DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Thursday's NHL slate begins at 7:00 p.m. EDT and features 10 games. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.


There's no shortage of options available to choose from here, but with a number of high-priced stars positioned for big performances, most lineups will likely revolve around picking the right top-tier building blocks and finding affordable value plays with which to complement them. The Lightning remain this slate's largest favorites in Columbus despite losing there Tuesday, while the Oilers (in Ottawa) and Islanders (vs. Philadelphia) are both heavy favorites as well against defensively challenged opponents. Edmonton-Ottawa has the night's highest over/under at 6.5 goals, but there are also a number of games to choose from at 6.0: Penguins-Rangers, Panthers-Hurricanes and Jets-Canadiens. Other notable matchups likely to provide some enticing value options are Nashville-Detroit and New Jersey-Buffalo.


Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB at CLS ($8,500): Vasilevskiy's coming off a rare loss but should right the ship in this rematch with the bottom-five Blue Jackets offense. He's still 23-6-1 with a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage, putting Vasilevskiy in the driver's seat for a second Vezina Trophy.

Juuse Saros, NSH at DET ($8,100): Saros continued his strong play with 25 saves on 27 shots to top Detroit on Tuesday, giving him a 12-7-0 record, 2.24 GAA and .928 save percentage. That success includes a 6-1-0 record over the past seven games, during which Saros has allowed just nine goals.

Linus Ullmark, BUF vs. NJ ($7,600): Ullmark has remarkably won each of his last three starts, stopping 86 of 92 shots for a .935 save percentage in that stretch. The Sabres have been abysmal without him, but the Swedish netminder actually has a solid 8-5-3 record, 2.48 GAA and .919 save percentage. He has been especially effective against the 26th-ranked Devils offense (2.46 goals per game), with a 4-0-0 record, 2.04 GAA and .939 save percentage.

Kevin Lankinen, CHI vs. DAL ($7,600): Lankinen's enjoying a strong rookie season, with a 14-10-4 record, 2.69 GAA and .918 save percentage. That success includes a 3-0-0 record, 1.65 GAA and .946 save percentage against the Stars, whom Lankinen defeated Tuesday. Dallas is scoring just 2.68 goals per game and has won only three of its last 10.


Brad Marchand, BOS at WAS ($8,100): Marchand's a strong non-Oilers choice to build your lineup around, even against a tough opponent in Washington. He has two four-point performances in his last three games and a 5-5-10 line over the past five, giving the veteran winger an 18-27-45 line in 34 games overall.

Vincent Trocheck, CAR vs. FLA ($6,700): Trocheck stretched his point streak to 11 games with a goal and an assist Tuesday, and he'll be motivated to repeat that performance in this rematch against his former team. He has a 6-9-15 line during this streak and a 15-16-31 line in 29 games overall, but facing the Panthers has brought out the best in Trocheck all season; he has scored a goal in all five of his games against Florida.

Casey Mittelstadt, BUF vs. NJ ($2,900): Mittelstadt has quietly put together a four-game point streak, including the power-play game-winner and an assist Tuesday against the Devils. Perhaps this recent stretch represents Mittelstadt finally figuring things out at the NHL level, in which case he likely won't be available for just $2,900 much longer.

Jesper Bratt, NJ at BUF ($4,700): Bratt's two-point effort Tuesday in Buffalo gave him 11 points in his last 12 games, and he leads the Devils in points per game at 0.68 (excluding Tyce Thompson's one point in one game). Overall, Bratt's 5-16-21 line has him one point behind team leader Pavel Zacha, even though Bratt has missed six of New Jersey's 37 games. The Swedish winger should keep rolling against last-place Buffalo.

Eeli Tolvanen, NSH at DET ($5,000): Tolvanen has a 4-6-10 line in his last nine games, yet the rookie winger can still be had for only $5,000 against a Red Wings team that's allowing 3.10 goals per game. He's a strong choice both as a stand-alone value play or as part of a larger Nashville stack.


Oilers at Senators

Connor McDavid (C - $9,100), Leon Draisaitl (C - $8,400), Jesse Puljujarvi (W - $4,500)

It's not rocket science — when you have the league's top two scorers taking on the worst defensive team, use them. That strategy certainly paid off for those who employed it in Wednesday's meeting between these teams, as McDavid posted a 1-3-4 line and Draisaitl was even more impressive with a hat trick and an assist. McDavid leads the league in points with a 23-45-68 line through 40 games, while Draisaitl's closer to McDavid than the field at 22-39-61. Puljujarvi's a solid value option as long as he's skating on a line with these two studs.

Rangers vs. Penguins

Ryan Strome (C - $6,000), Artemi Panarin (W - $8,400), Colin Blackwell (W - $2,900)

After an outstanding month of March, the Penguins have come crashing back down to earth in April, allowing 15 goals in their last two games. Eight of those came in Tuesday's loss to the Rangers, in which this line combined for a 3-5-8 line. Panarin's raw totals have been suppressed by his leave of absence earlier this season, but his scoring pace of 1.48 points per game (12-28-40 in 27) trails only McDavid and Draisaitl league-wide, and the Russian winger's showing no signs of slowing down with a 4-7-11 line in his last four games. Strome's playing the best hockey of his career after a slow start to the season, with a 6-17-23 line in his last 18 games. The affordable Blackwell has chipped in a 10-5-15 line in 29 games, including four goals in his last five games.

Islanders vs. Flyers

Brock Nelson (C - $5,100), Anthony Beauvillier (W - $4,100), Josh Bailey (W - $3,800)

The Islanders are an outstanding 16-1-2 on home ice, and they should add to that success against a fading Flyers team that's allowing 3.55 goals per game — second-most in the league. This second line should lead New York's balanced attack based on its combination of season-long and recent success. Nelson leads the team with 14 goals in 39 games and has a 2-1-3 line on nine shots in the last three. Bailey has played at a point-per-game pace over the last nine with a 3-6-9 line, while Beauvillier's at 6-2-8 over the last eight, including two goals when these teams last met Saturday.


Tyson Barrie, EDM at OTT ($6,100): Barrie has 34 points in 40 games, with 15 coming in his role as the quarterback on Edmonton's star-studded top power-play unit. He's been especially effective against an Ottawa team that's allowing a league-high 3.73 goals per game, racking up a 3-10-13 line in eight meetings this season.

Adam Fox, NYR vs. PIT ($6,700): Fox's trio of special teams points in Tuesday's thrashing of the Penguins extended his point streak to 11 games. He has racked up 21 points during the streak, pulling into a tie with Victor Hedman for the league points lead among defensemen with 36 overall. Until Fox cools down, it's hard to blame anyone who wants to plug him in, regardless of matchup.

Neal Pionk, WPG at MON ($4,400): Pionk has been mired in a slump, but he still leads all Jets blueliners with 24 points through 39 games. Perhaps this matchup with an injury-ravaged Canadiens team that's playing its second game in as many nights will help the normally productive defenseman rediscover his game.

Brandon Montour, BUF vs. NJ ($3,800): Montour lit the lamp against the Devils on Tuesday, giving him four goals in his last five games. New Jersey gives up the second-most fantasy points to defenseman, so the affordable Montour will have a nice opportunity to add to his recent success in this rematch.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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