The Blackhawks’ offense has been on a slight tear of late and enters this game tonight having scored four goals in each of their last four games. The pressure seems to be off this team now that Marc-Andre Fleury is gone and that should keep this young core hungry for more goals against the Sabres. Buffalo is bottom-10 in shots allowed and penalty-kill efficiency this season, while having also allowed nine goals in their last two games alone. The bigger plus-odds available are enough to take the over 3.5 today on a rising Chicago offense.
The Oilers got smoked for nine goals against in their last game against the Flames but face a complete dichotomy tonight in the low scoring Coyotes. Arizona’s offense has improved a touch of late but the Coyotes still rank dead last in goals for this season. The Coyotes have scored two goals or less in each of their past five starts and Edmonton should be keen on playing a tighter brand of hockey after losing a pond hockey battle to Calgary on Saturday. The under—and a drastically more boring game than we saw last Saturday—seem likely today.
L.A. Kings vs. Seattle Kraken
Anze Kopitar ($6,000) — Adrian Kempe ($5,400) — Alex Iafallo ($4,800)
We don’t have a ton of exciting top-line options on the slate today, so going with a mid-range trio like the Kings’ L1 feels like a good way to kick things off today. L.A.’s first-line has played well of late and enters this game with 11 points over their last three starts. The Kings’ top unit stays together at even strength and on the power-play, so while they can oftentimes be overshadowed by the Kings’ other top-six unit, these three, right now, are providing us with the best blend of correlation and power-play exposure.
The matchup today also couldn’t be much better to take a shot with the Kings’ offense. The Kraken remain one of the most inefficient teams on the penalty-kill, and at just stopping the puck in general. Seattle ranks fourth-last in penalty-kill efficiency and fifth-last in goals against on the season. They allowed four goals on just 27 shots faced against the Kings in their last game two days ago and now have to try and stop the same team again, which is in the middle of a huge playoff race.
Considering the matchup and makeup of this slate, the fact we are able to get all three Kings top-liners at the same price as they were two days ago (against the same Seattle team) makes them a solid target today. It provides solid correlation and upside and leaves room for top-liners from teams like Chicago and Edmonton to round out lineups.
Superstar to Target
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks vs. Buffalo Sabres ($7,400)
The Blackhawks are -155 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook and have an implied team total of 3.3 today, making their offense of interest for daily fantasy hockey purposes. Chicago has scored four goals in each of their last four games and has been led by Patrick Kane, who enters this game having scored multiple points in each of his last four starts. It’s risky to chase a poorer team like Chicago, but the matchup today means we’ll likely see more good fantasy production from Chicago’s top-liners.
Buffalo still ranks bottom-10 in pretty much every defensive category, including shots against, and Kane has hit the 4.0-shot mark in three of his last five starts. There’s certainly no harm in pairing Kane with an Oilers stud like Leon Draisaitl ($7,800)—who also looks undervalued—but from a price-to-output standpoint, Kane looks like the best deal available among the true studs on this slate.
Value on Offense
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes ($4,800)
We should have lots of room left over today when filling out our lineups, so our values likely won’t have to be of the minimum-priced punt variety. That’s good news, as the Oilers’ forwards should be high on our list of desirables and they offer us some intriguing options. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finally returned from injury in his last game and skated over 18 minutes while grabbing four points. Despite that solid outing, he’s still available at under $5,000 today (against Arizona). Don’t expect four points, but he will certainly be heavily featured again on special teams where the Oilers have thrived of late. He’s a good way to get a piece of the Oilers’ offense for cheap.
Anthony Mantha, Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes ($4,100)
The Capitals are finally fielding a healthy top-six unit at forward and that’s meant the return of Anthony Mantha to top-six minutes. The former Red Wing has been solid since returning, landing three points in his last three games, while also landing four or more shots on net in three of his last four games as well. Mantha should continue to thrive in a second-line role as the Capitals’ top-unit (and Alex Ovechkin) take on the opponent’s top checking units. Mantha looks like a solid bargain at just above $4K today.
Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals ($7,900)
From an odds perspective, if we don’t want to take a weaker goaltending option from one of the heavy favorites in Edmonton or L.A. today, then we need to look under $8,000 for some potential upside. That comes in the form of Andersen, who sits as a decent enough -135 road favorite in the Hurricanes’ matchup against Washington.
Andersen has been a solid back on the road this season, posting a 15-6-1 record and a .924 save percentage. He’s coming off a terrible fantasy game, but that may just keep people off him in this spot on a night where we don’t have a ton of solid goalie options to choose from. There’s some risk, given the Capitals are a quality team, but Andersen, at this price, is a worthy back, especially given Carolina rates out as small favorites.
Value on Defense
Evan Bouchard, Edmonton Oilers vs. Arizona Coyotes ($4,200)
The Oilers have a couple of good options available at just above $4K today, with Tyson Barrie ($4,300) also looking very affordable, against a poor Coyotes penalty kill. Bouchard isn’t getting as much power-play exposure as he was at the beginning of the season but he’s still been the superior fantasy option over the short-term and has assists in three straight games.
Even in a more reduced role, Bouchard has managed to average 3.7 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 games, which is still vastly superior to Barrie, who has gone pointless in four straight games—despite the Oilers’ offense having scored 10 times in their last two games. Bouchard looks like the better upside option today against a Coyotes team that gives up the second-most shots on net per game.
Power Play Defensemen
Justin Faulk, St. Louis Blues vs. Vancouver Canucks ($4,700)
We don’t have a ton of big-time talent on defense to choose from today, so looking for the best blend of value and matchup should be a priority. Justin Faulk should be in for big minutes once again, as Torey Krug—who typically handles a lot of power-play work for St. Louis—remains out. Faulk has averaged over 22 minutes over his last five games and also comes in averaging a stout 4.5 blocked shots + shots on goal over his last 10 games as well.
He’s gone through a bit of a dry spell in terms of points lately, but is still averaging 0.5 points per game and faces off against a Canucks team who remains dead-last in terms of penalty-kill efficiency. Playing Faulk is a good way to keep things cheap on defense today but retain some solid power-play exposure to an elite St. Louis special teams unit.
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