It’s a typical busy Saturday on the ice in the NHL with a nine-game slate getting underway a bit earlier than normal as the Coyotes and Flyers drop the puck at 1:00 PM Eastern. The night is headlined by another outdoor game, this time between two former heated rivals in the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field. There are plenty of matchups to exploit tonight, and with that in mind, here are my top options for your cash games tonight on FanDuel.
Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings - $8,800 - Quick was sensational once again against Edmonton on Thursday night for his third straight win and has now posted a 5-2-1 record with a sparkling 1.89 GAA and .936 SV% in eight starts since the All-Star break. He has a terrific matchup on tap against a struggling Buffalo squad that is without their leading scorer, Ryan O’Reilly, and who was in action last night in San Jose. Quick allowed just one goal in the two meetings against this team last season and is easily my top cash game option of the evening. If Darryl Sutter decides to give Quick the night off, Jhonas Enroth would be a very fine value option at just $7,500.
Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins - $9,500 – Crosby’s slow start to the season is a thing of the past. Sid the Kid has racked up eight goals and seven assists in 11 games since the All-Star break and should breathe a small sigh of relief today as Evgeni Malkin makes his return to the lineup. Crosby has already tallied nine goals and ten assists this season on the power-play and draws a matchup against a Winnipeg team that is not only the second most penalized team in the NHL, but who also own an awful 77.0% penalty kill.
Aleksander Barkov – Florida Panthers - $6,200 – Barkov potted a pair of goals in his return to action in Thursday’s victory over the Arizona Coyotes and has now tallied five goals and an assist in his last five games. The former second overall draft pick has now reached a career high 37 points in 44 games and already owns a pair of goals in the two prior meetings this season against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s joined by Jaromir Jagr and Jussi Jokinen both at even strength and on the Panthers top power-play unit and still comes at a very affordable asking price.
Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens - $6,600 – Frankly, I’ve been scared to use him over the last several months. However, with not only a matchup against the definitively challenged Toronto Maple Leafs awaiting him, but also after seeing Montreal ship off forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Dale Weise late last night, he’s hard to ignore at this price tag. He’s shown some signs of life lately with a goal and two assists in the last four games and has torched the Maple Leafs for three goals and an assist in their three prior meetings this season.
Tyler Toffoli – Los Angeles Kings - $5,900 – Toffoli picked up two assists against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and has now racked up 25 goals, 21 assists and a +26 in 60 games this season. With that kind of production, he looks to be severely underpriced considering tonight’s terrific matchup against a potentially tired and banged-up Buffalo Sabres squad. He teams up with Jeff Carter at even strength and sees plenty of run on the top power-play unit as well, making him an easy decision at one of my RW slots in my cash games.
Valeri Nichushkin – Dallas Stars - $3,300 – Facing the New York Rangers is not ideal, but with Nichushkin joining Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin on Dallas’ top forward line, he’s simply too hard to ignore at this bargain price-tag. The former first-round pick has picked up a point in each of the last two games and is seeing a healthy dose of playing time on the second power-play unit. At nearly the minimum price, you just can’t ask for much more.
Shayne Gostisbehere – Philadelphia Flyers - $5,200 – After a 15 game scoring streak, Shayne Gostisbehere has now been held off the scoresheet in each of the last two games. However, the 22 year-old has firmly thrown his hat into the Calder Trophy race and has racked up eight goals and ten assists in just 19 home games this season. He’s stolen the job as the point-man on the top power-play unit which bodes well for him tonight against Arizona’s ugly 77.9% penalty kill.
Andrei Markov – Montreal Canandiens - $4,200 – Markov dished out two more assists in Washington to extend his scoring streak to four games and has now posted a goal and six assists in his last six games. The veteran blue-liner remains very reasonably priced on FanDuel and is locked into 22+ minutes of ice-time per game. He’s a major weapon on the point of Montreal’s #1 power-play unit and has already picked up a pair of assists in the three prior meetings with the Maple Leafs this season.