It was a second straight solid night with our FanDuel NHL picks. The Bruins’ three-man stack did very well while Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin teamed up for one of Pittsburgh’s three goals. Unfortunately, we got just one assist from the Silfverberg/Montour combo despite Anaheim tallying five goals. We also got a win from Tuukka Rask to cap off a solid evening. Let’s keep it going on tonight’s ten-game slate!
C – Mika Zibanejad (NYR) – $6,400 vs. BUF
For the second straight season Zibanejad has cooled off after a red-hot start, but tonight he has an excellent matchup against the visiting Sabres. Buffalo remains one of the NHL’s worst defenses, but more importantly for Zibanejad, Buffalo ranks 28th with their 73.1% penalty kill on the road. That’s important for the Rangers’ top center because six of his 14 goals and 12 of his 25 points have come on the power play.
C – Paul Stastny (STL) – $5,500 vs. OTT
Stastny is a low cost pivot with high upside tonight in Ottawa. The Sens’ defensive issues have been well documented as they rank 29th with 3.43 goals against per game for the season. The Blues haven’t been scoring at a high clip lately, but I believe they could go overlooked on a large slate against a weak opponent as a result. Stastny is the Blues’ top center at 5v5 and on the power play and carries 33 points and 110 shots on goal with him into play tonight.
W – Rick Nash (NYR) – $6,000 vs. BUF
When we rostered Nash a couple nights ago I mentioned how he has just nine goals despite taking 135 shots. Well, Nash tallied two goals in that game against the Flyers on seven shots, so perhaps we have him while he is hot. Nash flanks Zibanejad at 5v5 and on the Rangers’ top power play unit, which makes this a very high upside duo against the Sabres’ aforementioned penalty kill and 28th-ranked defense.
W – Vladimir Tarasenko (STL) – $8,300 vs. OTT
You know you’re a bonafide superstar when you can quietly tally 19 goals and 44 points across the first 47 games of the season. That’s exactly what Tarasenko has done so far, while also throwing 193 shots on goal, which is tied with Alex Ovechkin for tops in the league. He was held off the scoresheet Tuesday in Toronto, but he has previously recorded two goals and five points across the last three games. He and Stastny also have real nice upside tonight in their favorable matchup.
W – Kevin Fiala (NSH) – $4,500 vs. ARI
We have a couple of mid-priced one off wingers coming up. The first is Fiala who is getting a real nice opportunity thanks to the litany of injuries hampering the Predators up front. Even against the Coyotes I don’t feel Nashville is a worth a stack tonight, but I believe Fiala has a nice chance to eclipse value in this matchup. He scored the Preds’ lone goal in Tuesday’s win over Vegas after going eight straight without a point. I bet he caches some fire after that goal combined with his first line and first unit power play minutes moving forward.
W – Ryan Spooner (BOS) – $4,600 vs. NYI
Speaking of catching fire, that’s exactly what Spooner has done as of late. He has scored just six goals in 23 games this season, but five of those goals have come over the last seven games. Spooner and the white-hot Bruins take on the NHL’s worst defense as the Islanders yield an average of 3.63 goals per game, by far last in the NHL. Spooner is currently skating on the second line and second power play unit for the NHL’s sixth-ranked offense.
D – Kevin Shattenkirk (NYR) – $5,200 vs. BUF
Like Zibanejad, Shattenkirk is another Ranger who jumped out to a hot start only to cool of over the last number of weeks. He has just one assist over his last 12 games, but as the anchor of the Rangers’ top power play unit it’s very hard not to like his matchup tonight against the Sabres’ atrocious road penalty kill. He has recorded 12 of his 23 points on the power play for the season.
D – Alex Pietrangelo (STL) – $5,800 vs. OTT
We have completed our second three-man stack of the night here with the addition of Pietrangelo. This is a rather obvious inclusion as he is the quarterback of the team’s top power play unit as well as the Blues’ most utilized defenseman overall. He has a point in three straight games and 11 shots over that span. He also brings a real solid floor with him into play with his 33 points, 121 shots and 95 blocks on the season.
G – Pekka Rinne (NSH) – $8,500 vs. ARI
The coyotes are one of the NHL’s worst offenses at 2.30 goals per game (30th) and the Preds’ defense checks in at fourth with 2.56 goals per game, so let’s go with Rinne here even with the expected high ownership. Rinne has allowed just ten goals over his last five starts overall and brings an excellent .925 Sv% with him into tonight’s start. I’m expecting a low scoring game overall, but he should still get the goal support required for the win with Arizona’s weak defense at the other end of the ice.