Last night’s Avalanche stack went swimmingly, however the rest of the lineup did not. The Flyers were shutout by the Montreal Canadiens, although they did win the game 1-0 via the shootout. Also, Braden Holtby was tagged early and often for four goals in the first period before being pulled in favor of Philipp Grubauer. Let’s look for some improved results on tonight’s nine-game slate!
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $9,200 vs. NJ
Today’s lineup is going to be more cash-oriented and it beings here with Malkin. There isn’t a hockey player in the world as hot as Malkin right now as he has tallied 13 points over his last six games and 27 points over his last 13 games. The Penguins are therefore red-hot themselves, scoring at least five goals in four straight games and in seven of their last 11. They take on the NHL’s 20th-ranked road defense tonight as well as a goaltender who sports a Sv% of .899 on the road.
C – Nicklas Backstrom (WAS) – $6,800 vs. OTT
The Capitals are in a little bit of disarray as of late, but they have a real nice matchup tonight with the Ottawa Senators on home ice. Backstrom enters play tonight without a point over his last six games, however there are few matchups that can end a cold streak like the one the Capitals have tonight. The Senators are the NHL’s 30th-ranked defense and they also own the league’s 29th-ranked penalty kill as well. He should center leading goal scorer Alex Ovechkin tonight, so let’s go ahead and look for Backstrom to get out of his slump tonight.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $6,100 vs. NJ
Riding shotgun to Malkin has been a real productive spot to be as of late, and Hornqvist will have that honor tonight against the Devils. He’s played just two games since returning from injury, but Hornqvist scored a power play goal while recording a whopping nine shots on goal in his most recent game on Saturday in Florida. He’s scored 17 goals and 10 power play goals on 165 shots across 51 games for the season. He should be all over the map tonight in a very favorable home matchup.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $8,900 vs. OTT
You want a solid cash play? Ovi is your man. Ovechkin powdered home his 39th goal of the season in last night’s losing effort while taking eight shots on goal. Over the last nine games, he has scored seven times. Over the last five games, he has scored five times. He’s also taken 19 shots over his last two games and 36 shots on goal over his last five games. There is zero reason not to include Ovechkin in any cash or optimal lineup tonight.
W – Remi Elie (DAL) – $3,400 vs. CGY
With our lineup loaded with top-end talent, we are going to need a couple of value plays tonight and we begin here with Elie. While he’s tallied just five goals and six helpers on the season, Elie’s matchup tonight is enhanced by the first line opportunity he is receiving alongside Tyler Seguin. Seguin is a beast at home, recording 35 points in 32 home games compared to just 19 points in 30 road games. Elie has the speed to keep up so look for him to get on the board against the up-and-down Flames.
W – Magnus Paajarvi (OTT) – $3,500 vs. WAS
As good as the matchup is for Washington tonight, they have been rather soft on the back end of late as well, which gives Paajarvi some real nice value upside tonight. Furthering his value is the fact he is set to skate on the top line alongside the red-hot Matt Duchene and Mike Hoffman. Like Elie, his stats this season are anything but impressive, but his opportunity tonight is one he hasn’t had with the Senators so let’s look for some real low owned production from the veteran winger.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $5,900 vs. OTT
Completing a very high-upside three-man Capitals stack tonight is John Carlson. Carlson has tallied 50 points on the season which is third among defenseman while his 23 power play points is second among defenseman. Carlson also logs a ton of ice time, averaging over 25 minutes of ice time per game on the Capitals’ blueline. Add it all up and Carlson clearly has a great opportunity tonight against one of the NHL’s worst clubs.
D – Justin Schultz (PIT) – $4,200 vs. NJ
It appears Schultz is going to be the lone defenseman on the Penguins’ top power play unit, so we are going to roll with him to complete our three-man Penguins stack. If that is the case, we are getting Schultz at an excellent price considering the Penguins easily own the league’s top power play at 27.2% for the season. Schultz could provide the utmost of value tonight from the point.
G – Casey DeSmith (PIT) – $7,000 vs. NJ
Considering how much I believe the Penguins will score tonight, DeSmith is an absolute steal at this price. Yes, he may not receive a ton of shots against a Devils team that ranks 20th in shots per game, but it’s very likely he gets a win and 12 fantasy points in the process. Besides, he has a 2.24 GAA and a .926 Sv% in five starts and seven appearances this season, so let’s roll with DeSmith on one of the hottest teams in hockey.