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I’m honestly a little surprised we didn’t get a 6.5 total here. These are two of the worst defensive teams in hockey as they come in ranked last and second-to-last in penalty kill and also rank the same in goals against per game. The last five Devils games have also all hit six goals or more.
The Devils come in on a nine-game losing streak but they are taking on a team in the Flyers who, at -200 favorites here, are wildly over-valued. Philly is just as helpless on defense as New Jersey and comes in having lost five of the past seven games. The Devils have got some of their young talent back of late and are now rolling two competent scoring lines. The big odds here are appealing.
Top Line Stacks
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils
Sean Couturier ($6,700) - Claude Giroux ($5,400) - Jakub Voracek ($4,800)
The Devils are a terrible defensive squad and now rank last in penalty kill and second-to-last in goals against per game. They’ve allowed an average of 5.1 goals against over their past six starts and make for a prime matchup for any team’s first line. The Flyers have reunited this veteran trio who also make up the majority of their PP1. While the scoring has been a little light for these three of late, Couturier remains a high-end fantasy center and comes in with assists in his past two games and nine shots on goal in that same span. Both Giroux and Voracek have also been shooting more of late as well and the increased volume seems certain to lead to better things here against the lowly Devils. The Flyers’ top line is the top stack on this small slate.
Superstar to Target
Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($6,100)
Tampa Bay gets a great matchup here against a Columbus squad that comes in ranked fifth-worst in goals allowed and shots allowed per game. Point has picked up a lot of the slack in the absence of Steven Stamkos (out) and the Lightning center comes in with three goals and 15 shots on goal over his past four games. Up against a weaker team here in Columbus, there’s almost no reason to shy away from Point, who has played well over 20 minutes in each of his past two games and should see heavy power-play minutes if the Lightning end up on the right side of the whistles here. He’s a nice upside play to build around and should see regular minutes with his usual winger Ondrej Palat ($5,700).
Value on Offense
Pavel Zacha, New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers ($4,400)
As mentioned above, the Devils/Flyers matchup has a lot of potential to see some messy goals given the defenses involved. Zacha comes in without a point in his past three games but this is a spot where you’d expect him to come alive. He’s seeing time with the talented Nico Hischier ($5,300) and also gets time on the PP1, where eight of his 25 points have come this year. A lot of the Devils' young forwards represent good value today, but Zacha has been the most consistent of the group all season and can be had for the cheapest in price.
Alexis Lafrenière, New York Rangers vs. Buffalo Sabres ($2,900)
Lafrenière has endured a tough rookie season, after being chosen first-overall and being labeled as the next potential superstar in the NHL. He enters with just 16 points in 48 games, but recently got a bump in role and is now seeing regular minutes on the first line alongside Mika Zibanejad ($7,800). He broke out with a goal and an assist in his last game and now gets another weak opponent here in the Sabres. An end-of-season run to salvage his rookie year could be in the cards here and he’s great value at under $3K and a good stacking target with the Rangers top-line center.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Columbus Blue Jackets ($8,200)
On a short three-game slate, we have three teams who are -200 or better on DraftKings Sportsbook. While you can consider some contrarian options like Mackenzie Blackwood ($7,500) for the Devils in GPPs, there’s little doubt that Vasilevskiy is the top option here. The Blue Jackets’ offense is putrid, as the team comes in having scored just six goals total over their past five games. They now rank dead-last in xGF% and fourth-to-last in power-play efficiency. Vasilevskiy feels underpriced here by at least a few hundred dollars and with few big studs on the menu today at forward, he should be easier to fit in too.
Value on Defense
Will Butcher, New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers ($3,600)
Butcher is getting lots of time on the Devils’ power play, which isn’t exactly a high-end unit (third-worst in the league) but does get a bit of a boost today from their opponent. The 26-year-old hasn’t had a strong season but a couple of healthy scratches may have turned his season around. He comes into this game on a string of strong play, including four assists in his past three games. As I mentioned above, if there were ever a spot for the Devils’ young forward to go off, this would be it and Butcher is going to be out there with them a lot on the power play if the chances arise today. He’s played over 20 minutes per game in his past three outings and should get lots of run against a poor defensive in the Flyers. If you need a pay-down option on defense, Butcher makes sense, regardless of if you’re stacking Devils here or not.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers vs. New Jersey Devils ($5,100)
As bad as the Flyers have been of late, there’s no denying that this is a spot where their power play could go bonkers. The Devils have been sitting in last in penalty-kill efficiency all season and allow a goal on more than 30% of the opposition man advantages. Gostisbehere only has one point in his past five games, but Philly’s power play still hits on around 20% of their chances which makes them about league average. Despite him being more of an offensive specialist, the veteran is also blocking a few more shots this year, too. He hit the bonus there last game, which makes paying up over $5K for him on any slate more palatable. Don’t be afraid to stack Devils and Flyers today.
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