This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's NHL slate is the last one before the All-Star break, and it's a light one that features just two games after 7:30 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
The Blue Jackets will be looking to continue their stellar recent defensive play when they host a Jets team that's finishing up a back-to-back set, while the Wild should provide most of the chalk plays in this slate at home against the league-worst Red Wings.
Elvis Merzlikins ($8,100) has three shutouts in his last four starts and is 8-2-0 with a 1.51 GAA and .955 save percentage in his last 10. Columbus' netminder should build on his recent momentum against a Jets team that's below average offensively and finishing up a road back-to-back.
Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk ($8,400) has struggled to the tune of an 8-12-2 record, 3.35 GAA and .892 save percentage this season, but he will have plenty of appeal despite those subpar numbers, as the visiting Red Wings score a league-low 2.12 goals per game and allow a league-high 3.88.
Luke Kunin ($4,100) has a nice 3-5-8 line over his last eight games after potting two goals Monday against the Panthers. Given his strong recent form, the 22-year-old Wild forward is a terrific value play against the league-worst Detroit defense.
If you're going to challenge Columbus' defensive prowess with a Jets forward, Patrik Laine ($7,000) should be your go-to guy. With a goal in each of his past two games, he's up to a 17-28-45 line in 48 appearances. Laine's finding all this success despite a 10.6 shooting percentage that's well below his career mark of 14.9 percent, and his recent positive regression in that category is likely to continue.
Cam Atkinson ($5,600) is starting to find his scoring touch after a disappointing start, potting eight goals in his last 11 games after scoring only four in his first 27. Considering Atkinson scored 41 goals last season, he's more than capable of maintaining his recent form against a slumping Jets team that's 1-5-0 in its last six games.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Wild vs. Red Wings
Minnesota's set to dominate the lowly Red Wings, led by its top line. Staal leads the Wild with 36 points in 49 games, while his 16 goals are three off Parise's team-high mark. Zuccarello has a 12-14-26 line in 45 games played, putting him on pace to eclipse 45 points for the sixth time in the past seven seasons, with the exception of last year's injury-shortened campaign.
Blue Jackets vs. Jets
Merzlikins' play in net has propelled Columbus up the standings recently, but it has been this top line's play throughout the season that has helped keep the team within striking distance despite a mass offseason exodus of talent. Dubois leads the Blue Jackets with 35 points in 50 games and is tied for the team lead with 15 goals. Nyquist is second on the team with 31 points, while Bjorkstrand is only one goal off the team lead despite missing 13 games. The latter also comes in riding a five-game point streak that's included seven goals and two assists.
Red Wings at Wild
Detroit's top line could provide some against-the-grain value in Minnesota, as the Wild rank among the league's five worst defensive teams with 3.31 goals allowed per game. Bertuzzi leads the Red Wings in both goals (17) and points (36) through 50 games. Larkin has climbed within one point of Bertuzzi thanks to a recent hot streak that's seen the 23-year-old center record a 5-8-13 line over the past 12 games, getting held off the scoresheet only twice during this surge. Zadina is starting to play up to expectations as the sixth overall pick in the 2018 draft, having logged a 6-7-13 line in his last 22 games.
Zach Werenski ($6,000) is tied with Dubois for the Blue Jackets' lead with 15 goals despite having missed seven games. He also leads the team in both goals (four) and points (10) on the power play, which is important with Winnipeg's bottom-five, 75.0 percent penalty kill coming to town.
Ryan Suter ($5,200) is just one point behind Staal's team-leading total with 35. Despite his success on offense, the veteran defenseman in priced below two of the Wild's other options on the blue line.
Filip Hronek ($4,600) is tied for third on the Red Wings with eight power-play points, trailing only Bertuzzi (10) and Larkin (nine). He has a nice opportunity to add to that total against the Wild's 27th-ranked, 75.2 percent penalty kill.