Last night’s FanDuel NHL Picks certainly delivered. The heavy exposure to the Stars/Islanders game paid off as Jamie Benn led the way with a goal and two assists while Anders Lee notched two goals and John Tavares picked up assists on both of those goals. It’s unfortunate that both Radek Faksa and Esa Lindell were held off the scoresheet for Dallas and their five goals, but we also got a low owned goal from Zack Smith and a 31-save victory from Tuukka Rask. Hopefully you were able to use those picks to get into the cash! Let’s move on to a very busy 12-game slate!
C – Sean Couturier (PHI) – $6,500 vs. BUF
The Flyers and Couturier will likely carry some ownership tonight, but for good reason against the visiting Sabres. Couturier is set to fly by his career highs in every offensive category as he enters play tonight with 15 goals and 30 points in as many games on 91 shots on goal. The Flyers’ top line, centered by Couturier, has been one of the best lines in all of hockey this season. Throw in the fact the Sabres rank 29th with 3.71 goals against per game on the road and we have ourselves a solid play.
C – Brayden Point (TB) – $5,800 vs. ARI
Tampa is such a tough team to defend because if you manage to keep the Stamkos line quiet, you still have to deal with Point’s line who have produced line top-line players this season. Point enters play tonight red-hot with goals in four straight games and six points over that stretch. He sees tonnes of ice time for a second line center, which is good news as he and his teammates are set to take on a Coyotes team that ranks last with 3.42 goals against per game on the season.
W – Wayne Simmonds (PHI) – $5,300 vs. BUF
A lot of ownership will go to Claude Giroux tonight, and Simmonds will see some too, but let’s go with the lower owned Simmonds here. It may appear he is having a quiet season, but he has still managed ten goals on the season despite playing the majority of the campaign on the Flyers’ second line. That is no longer the case as he is now on the top line and has switched spots with Jakub Voracek in order to provide the Flyers with more balance up front. He is a force on the power play with four of his ten goals coming with the man advantage.
W – Tyler Johnson (TB) – $5,300 vs. ARI
While Point enters play tonight red-hot, that would make Johnson white-hot entering play tonight. Point’s right winger has recorded nine points over his last five games and has six points over his last three. Point and Johnson skate together at 5v5 and on the power play and with how hot the duo has been lately it stands to reason that Jon Cooper could roll this unit out a little more than he had earlier this season.
W – David Pastrnak (BOS) – $7,400 vs. WAS
The Bruins are red-hot as of late and their top line is doing plenty of damage. Pastrnak is riding a whopping nine-game point streak into play tonight with 11 points over that stretch. Tonight the Bruins take on Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals, and it’s important to note just how poor Washington is on the road. They yield 3.79 goals per game on the road, the second most in the NHL, while Holtby sports an extremely unspectacular 3.76 GAA and an .885 Sv% away from home.
W – Artemi Panarin (CLS) – $7,200 vs. NYI
Another one off in a good spot tonight is Panarin. The Blue Jackets take on the visiting Islanders tonight, a team playing on back-to-back nights, while they will start Thomas Greiss who has been brutal on the road this season. Greiss sports a 4.11 GAA and an .888 Sv% away from home this season while the Islanders yield 3.50 goals per game on the road, good for 24th overall. Panarin has 26 points across 31 games this season including two power play goals and 86 shots to boot.
D – Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) – $5,400 vs. BUF
Gostisbehere completes our three-man Flyers stack tonight against the lowly Sabres. After a tough year last year, Gostisbehere has 22 points in 27 games this season and is a big-time threat on the power play with 13 of his 22 points coming on the man advantage. Buffalo has the league’s 28th-ranked penalty kill on the road at just 74.1% so a big night from the Flyers’ top power play unit would give this lineup a big-time shot in the arm.
D – Mikhail Sergachev (TB) – $4,400 vs. ARI
Man this guy just continues to produce. The rookie defenseman has tallied 21 points in 30 games this season, ten of which have come on the power play. He skates with Point and Johnson the Lightning second power play unit as he continues to see more ice time in general. He has skated an average of only 14:56 per game for the season, but has skated more than 19 minutes three times over his last five games including a season-high 21:30 his last time out.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $7,700 vs. CHI
When it comes to goalies on this slate I believe Hellebuyck gives you the most bang for your buck (no pun intended). The Jets are a lethal offensive team at home, and although the Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford has been exceptional this season, the Jets offense should be able to support him tonight. He also sports excellent home/road splits with a 2.09 GAA and a .930 Sv% at home compared to a 2.83 GAA and a .911 Sv% on the road. He takes on a Blackhawks team that is in a 25th-place tie with just 2.53 goals per game on the road this season.