It’s been an odd NHL schedule this week, and after another slow two-game night on the ice last night, the action heats up today, as 26 teams lace up their skates and hit the ice. There are tons of large guaranteed tournaments on FanDuel to enter tonight with the action spread out through the whole day. Grab a comfortable spot on the couch, soak in hours of NHL entertainment, and hopefully win some money with your lineups!
Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators - $9,100 – If you’re playing the early slate, then Rinne looks worth the investment between the pipes. He’s been sensational in all three starts since the All-Star break and now owns a ridiculous 13-5-4 record to go along with a 2.02 GAA and .928 SV% in 22 starts at the Bridgestone Arena. Tonight, he has a fine matchup awaiting him against a Florida team that has averaged just 2.34 goals per game this season and who happens to be just 9-10-7 away from the South Beach this season.
Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers - $8,800 – On the night cap, a case can easily be made for Matt Murray in cash games here instead, but the home matchup and $400 discount make Lundqvist my top option in net this evening. He draws a matchup against the absolutely abysmal Colorado Avalanche, who have averaged an NHL worst 2.04 goals per game this season. To make things even better, Lundqvist has won each of his last four starts and cruised to an easy victory over the Avalanche when these two teams squared off on New Year’s Eve. Securing the “W” (and the 12 fantasy points that come along with it) is crucial and Lundqvist has the best chance of them all.
Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins - $7,100 - Bergeron was slow out of the gates this season, but he’s making up for lost time in a hurry now. The veteran center erupted for a goal and three assists against San Jose on Thursday night and has now tallied a video game-like four goals and 12 assists during his current six game point streak. With an overmatched Vancouver team invading the TD Garden owning an ugly 7-16-3 road record, it would be surprising to see him held off the score sheet tonight.
Nicklas Backstrom – Washington Capitals - $6,900 - Simply put, Nicklas Backstrom has been one of the NHL’s most dangerous offensive weapons down the stretch this season. The brilliant playmaker is clearly thriving alongside Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie on the Capitals top forward line (and #1 power-play unit), and he’s now poured in seven goals and 20 assists over his last 18 games. He’ll put a six-game point streak on the line tonight when the Capitals host the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Backstrom has been far more productive this season at the Verizon Center, where he owns 10 goals and 26 assists in just 29 home games. On the surface, the matchup against Anaheim is not ideal, but the Ducks own just an 12-11-7 road record this season and Backstrom figures to see some extra run on the power-play as Anaheim happens to be the second most penalized team in the NHL.
Mitchell Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs - $6,800 - Marner has been overshadowed to some degree this season by his teammate Auston Matthews, but he’s quietly climbing his way into the thick of the Calder Trophy race. Marner did see his five-game point streak snapped on Thursday night against St. Louis, but the 19-year-old has been an offensive force down the stretch and now owns six goals and 14 assists in 18 games since the calendar flipped to 2017. Marner has posted 27 points in just 25 games at the Air Canada Centre and has already scored a pair of goals and added an assist against the Sabres in their two prior meetings this season.
Chris Kunitz – Pittsburgh Penguins - $5,000 - When injuries force some new faces onto Pittsburgh’s top forward line alongside Sidney Crosby, extreme value is created. Kunitz has spent years in the spot previously and has immediately looked very comfortable alongside his long-time teammate since Conor Sheary’s injury. Kunitz has now scored goals in back-to-back games and has tallied three goals and three assists in his last six games. With a date awaiting him against the defensively inept Arizona Coyotes (who have allowed 3.17 goals against per game this season), Kunitz simply looks well underpriced.
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators - $7,100 - It’s not easy to find the salary relief to squeeze Karlsson into your lineups at FanDuel today, but he is significantly cheaper than the other elite blue-line option Brent Burns. Karlsson leads the Senators with 44 points on the young season and should be highly motivated to put an end to his three-game pointless drought. He dished out a pair of assists against the Islanders when these two teams squared off earlier this season and also happens to own the second most blocked shots in the entire NHL (138 blocked shots). His floor is as just about as high as any player on board today and, with 11 multi-point games already this season, he has a sky-high upside.
Zach Werenski – Columbus Blue Jackets - $5,400 - Werenski has been a difference maker for the Columbus Blue Jackets in his rookie season. He’ll hit the ice tonight having posted 31 points in 53 games. Born and raised in the Detroit area, he should have some added motivation tonight as the Red Wings come to Columbus. He fired six shots on net against Detroit when these teams met last week and should see plenty of scoring opportunities as the point man of the #1 power-play unit against the Red Wing’s subpar 79.5 percent road penalty kill.