I’m back! After a seven-day stint in Mexico I am back to deliver daily FanDuel NHL picks! We have a nine-game slate on our hands for this Thursday evening so let’s dive right in and see if we can earn ourselves some dough!
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $7,700 vs. NYI
The Penguins and Islanders get together for a Metropolitan Division clash tonight in Pittsburgh and I expect some scoring from the home side in this one. Malkin enters play with a crisp 25 points in as many games and has fired 79 shots on goal while also picking up four power play tallies as well. The Islanders are leaky defensive team on the road, giving up 3.50 goals per game, good for 22nd overall. Malkin has four points over his last three games and 13 shots over his last two as well.
C – Brayden Point (TB) – $5,200 vs. COL
The Lightning aren’t clicking at the same clip as they did at the start of the season, but they certainly have a nice opportunity ahead of them tonight as they host Colorado. The Avalanche yield 3.67 goals per game on the road, good for a tie for 27th. Tampa Bay also happens to score 3.93 goals per game at home, the third highest mark in the league. Enter Point who is having a beautiful season with ten goals and 23 points in 27 games while consistently seeing upwards of 20 minutes per night centering the team’s second line, a group that now includes league-leading scorer Nikita Kucherov, as well as the team’s second power play unit.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $8,000 vs. NYI
Phil Kessel just continues to get the job done on a consistent basis this season. He has racked up 34 points in 29 games on the season, but has also fired 109 shots on goal, good for 6th in the league. He teams up with Malkin on the Penguins’ second line as well as the top power play unit where he has buried three power play markers on the campaign. I fully expect the Kessel/Malkin combo to be one of the most dynamic on the slate.
W – Ondrej Palat (TB) – $5,700 vs. COL
After a scoring lull to start the month of November, Palat has been rather productive. Since November 18th, Palat has recorded points in six of eight games with eight points during that stretch. He is playing on the Lightning second line with the aforementioned Point while he will also skate with the second year center on the team’s second power play unit where he has tallied two of his seven goals for the season.
W – Patrik Laine (WPG) – $7,300 vs. FLA
Another game where we could see some offense tonight is between the Jets and Panthers. The Jets will take on backup James Reimer tonight who has been thrusted into the starter’s role due to a Roberto Luongo injury. Reimer enters play tonight with a 3.67 GAA and an .892 Sv% on the season, so Laine is most definitely in a nice spot. He has scored in back-to-back contests and is now up to 14 goals on the season with an astonishing nine of those on the power play, the most in the NHL.
W – Nick Bjugstad (FLA) – $3,900 vs. WPG
Bjugstad is tonight’s value play up front but certainly has a nice opportunity tonight against the visiting Jets. He is set to skate on the Panthers’ top line with Sasha Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau and will also skate with them on the team’s top power play unit. He is enjoying a solid season with seven goals and 13 points, but has also fired 77 shots on goal. With the Panthers facing third string goaltender Eric Comrie tonight they could be a nice GPP look all around.
D – Dustin Byfuglien (WPG) – $5,100 vs. FLA
Byfuglien’s price continues to slide as he amazingly still hasn’t scored a goal this season. However, Big Buff has still dished out 14 points and has fired 69 shots on goal as well. He continues to see first unit power play time on a group clicking at 26.7%, the third best mark in the league. The veteran rear guard has three assists over his last two games and 11 shots over his last three. Only a matter of time before this guy lights the lamp and he has an excellent chance against Reimer and the NHL’s 28th ranked defense.
D – Mikhail Sergachev (TB) – $4,200 vs. COL
Sergachev completes our low cost, three-man Lightning stack. The rookie defenseman doesn’t see a whole lot of ice time, just 14:33 per game, but he does skate on the team’s second power play unit with Palat and Point where he sees 1:45 of ice per game. Amazingly, despite the tiny ice time for a defenseman, he has tallied 19 points in 27 games. This includes two power play goals and he has also taken 51 shots on goal. Great upside at a small price tonight with Sergachev.
G – Tuukka Rask (BOS) – $7,900 vs. ARI
Rask has been anything but himself this season, but perhaps he is finally coming around. He has won his last two decisions and has allowed just two goals over his last two starts and allowed just one goal in a 31-minute relief appearance his last time out. That equals out to three goals against over his last two and a half games and he has worked his save percentage up to a more respectable .906 in the process. He also gets a home date against the NHL’s 30th ranked offense tonight so a win should be very attainable for the veteran netminder.