Last night was a fantastic night for our FanDuel NHL picks. The Oilers’ erupted for eight goals and we were right there to take advantage with a productive four-man Oilers’ stack. Connor McDavid has two goals and an assist, Leon Draisaitl had two assists and both Patrick Marron and Oscar Klefbom contributed a goal and an assist with Klefbom’s goal coming shorthanded. The Brian Little/Nikolaj Ehlers combo also added a goal and an assist but the night would have been better if Jonathan Quick and the Kings didn’t blow a 2-0 lead and lose 3-2 to Vancouver. Oh well, a solid night to be sure so let’s make it two in a row on tonight’s three-game slate!
C – Mika Zibanejad (NYR) – $6,900 vs. CHI
When targeting the Rangers in optimal lineups it’s real difficult to go with anyone down the middle other than Zibanejad. He is thriving in his first season as the Rangers’ clear-cut number one center as he has scored eight goals, five power play goals, added ten assists and recorded 55 shots across 18 games on the season. He is logging a ton of ice time as well and should be able to take advantage of a struggling Blackhawks’ club tonight.
C – Rickard Rakell (ANH) – $6,800 vs. BOS
The Bruins are another team struggling at the moment so let’s go ahead and grab some Ducks exposure as well. Rakell and Corey Perry are clearly the top offensive weapons on a Ducks’ team that has been ravaged by injuries as Rakell has six goals, 14 points and 47 shots in 17 games on the season. He now skates on the team’s top line as well as their top power play unit and will be deployed heavily tonight for a Ducks team that needs this hockey game.
W – Pavel Buchnevich (NYR) – $5,900 vs. CHI
Buchnevich is quickly turning himself into a star in this league. After dealing with back injuries for most of last season, Buchnevich is playing out of this world this time around. He has eight goals, four power play goal, seven assists and 46 shots in 18 games on the season. He and Zibanejad skate together on the Rangers’ top line as well as their to power play unit, a group that ranks third overall at 25.8% on the campaign.
W – Corey Perry (ANH) – $5,900 vs. BOS
Perry has just three goals on the season which isn’t exactly the rebound season he was hoping for after last year’s disappointing campaign, but he is in a nice spot for production tonight against the Bruins. The shorthanded Bruins are without their best penalty killer in Brad Marchand which should open up opportunities for Perry and co. on the Ducks’ top power play unit. The veteran does also have ten assists on the season so let’s look for him to continue to get on the scoresheet tonight on home ice.
W – Patrick Kane (CHI) – $8,400 vs. NYR
After going six games with just two assists, Kane has tallied three points over his last two games including his first goal in his last eight games his last time out against the Devils. Kane continues to shoot the puck plenty with 17 shots over his last four games so it would not be surprising in the least to see him take off on a scoring binge moving forward. The Rangers have tightened things up defensively, but I choose not to bet against Kane during what could very well be the beginning of a hot streak.
W – Nick Schmaltz (CHI) – $4,500 vs. NYR
After going five straight games without a point, Schmaltz tallied a pair of helpers in his last game against the Devils as he skates with Patrick Kane at both even strength and on the power play. If Kane gets hot, that means good things for Schmaltz’s upside. He is actually centering Kane’s line on the top power play unit and Blackhawks’ second line, but we will gladly take him on the wing here and open up a center spot in the process.
D – Cody Franson (CHI) – $3,500 vs. NYR
Plenty of value to be had here with Franson tonight against the Rangers. He skates on that aforementioned top power play grouping with Kane and Schmaltz as he continues to receive solid minutes alongside Duncan Keith on the Blackhawks’ top defensive pairing. Sounds like a very optimal situation to me at this price on home ice tonight.
D – Sami Vatanen (ANH) – $4,600 vs. BOS
Somewhat of a GPP play here, but Vatanen is in a real nice spot tonight against the Bruins. He will skate on the team’s top power play unit with Perry and Rakell as he has seen at least 20 minutes of ice time in five straight games. He has recorded just two points in seven games this season but could be in for some production tonight at lower ownership than his partner Brandon Montour.
G – John Gibson (ANH) – $8,500 vs. BOS
With Brad Marchand out of the lineup and David Krejci remaining out of the Bruins’ lineup I like Gibson’s chances tonight against Boston. The Bruins have scored just five goals over their last three games so perhaps he is catching them at the right time as well. He enters play tonight with a decent .917 Sv% on the season and the Ducks have the league’s fourth best penalty kill at 85.1%, so let’s go ahead and roster Gibson with plenty of upside tonight.