Our Penguins did well in last night’s lineup as did our value play up front in Brandon Leipsic, however our Coyotes went quiet and Chad Johnson was shelled in the Sabres’ crease. We have a huge 12-game slate going tonight so let’s aim for some improvement with a cash-aimed lineup!
C – Steven Stamkos (TB) – $8,700 vs. NYR
The Tampa Bay Lightning play host to the struggling New York Rangers tonight who have had some issues keeping the puck out of their since they entered their rebuild prior to the trade deadline. They are missing key defenseman due to injuries and trades and Tampa Bay should be able to handle the visitors tonight. Stamkos enters play tonight with 27 goals and 78 points on the season to go along with 189 shots on goal. He has scored 15 of his 27 goals on the power play, so some bonus points are certainly in the cards tonight with Stammer.
C – Tyler Johnson (TB) – $5,800 vs. NYR
It appears the Lightning are going to go with Stamkos, Johnson and Kucherov as their top line, but a slight issue is the fact two of those three are listed as center. That said, I like Johnson’s value on that line at this price so I am going to use him regardless. Johnson enters play tonight with 18 goals and 28 helpers on the season on 147 shots on goal. He should also give us exposure to both power play units tonight as he will likely skate on the second power play unit where he’s scored three of those 18 goals this season.
W – Nikita Kucherov (TB) – $8,700 vs. NYR
We will get our Tampa Bay stack out of the way early here with the addition of Kucherov. His 86 points paces the entire NHL so far and he’s also fired q hopping 232 shots on goal this season. He’s tallied four points over his last two games and a whopping 20 points over his last 12. The Rangers are the NHL’s 24th-ranked defense and 25th-ranked road defense, so there’s no reason not to like their big guns in this home matchup.
W – Leon Draisaitl (EDM) – $6,800 vs. NYI
While it was fairly impossible to get Connor McDavid in this lineup considering the prices on the Lightning, I’m going to surround him with Oilers so we get plenty of exposure to number 97. Draisaitl will skate with McDavid at both 5v5 and on the top power play unit tonight. He’s notched four goals and four assists over his last seven games and has 21 goals and 60 points across 62 contests this season on 157 shots. Also of note is the fact the German has buried three goals while short handed this season.
W – Milan Lucic (EDM) – $4,600 vs. NYI
Lucic’s 27-game goalless drought was snapped in his most recent contest against the visiting Coyotes. His 10th goal of the season was his first over his previous 54 shots on goal, and I think he has some regression coming his way, especially as he rides shotgun to McDavid and Draisaitl at both 5v5 and on the power play. His 8% shooting percentage is well under his 14% career mark, so there is definitely positive regression to be had. Against the league’s worst defense tonight Lucic could very well get a modest two-game goal scoring streak going.
W – Danton Heinen (BOS) – $3,400 vs. PHI
We need a couple value plays in this lineup and I believe we have a real nice one here with Heinen. The visiting Flyers have yielded five goals per game over their last four and the Bruins have scored five goals per game over their last four, so Boston’s offense could very well stay hot tonight. Philly is also playing on back-to-back nights tonight and will likely start rookie backup Alex Lyon in goal. Heinen is enjoying a productive rookie season with 12 goals and 39 points on the season as it appears he will center the top power play unit with Patrice Bergeron sidelined.
D – Oscar Klefbom (EDM) – $5,200 vs. NYI
Klefbom’s goalless drought actually exceeded Lucic’s and hit a whopping 33 games, but he also snapped his against the Coyotes in the Oilers’ most recent game. While his four goals and 14 assists are nothing special, Klefbom brings plenty in other categories. He’s taken a very healthy 188 shots on goal this season to go along with 132 blocks. He’s the lone defenseman on the top power play unit, so we have a three-man Oilers stack surrounding McDavid at 5v5 and on the power play tonight.
D – Matt Grzelcyk (BOS) – $3,500 vs. PHI
While you may not have even heard of Grzelcyk before, he makes for a decent value play tonight against the Flyers. The Flyers’ defensive struggles we’ve mentioned already, and we’ve also mentioned how hot the Bruins’ offense is. He’s scored just two goals and added nine helpers this season, but appears to be lining up on the second power play unit for tonight’s contest. He will also form a 5v5 mini-stack with Heinen who skates on the Bruins’ third line while Grzelcyk skates on the third pairing.
G – Roberto Luongo (FLA) – $8,300 vs. MON
It’s nice to get Luongo on the fairly cheap considering his home matchup against the Canadiens tonight. Luongo should get some goal support tonight as the Habs are the league’s 29th-ranked offense, so a win is very much in the cards tonight. He yielded five goals in Tampa Bay the other night, but has posted a string of excellent outings prior to that, posting a .955 Sv% over his previous three starts. Against a poor offense that ranks 30th on the road, Luongo should have no problem racking up fantasy points tonight.