Simply a poor night all around last night. That was one of the worst lineups of the season right there. It was certainly a GPP strategy, like the vast majority of these lineups are, to go with two four-man stacks, however the fact that the two teams that I stacked combined for just three regulations goals is just utterly disappointing. Alex Pietrangelo scored one of those goals and Mike Smith got the victory over the Red Wings, but that is where the bright spots would end. Let’s improve on tonight’s six-game slate.
C – Jack Eichel (BUF) – $7,200 vs. FLA
While the Sabres have struggled to find the net this season, they certainly have a good opportunity tonight against the visiting Florida Panthers. Buffalo is averaging just 2.53 goals per game to rank 28th in the league, but tonight they square off against the NHL’s worst defensive team at 4.14 goals against per game. Enter Eichel who comes into action tonight having tallied four goals and 14 points to go along with 46 shots on goal across 15 games this season. He fires plenty of pucks on net and that should only increase substantially tonight against the Panthers and their 38.1 shot against per game, the highest number by far in the league.
C – Devin Shore (DAL) – $4,200 vs. NYI
The Stars are struggling somewhat on offensively as well and have therefore jumbled their lines up in an effort to kickstart their offense. The result for Shore will be skating next to Tyler Seguin on the Stars’ second line while he retains his spot on the team’s top power play unit, a group that leads the NHL with a 31.8% clip. Shore has yet to find the back of the net this season, but he is rather due after 24 shots on goal and he has also blocked 15 on the season thanks to his time on the penalty kill. Skating next to Seguin in all phases tonight can only help the goalless Shore.
W – Evander Kane (BUF) – $6,800 vs. FLA
Like Eichel, Kane’s massive shot on goal total should produce some serious offense tonight against the visiting Panthers. Kane ranks third in the entire NHL with 73 shots on goal this season while he has also recorded nine goals, three shorthanded goals, and six assists across 15 games. With the Panthers entering play tonight as the worst defensive team in the league as well as yielding the most shots in the league I like the Eichel/Kane duo more than any other on tonight’s slate.
W – Jamie Benn (DAL) – $8,300 vs. NYI
Benn no longer skates with Tyler Seguin, but he is certainly a good enough player that he can create offense on his own. After coming out of the gates slow over the first few games of the season, Benn has tallied eight goals over his last 12 games and sits with 51 shots across 15 games on the season. He has also tallied four of those goals on the power play and will still skate alongside the Stars’ top offensive winger in Alexander Radulov at even strength and with the man advantage.
W – Alexander Radulov (DAL) – $6,500 vs. NYI
Here is a guy who is white-hot at the moment. Over his last six games, Radulov has four goals and five assists and has frequently seen more than 20 minutes of ice time per game. He is now up to 13 points in 15 games with 36 shots on the season. As mentioned, he will skate alongside Benn at even strength as well as retaining his spot on the top power play unit in the NHL where he has potted two of his five goals this season.
W – Nikolaj Ehlers (WPG) – $6,600 vs. VGK
Ehlers and the Jets are quickly becoming one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL. They enter play tonight averaging 3.29 goals per game and will take on a Vegas team that is certainly vulnerable on the back end thanks to injuries to their top three goalies. He has three points over his last four games after enduring a cold streak but Ehlers is one of the most underrated scorers in this league. He enters play tonight with eight goals in 14 games and has 39 shots on goal to boot.
D – Marco Scandella (BUF) – $3,600 vs. FLA
If Rasmus Ristolainen continues to be sidelined for tonight’s game against the Panthers, Scandella holds some serious value upside. He is now the lone defenseman on the Sabres’ top power play unit alongside Eichel and Kane. He actually sports a nice solid floor due to his counting stats. He has taken 33 shots and blocked 22 in 15 games played and has seven blocks and six shots over his last three games while seeing plenty of ice time in the process.
D – Jacob Trouba (WPG) – $4,400 vs. VGK
Trouba and Ehlers fit perfectly into this lineup as a nice mini-stack. The two youngsters skate together on the Jets’ second power play unit, but it is more of a 1B unit thanks to the talent level involved on both groups. Trouba enters play tonight with six assists in 14 games, but also has 33 shots on goal and 34 blocks as well, giving him a solid floor. If the Jets can expose the Golden Knights’ goalie woes tonight perhaps this duo can have a big evening.
G – Robin Lehner (BUF) – $7,400 vs. FLA
You may look and notice that the Panthers rank sixth overall with 3.43 goals per game, but the truth is they rank 30th with just 2.17 goals per game on the road where they will be tonight in Buffalo. Lehner hasn’t been fantastic by any means and sports a .902 save percentage with just four wins in 11 games, but he has very nice win upside and can certainly handle the Panthers’ weak road offense. It’s also encouraging that all four of Lehner’s victories have come over his last six starts.