This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Valentine's Day brings us four NHL games to break down. Three teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back. Two of the, the Blue Jackets and the Rangers, aka the Broadway Blueshirts, are facing one another. The other team is the Devils, who already have a 3.52 GAA on the road to begin with. If my eyes go anywhere first from a DFS perspective, it's to the Hurricanes, who get to play host to New Jersey.
Speaking of the Hurricanes, right now they've been using both Petr Mrazek ($8,200), the ostensible number-one goalie, and James Reimer ($8,2000) pretty interchangeably. Reimer has earned that, given that he has a 2.61 GAA and .917 save percentage. Whoever ends up in net, right now the arrow is leaning toward Mrazek but nothing is set in stone, I love them in this matchup. In addition to having as good a chance of picking up a win as any team, the Devils have only scored 2.48 goals per game on the road.
You know what team has been even worse offensively away from home? That would be the San Jose Sharks, who have only managed 2.41 goals and 28.6 shots on net per contest on the road. Plus, now they have no Logan Couture or Tomas Hertl in the lineup. All that lines up well for Connor Hellebuyck ($8,000), who has a 2.71 GAA and .919 save percentage.
Normally, the fact Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,000) doesn't play on the power play much is an issue for DFS players. That's not the case against the Sharks though, as they somewhat inexplicably have the league's best penalty kill. However, despite the lack of time with the extra man, Ehlers has six points in his last seven games, giving him 44 points in 58 contests. Despite the top-notch penalty kill, the Sharks still have a 3.48 road GAA, so there's clearly potential here for success at even strength.
Last year Andrei Svechnikov was the promising rookie dazzling for the Hurricanes. This season, that role falls to Martin Necas ($3,200). The 21-year-old now plays on Carolina's second line, and he's tallied 14 goals and 15 assists in 52 outings. Since the Devils started MacKenzie Blackwood on Thursday, that likely means Louis Domingue (3.72 GAA, .882 save percentage) in net.
Gustav Nyquist ($3,800) may not be a name that comes to mind for your DFS lineup immediately, but he's taken to Columbus in his first season with the team. He's notched 35 points in 58 games, including four in his last eight. The Rangers have a strange three-headed goaltending monster going on, but regardless of who is in net them they've allowed 35.3 shots on net per contest on the road, and are also playing the second night of a back-to-back.
Hurricanes vs. Devils
This is a stack that will cost you a pretty penny, but I like the odds of you getting value for your money anyway. Carolina clearly has the best matchup of any team Friday. Being at home against a Devils team on the second night of a back-to-back? A team that has a 3.52 GAA on the road likely playing a goalie with a 3.72 GAA overall? The Hurricanes could pile on the goals, and they have one of the clear top lines in the NHL. I don't need to sell you too hard on Aho, Svechnikov, and Teravainen right? Aho has a seven-game point streak. Svechnikov has 22 goals in 56 games. Teravainen has 42 assists and 19 power-play points. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
Blue Jackets vs. Rangers
Is it possible Igor Shesterkin will be in net for the Rangers on Friday? Yes, and that's a concern. However, we're still talking about a team on the road for the second night of a back-to-back that has allowed 35.3 shots on net per game away from home. Dubois has started 62.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest on the Blue Jackets. That's helped him tally 43 points in 58 games. Bjorkstrand leads the Jackets with 149 shots on goal even though he's only played in 45 contests. Foligno is a new addition to Columbus' top line, but he has seven points in his last 12 games. Also, he has a 5.8 shooting percentage that seems like it should still regress toward the mean eventually.
Obviously, the first place I'm looking in Carolina. Jaccob Slavin ($5,200) was already a nice little fantasy option, but when Dougie Hamilton went down he took on a whole new role. He's got six points in his last seven games, and after playing no time on the power play he's now the point man on Carolina's primary unit. Since Hamilton's injury, Slavin has played 2:38 per game with the extra man. New Jersey actually has a mediocre penalty kill, but it's the only place where it is mediocre defensively.
If you want a cheaper option from the Hurricanes' defense, and with this matchup I can understand why, Jake Gardiner ($3,000) doesn't look half bad. Yes, his first year in Carolina hasn't been what was expected, but he does have five points in his last five games. The Hamilton injury has also given Gardiner more power-play time as well.
The Sharks have a bad GAA and questionable goaltending but the league's best penalty kill. Winnipeg is sort of the opposite. Connor Hellebuyck is playing well (.919 save percentage), but the Jets have a bottom-five penalty kill. That's something Erik Karlsson ($5,000) can take advantage of. He seems to no longer be the defenseman he was at his peak, but he's still managed 13 power-play points in 55 games.