DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Thursday's NHL slate is brimming with action, featuring 10 games after 7:00 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup. 

SLATE PREVIEW

There are plenty of directions to go with your lineup in this large slate. The Lightning will be comfortable home favorites against the Canadiens, while the Penguins (in Buffalo), Bruins (in Florida) and Maple Leafs (in Los Angeles) are all primed for offensive success on the road. Those games alone offer plenty of options, and that's without even mentioning the Islanders in Ottawa or the Capitals-Rangers track meet.

GOALIES

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,400) is just 1-4-0 in his last five starts following a 19-0-2 stretch, but the Lightning netminder has a nice opportunity to get back on track here. The visiting Canadiens rank second in shots per game (34.1) but 17th in goals (3.01), so Vasilevskiy should rack up a nice save total in this one.

It's too late for San Jose's playoff hopes, even in the far weaker Western Conference, but Martin Jones ($7,700) has breathed new life into his game down the stretch. After struggling for much of the season, Jones has allowed just four goals over a three-game winning streak and has two shutout wins in his last six starts. The Wild have been tougher to contain of late, but Jones could still be worth turning to considering these last two wins have come against Pittsburgh and Toronto.

You can't blame Semyon Varlamov ($7,500) for the Islanders' recent struggles, as he posted a 2.44 GAA and .921 save percentage in February and has a 19-13-5 record, 2.56 GAA and .916 save percentage overall. Even with a lackluster offense supporting him, Varlamov should be a nice value play in Ottawa against the Senators' bottom-10 offense (2.69 goals per game).

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

For all of Jones' recent success, the Sharks goalie still has a 2.97 GAA and .898 save percentage on the season. Red-hot Wild winger Kevin Fiala ($6,800) could singlehandedly stunt Jones' momentum, as Fiala has a 5-6-11 line in his last five games and a 12-11-23 line over the past 15.

The Rangers' hot streak has come to a screeching halt with three consecutive losses, but the same can't be said for top pivot Mika Zibanejad ($7,700), who has a 9-6-15 line in his last nine games and a 15-14-29 line over the past 19. He should stay hot against a Capitals team that's allowed at least three goals to each of its last nine opponents.

If you want to benefit from Leon Draisaitl's ($7,800) brilliance but don't have the funds for the league's leading point-scorer, linemate Kailer Yamamoto ($5,200) is a solid consolation prize. The 21-year-old winger has played at a point-per-game pace since being promoted to the Oilers with a 10-13-23 line in 23 games, and he'll look to stay hot in Chicago.

Patric Hornqvist ($5,900) is due to break through offensively, as the power forward has 32 shots in his last seven games but just one goal and two assists to show for his efforts. He mustered a 2-3-5 line in the three games prior to this stretch, and Hornqvist's turnaround could well come against a Sabres team that's allowing 3.12 goals per game.

FORWARD LINE STACKS

Bruins at Panthers

Patrice Bergeron (C - $6,700), David Pastrnak (W - $8,100), Brad Marchand (W - $6,900)

One of the most dangerous lines in hockey draws one of the league's most favorable matchups, as the Panthers allow the third-most goals per game in the league (3.33). Pastrnak leads the league with 47 goals and ranks third with 92 points, while Marchand (28-56-84 in 67 games) and Bergeron (29-25-54 in 58 games) are both enjoying fine seasons in their own right.

Maple Leafs at Kings

Auston Matthews (C - $8,300), Mitch Marner (W - $7,500), Zach Hyman (W - $5,800)

Like the line above, this trio won't come cheap but is capable of carrying lineups in a favorable matchup. Matthews has pulled within one goal of Pastrnak's league-leading total thanks to an active three-game goal streak. Marner has been comfortably above a point-per-game pace when healthy with a 16-49-65 line in 56 appearances, while Hyman brings a semblance of affordability to this line while boasting a solid 21-16-37 line in 48 appearances. The Kings have actually won three in a row, but they're due to come crashing back to earth considering they won only five times in the previous 21 games.

Capitals at Rangers

Nicklas Backstrom (C - $6,200), Jakub Vrana (W - $5,700), T.J. Oshie (W - $5,500)

Washington has plenty of offensive upside against a Rangers team that likes to push the pace, and locking in the Capitals' second line should be a prudent move from a value perspective in a slate full of enticing big-name options. Backstrom continues to be one of the league's premier setup men with an 11-40-51 line in 58 appearances, while both Vrana (25-26-51) and Oshie (25-22-47) have hit the 25-goal mark. Meanwhile, the Rangers have been outscored 13-6 during their three-game losing streak.

DEFENSEMEN

Victor Hedman ($6,700) sometimes gets overlooked given the Lightning's star power up front, but he has a solid 9-44-53 line from the blue line. He's been stuffing the stat sheet nicely with 17 shots and 14 blocks in the past five games, and Hedman should continue his strong play at home against the Canadiens.

Despite missing 11 of the team's 66 games, John Klingberg ($5,000) leads the Stars in power-play points with 17. He has a great opportunity to add to that total against a Predators penalty kill that ranks third-worst in the league at 75.1 percent.

Ryan Pulock ($5,400) has done his best to keep the low-octane Islanders offense afloat, producing 13 points in his last 21 games and an 8-25-33 line in 65 games overall. With a rocket of a slap shot at his disposal, Pulock brings substantial upside against a Senators team that's allowing the most fantasy points in the league to defensemen.

Charlie McAvoy ($4,400) has flashed some decent offensive ability for the Bruins of late, racking up a 3-6-9 line in his last nine games. He's a terrific bargain option against the defensively challenged Panthers.

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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