This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's NHL slate begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time and features four games. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
Colorado will be this slate's biggest favorite at home against a Ducks team that's finishing up a back-to-back set. The Flyers-Capitals game pits the Metropolitan's hottest team against the division leader, while defensively oriented road teams will be hoping to stifle the home sides in the Blue Jackets-Flames and Coyotes-Canucks matchups.
Pavel Francouz ($8,400) has been sensational for the Avalanche of late, allowing just eight goals during his six-game winning streak to improve to 19-5-3 with a 2.24 GAA and .929 save percentage. He should keep rolling against a Ducks team that's mustering only 2.50 goals per game — third-fewest in the league.
David Rittich ($7,800) is facing some pressure for Calgary's starting job from Cam Talbot ($7,800), who has two shutouts in his last five starts. Whichever goalie gets the nod for this home tilt against the Blue Jackets should help bolster their case for more playing time, as Columbus' bottom-five offense is scoring only 2.61 goals per game.
Despite their recent slide, the Blue Jackets are still occupying a wild card spot in the East and will be looking to grind out a low-scoring win in Calgary. Whether Elvis Merzlikins ($7,100) returns from a concussion or Joonas Korpisalo ($7,300) gets the nod, Columbus' goalie of choice should offer nice value at a low price.
Alex Ovechkin ($8,500) tends to get his offenses in bunches — just look at his stretch of six multi-goal games in 10 appearances between Jan. 7 and Feb. 4. Sunday's win over the Wild marked Ovechkin's first multi-goal performance since that stretch and gave him five tallies in the last six games, so we could be at the start of another heater from the Great 8. A strong Ovechkin performance can carry a lineup, especially in a small slate like this one, and the Flyers have been much less formidable on the road, with a pedestrian 15-15-3 record.
Mikael Backlund ($5,500) is on a spectacular run that's included a 9-10-19 line over his past 13 games. Despite that recent success, Backlund is still cheaper than four other Flames forwards. The locked-in pivot should continue to deliver strong bang for the buck at home against a Blue Jackets team that's won just twice in its last 12 games.
The Canucks' offense has been much more explosive at home, and that's exemplified by the home/road splits of leading scorer J.T. Miller ($6,000), who has a 14-23-37 line in 31 home games compared to a 12-19-31 line in three more games on the road. Overall, Miller's 26 goals are tied with Elias Pettersson for most on the team and his 68 points are five clear of Pettersson's total for the team lead. Even with a stingy Coyotes team coming to town, Miller's a bargain at $6,000.
Tyson Jost ($3,400) has been a quality source of secondary scoring for the Avalanche recently, as the 10th overall selection from the 2016 draft has a 2-2-4 line and 15 shots in his past four games. Still just 21 years of age, it's possible Jost is finally starting to put it all together with injuries across Colorado's lineup affording him greater opportunities. If that's the case, he likely won't stay this cheap much longer, so lock him in against a Ducks team that struggles to defend centers.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Avalanche vs. Ducks
This line will be the chalk stacking option at home against an Anaheim team that ranks among the 10 worst defensively. MacKinnon is top-10 league-wide in goals (33) and top-five in points (86). Landeskog won't match last year's 75-point output, but the captain's 18-16-34 line in 49 appearances includes a 3-5-8 line in his last eight games. Namestnikov rode the coattails of Tampa Bay's top players to a 20-24-44 line in 62 games with the Lighting in 2017-18, and the trade deadline acquisition finds himself in a similar situation with his new club.
Flyers at Capitals
This line has been key to Philadelphia's recent surge, which has seen the Flyers win each of their past six games. Hayes has a 5-2-7 line during the six-game winning streak, Konecny has a 4-8-12 line in that stretch and Laughton has chipped in a 2-4-6 line thanks to a trio of two-point games. Meanwhile, the Capitals have struggled on the defensive end recently, allowing three-plus goals in each of their past eight games.
Coyotes at Canucks
Speaking of struggling defenses, the Canucks haven given up 4.0 goals per game en route to a 2-4-1 record in their last seven and are without starting goalie Jacob Markstrom (lower body). Arizona's top line is primed to add to Vancouver's recent struggles. Dvorak ranks second on the Coyotes with 18 goals, four back of Conor Garland's team-leading total. Schmaltz trails Clayton Keller's team-leading total of 43 points by one, while Hall has a 9-16-25 line in 32 games for the Coyotes and would be the team leader in points with 50 if you include his contributions with the Devils prior to being traded to the desert.
Capitals defenseman John Carlson ($7,600) has 73 points this season, which is good for second-most among all players in this slate after MacKinnon. Expect his name to be etched onto the scoresheet against a Flyers team that's starting backup goalie Brian Elliott (2.90 GAA, .899 save percentage).
While Carlson is the league points leader among defensemen, Columbus' Zach Werenski ($6,800) leads them in goals with 20. With some nice value options available up front, saving money for Carlson or Werenski on the back end could be a prudent strategy.
With Cale Makar (upper body) out Monday, Samuel Girard ($3,800) was bumped up to Colorado's top power-play unit. Girard didn't take advantage of the opportunity, but he still has four points in his past four games and would continue to play an expanded role should Makar sit again here.
Matt Niskanen ($4,200) has quietly racked up seven points in his last eight games, and the Flyers defenseman will be motivated to deliver against his former team in Washington.