This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
It's a key Central Division clash between the Blues and Stars that will be the highlight. The Blues played last night, even though it was hardly a challenge against Arizona, which managed just 14 shots, and the Stars have been very good at home (18-9-2; 2.17 GA/GP, rank 3rd).
There's another Central matchup between the Blackhawks and Predators, but this game would've been more interesting five years ago. The Preds are in slightly better shape but need a win to stay in the thick of the wild card race. Note that even though the Preds defense has improved and will have Ryan Ellis back in the lineup, the offense under John Hynes has regressed (3.40 GF/GP vs. 2.61 GF/GP).
The Rangers scored six against Chicago and the Hurricanes' goaltending shouldn't be much tougher. Both teams have elite offensive players in what could be another high-scoring match. All three of their games so far have featured five goals or more.
Watching the Red Wings should be banned for the rest of the season lest an entire generation of Detroit kids grow up scarred for life. Their matchup against the Islanders is not going to draw a lot of eyeballs, although that's a good if you're picking under-the-radar players for your lineup. Detroit's 25 road losses are just five shy of tying the record in the cap era ('17 Avalanche, '14 Sabres).
The Western Canada road trip can be a nightmare but it hasn't been so for Minnesota and Boston. The Wild are coming off a shootout win in Vancouver and move on to the Oilers. The Flames, who are 1-3-1 in their past five games at home, will host the Bruins, who are coming off an overtime win in Edmonton. The Avalanche visit the Ducks, who are trying to avoid a third straight loss for the first time since Jan. 11.
Tuukka Rask ($9,200) has three straight wins in which he's allowed just one goal. The Flames offense is better than all three teams he's faced, but the Bruins should win. Ben Bishop ($8,800) faces a tougher opponent but given the Stars' strong play at home is still a good bet to win. Jordan Binnington ($8,500) needed just 14 saves for a shutout win last night so he may start again.
Pavel Francouz ($8,100) against the woeful Ducks is a better play and Semyon Varlamov ($8,000) also faces a bad team in Detroit. Alex Stalock ($7,800) has been pretty good (.924 Sv% since Jan. 1) and will likely start after taking a break in Vancouver, but Mike Smith ($7,900) has also been pretty good (.920 Sv% since Jan. 1). I like the Oilers' chances slightly more at home. The rest of the slate can be avoided.
Avs rookie Martin Kaut ($3,000) will play his second NHL game. He played just seven minutes in his debut and didn't do a whole lot, but hopefully his second outing will be better. He's known to be a goal scorer and was one of their better players in the AHL.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Nashville Predators (TOTAL: $15,000)
Their last game against Carolina was a disaster, but this line was quite good and certainly playing better under Hynes. The Blackhawks defense is neither good nor deep. Arvidsson hasn't been nearly the same amount this season but Granlund has picked up some of the slack.
New York Rangers (TOTAL: $17,200)
This line was very good against Chicago with Fast – again – the only one who failed to register a point. The Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich line has also been very good but quite a bit pricier ($20,600). If you don't mind spending the extra dollars, the Zibanejad line has been on fire.
I like Roman Josi ($6,400) in the elite tier. No one else tonight should come close. Torey Krug ($5,900), Cale Makar ($5,800) and Anthony DeAngelo ($5,400) are the next step down as top-notch PP QB's. Jaccob Slavin ($4,900) also plays on the power play but doesn't have the same kind of offensive upside.
Darnell Nurse ($4,300) played 29 minutes against the Bruins and will continue to log big minutes in Oscar Klefbom's absence. He has two points, six shots and nine blocked shots in his past three games.
Matt Dumba ($3,900) is on a bit of a hot streak with three helpers in four games. He's always been a pretty high-volume shooter as a defenseman, and it's too bad hits don't count otherwise he'd be even more valuable.