FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

The long-awaited Canadiens-Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. EDT) series begins Thursday as one of the four games on the slate. The Penguins-Islanders (7 p.m.) and Golden Knights-Wild (9:30 p.m.) will shift to Long Island and Minnesota, respectively, with the series split 1-1. The key game is Panthers-Lightning (6:30 p.m.) with the Panthers already down 2-0 with the series moving to Tampa Bay, though the games have been pretty close. Will the Panthers be the second team to use three goalies in the playoffs this season with Spencer Knight?

All fancy stats courtesy Natural Stat Trick.

GOALIES

Jack Campbell, TOR vs.  MON ($8,100): Even without a crowd, emotions will run high in this game. Campbell took over the starting job and there's little doubt he should start Game 1 and he was excellent against the Habs during the season going 4-1-1 with a .918 Sv% and 2.16 GAA. The Habs will be missing two of their younger talents (Cole Caufield, Jesperi Kotkaniemi) and the Leafs should be able to provide plenty of goal support against a shaky Carey Price.

Cam Talbot, MIN vs. VGK ($7,500): The trouble with the Wild right now is that they can't score with just two goals in two games. But all signs point toward a better performance on home ice where the Wild ranked second in the league during the season with 3.61 GF/GP and where the Knights are 2-6-0 as the visiting team all-time.

VALUE PLAYS

Alex Tuch, VGK at MIN ($4,500): Tuch's been one of the Vegas' best players stepping into the void filled by Max Pacioretty with two goals and eight shots in two games. He's a much more dangerous player than Tomas Nosek, and Tuch's strong play will also make the Wild think twice about going after Mark Stone so aggressively, which should open up some more ice for the first line to create scoring chances.

Oliver Wahlstrom, NYI vs. PIT ($3,600): Wahlstrom's role has increased dramatically since the start of the season and he's just a handful of players who has a 5v5 CF% above 50 percent. He's playing on the third line but the Isles' have a pretty balanced top three lines and Wahlstrom is currently averaging over 17 minutes per contest. A goal-scoring winger, he has one assist and five shots through two games.

LINE STACKS

Maple Leafs vs. Canadiens

Auston Matthews (C - $8,800), Mitch Marner (W - $7,600), Zach Hyman (W - $4,700)

They dominated the Habs this season with a combined 32 points even though Hyman missed four games. It's a series that's getting a lot of hype because of the two teams' storied histories, but in reality the series shouldn't be very close.

Penguins at Islanders

Jeff Carter (W - $5,200), Jared McCann (W - $4,400), Kasperi Kapanen (W - $4,800)

The Pens have discovered an excellent second line in Evgeni Malkin's absence with Carter scoring his first of the series and his sixth goal in four games going back to the regular season. Sidney Crosby's line is trying and creating a lot but not scoring a lot, and the second line is drawing easier matchups.

Wild vs. Golden Knights

Ryan Hartman, (C - $3,700), Mats Zuccarello (W - $5,300), Kirill Kaprizov (W - $6,600)

Hartman's so snakebit you're starting to feel a little sorry for him even though he's a pesky player. They've generated a lot of scoring chances but just can't seem to solve Fleury, but at some point they should be able to capitalize on their chances. The trio lead all Wild forwards in 5v5 xGF but they have yet to score a goal; it might be easier on home ice where they've been excellent.

DEFENSEMEN

Jared Spurgeon, MIN vs. VGK ($5,000): Spurgeon's home-road splits is literally night and day. He's scored 19 of his 25 points at home with a plus-9 rating in 28 home games but a minus-11 rating in 26 road games. The bounces just seem to go his way more at The X, where he his 25 5v5 GF is nearly nine goals more than his 5v5 xGF, compared to just a two-goal difference between 5v5 GF and 5v5 xGF when he's on the road.

Mikhail Sergachev, TB vs. FLA ($3,800): Sergachev has been very good in the playoffs so far, and he's just one of two regulars (Luke Schenn aside) to have a 5v5 CF% over 50 percent and ranks second in both 5v5 xGF and 5v5 xGF%. He hasn't scored a point yet but it feels like he's close even though it feels like the series is going to get tighter defensively. On home ice, the Lightning will also dictate the matchups.

Brandon Montour, FLA at TB ($3,600): With Keith Yandle playing just 13 minutes in Game 2, if you're looking for offense from the Panthers' blue line, Montour's eight shots trails only Aleksander Barkov's 10 on the team. Montour's poor defensive instincts limits his ability to contribute but he's also a gifted offensive defenseman and a potential value play for someone who can score and playing top-four minutes.

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.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Chen
Jason won the 2021 FSWA Hockey Writer of the Year award, and was also a finalist on 2019. He joined RotoWire in 2013. Jason has also written for Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, The Hockey News, The Hockey Hall of Fame's Legends Magazine, and Centre Ice Magazine.
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