a disappointing night. Let’s rebound on tonight’s nine-game slate.

C – Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) – $6,500 vs. COL

The Washington Capitals just don’t look right when Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin aren’t playing together, but they do now as the duo has been reunited after spending the majority of the season on different lines. Backstrom is having a typical Backstrom season as he has racked up 20 assists for the season already has tallied five points over his last three contests. Both of these clubs are playing on back-to-back nights, however the Capitals have been brilliant on home ice with a 12-5-0 mark at Capital One Arena. Let’s go with the high-octane duo, or trio, tonight.

C – Artem Anisimov (CHI) – $5,600 vs. FLA

The Chicago Blackhawks likely have the best matchup on the slate tonight as they play host to the Florida Panthers. The panthers yield 3.43 goals per game which is the worst mark in the NHL. On the flip side, the Blackhawks score 3.47 goals per game at home the season, good for 8th in the league. Anisimov has tucked 13 goals on the season, a whopping seven of which have come on the power play. He also has 66 shots on goal and is set to skate with Patrick Kane at 5v5 and on the power play this evening.

W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $8,800 vs. COL

It’s a no brainer to stack Ovechkin with Backstrom tonight. The Washington sniper paces the NHL in both goals (21) and shots on goals (146) and has found the back of the net six times with the man advantage for the season. He has tallied at least four shots on goal in eight straight games and has fired 17 shots over his last three contests. Expect the pucks to come flying on goal as the Capitals offense should be able to take advantage of a weak Avalanche team playing road games on back-to-back nights.

W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $8,200 vs. FLA

The star power in this lineup continues here with Kane. As mentioned, the Blackhawks are set to take advantage of the NHL’s worst defense tonight and it won’t matter who starts in goal for the Panthers tonight. James Reimer played well in a 34-save overtime win in Detroit last night, but this would be an extremely difficult back-to-back for him tonight. Regardless of who is in goal, Kane will be firing plenty of pucks at him tonight as he has 103 shots on the season and 29 points in 30 games. Very high hopes for the veteran superstar tonight.

W – Leo Komarov (TOR) – $3,500 vs. PHI

With all the star power in the lineup we will have to find a couple of value plays, and I have identified a value stack tonight on the Maple Leafs. Komarov isn’t having his best offensive season with just three goals and seven points in 31 games, but with Auston Matthews out again tonight Mike Babcock has been forced to juggle his lines and Komarov has made it onto the top line with Nazem Kadri and William Nylander. He does have a power play goal on the season and sees penalty killing time too, so bonus points are in the cards tonight at a very low price.

W – Josh Leivo (TOR) – $3,000 vs. PHI

Leivo doesn’t see the ice time that Komarov does thanks to his spot on the fourth line at 5v5, however Leivo does have a spot on the Maple Leafs’ second power play unit alongside Komarov. Let’s also keep in mind Leivo has been very productive in limited opportunities in the past as he tallied 10 points in 13 games last season and scored five goals in 12 games two seasons ago. He has a lethal shot and should get a few of them off tonight on that productive Leafs’ power play that ranks 6th at 21.1%.

D – John Carlson (WAS) – $5,700 vs. COL

The three-man Caps’ stack is complete here with Carlson who is playing superhuman minutes for Washington. Carlson’s 26:27 of ice time per game is the fourth highest mark in the NHL while he has put those minutes to good use with 22 points and 95 shots through 31 games. Those 95 shots ranks him third among all defenseman as do his 20 assists for the season. The Capitals power play is fully covered in this lineup with a high floor to boot.

D – Brent Seabrook (CHI) – $4,300 vs. FLA

Seabrook isn’t having a great offensive season with just one goal and nine helpers for the year, but he is cheap exposure to the top power play unit and completes a three-man stack with Kane and Anisimov. He also has solid counting stats with 49 shots and 61 blocks for the season and plays in all situations for Joel Quenneville. With his spot on the top power play unit, Seabrook has a real nice opportunity to exceed value tonight on an evening where the Blackhawks should certainly produce some offense.

G – Braden Holtby (WAS) – $9,200 vs. COL

The Capitals number one netminder was pulled after allowing three goals on 12 shots last night against the Islanders, but that’s of no surprise. The Islanders are the highest scoring team in the league and Holtby is just simply lightyears better on home ice. He sports a 2.07 GAA at home compared to a massive 3.76 mark on the road while his .938 Sv% at home crushes his .885 mark on the road. He has ten wins in 14 home starts on the season so let’s go with one of the safest plays on the goalie board tonight in a very favorable matchup.

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