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Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheet: Top DraftKings NHL DFS Picks, Lineup Strategy for June 5

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for Saturday’s fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings, which starts at 4:00 p.m. ET.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a two-game main NHL slate starting at 4:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups, plus some DraftKings Sportsbook bets to target.

DraftKings Sportsbook

Carolina Hurricanes Money line +143

The Hurricanes do enter this game with lots of question marks as injuries to Vincent Trocheck ($5,300; questionable) and Nino Niederreiter (upper body; out) will hamper their depth. Carolina may have found a spark, though, by inserting Petr Mrazek ($7,300) back in net, and they do have solid depth up front. The bottom line is that we’ve had three very close one-goal games and the Hurricanes have outshot Tampa Bay severely in the series. The +143 on the ML here is too big and worth taking.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Vincent Trocheck will miss today’s game.

Andrei Svechnikov over 2.5 SOG (-155)

Svechnikov ($5,200) should benefit for fantasy purposes due to the injury issues facing the Hurricanes today. They’ll be without at least one of their top six wingers and potentially down up to three forwards. Svechnikov is averaging 3.9 SOG over his past 10 games in the playoffs, so even at -155, this line looks too small. He’s going to play a ton today and has hit the over on this mark in each of the first three games of this series.

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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.

Top Line Stack

Boston Bruins at New York Islanders

David Krejci ($5,100) — Taylor Hall ($5,100) — Craig Smith ($4,400)

While you’ll want to get a little exposure to the “Perfection line” — Boston’s big trio of Brad Marchand ($7,300), Patrice Bergeron ($7,600) and David Pastrnak ($8,000) — I do like the idea of building around Boston’s second line, which has been a force in its own right in this series. Taylor Hall has been a revelation for the Bruins since coming over, even if his fantasy impact hasn’t been outrageous. The Bruins outshot the Isles 15-0 in Game 3 when he was on the ice and the hard work did translate into the game-winning goal for Boston as Hall’s wing partner, Smith, potted the OT winner.

Hall’s inclusion has also awoken center Krejci, who has always been a capable No. 2 center but hadn’t been viable as a fantasy play until Hall arrived. Krejci is now averaging 11.9 DKFP over his past 10 games, a span in which he’s also averaging 2.9 SOG and has nine points. The Isles have done a better job at containing the Bruins’ top line in the past two games, but they haven’t shown they have the depth to contain both top lines. Look for the Bruins’ second line to potentially play an even bigger role and come through with a breakout game today.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K Sticks [S+S Summer; $10K to 1st]

Superstar to Target

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes ($8,200)

The ‘Canes and Lightning have played in three close games already, and regardless of the outcome here, I do expect you’ll see Kucherov once again try to impose his will on this series. The winger played 22.0 minutes in Game 3 and had seven SOG while collecting two assists in the 3-2 loss. While the Lightning may have trouble solving Mrazek again, as I alluded to above, you have to think you’ll again see Kucherov out there for big minutes as the Lightning try and take a stranglehold on this series.

If we do see some regression from the Hurricanes goalie, Kucherov could be in for a massive game here. Regardless of how many real-life points he scores here, expect to see an effort more akin to Game 3, when he was more involved on offense and landed the SOG bonus for the first time in this series. The Lightning stud makes for the preferred pay-up option for me, although you can theoretically stack this entire game if you wanted and pay up for the ‘Canes Game 3 hero, Sebastian Aho ($7,200), too.

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Value on Offense

Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($5,200)

As I alluded to above, Svechnikov should see plenty of minutes today just out of necessity. The Hurricanes could be down three forwards, or at least have a couple of players in their top nine who are less than 100%. The Russian has done well playing in different parts of the lineup for Carolina and may even get pushed back up to the top line as the ‘Canes go more top-heavy in Game 4. He’s been solid in the playoffs, producing points in all three games of this series for Carolina. At just over $5K, he’s not super cheap, but he is good value for what he’s produced of late for fantasy.

Kyle Palmieri, New York Islanders vs. Boston Bruins ($3,700)

Palmieri looks like he might finally be on the road to producing some fantasy goodness for the Isles down the stretch here. The former Devil was a depth acquisition at the trade deadline but didn’t produce much offense for them in the regular season. He’s now scored four points in the past four games and has played over 17 minutes in each of the last three games. He’s a solid goal scorer whose role is growing and is getting power-play exposure, so the sub the sub-$4K pricetag makes him a great value target if you need to fill out lineups with a one-off, upside play.

Stud Goalies

Petr Mrazek, Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($7,300)

The Hurricanes made the switch from Alex Nedeljkovic to Mrazek in the third game of this series and the move paid off for them as the Czech netminder stopped 35 of the 37 SOG he faced. Mzarek’s only mistakes came when the Hurricanes were down a man, so if they can clean up their even-strength play a little, we could see an even better result for the Hurricanes goalie here. Despite being overshadowed by a rookie playing partner and missing a lot of time due to injuries, Mrazek was brilliant when he was playing in 2021 and still sports a .925 save percentage on the year. The ‘Canes may be the biggest dogs on the slate, but the salary savings here are enough to take a shot that we see another strong performance from Mrazek, who could also be the lowest-owned goalie on the slate here just due to the Hurricanes’ current odds.

Value on Defense

Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning ($4,200)

Pesce has been a pivotal player for the ‘Canes in these playoffs, and already has two goals, which is the most of any Carolina defenseman. Pesce does see regular power-play time on the PP2 unit for the Hurricanes and has now played over 22 minutes in every playoff game for Carolina this season. The number of OT games the Hurricanes have played have boosted his blocked shot totals, but he’s a good upside play at this price and has now produced 11.0 or more DKFP in five of his last 10 outings. With many of the top-end defensemen in these playoffs slowing from a point-producing standpoint, taking the discount on Pesce here makes almost too much sense as you try and stuff in as many elite forwards as possible today.

Power-Play Defensemen

Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins at New York Islanders ($5,600)

McAvoy has been one of the most reliable studs on defense during these playoffs from a pure point-production standpoint. The Bruins’ top-pairing defenseman has also taken over main power-play duties for the team, and he’s now produced 10 points — six of which have come on the power play — over the past 10 games. The Isles are allowing a ton of SOG in the playoffs (second-most at over 39 per game) and McAvoy has been solid in that regard too, averaging 2.6 SOG per game over the Bruins’ past 10 contests as well. Still priced as just the third-most expensive defenseman on the slate and playing on the third-best power-play unit in these playoffs, McAvoy is an easy stud to pop in lineups here as he’s proven to have just as good or better upside as the top defenseman in this postseason.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL $30K Sticks [S+S Summer; $10K to 1st]

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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