Tonight the NHL graces us with a 10-game slate that should feature a lot of goals, as all six teams that have scored 90 goals or more this season are in play this evening.
Tampa Bay has scored the most goals in the league with 103 going into last night while Ottawa and Toronto are close behind with 98 goals. Colorado’s 97 goals are only being contested by Washington and Columbus, who have netted 95 and 90 goals respectively so far this season.
Montreal opened as a -175 favorite at home against Ottawa while Minnesota opened as a -165 on the road in Vancouver. As far as goal totals go, only Columbus and Washington are not in a game where the goal total is 6.5 out of the top six scoring teams in the NHL.
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There is no doubt that the top scoring lines from Colorado, Tampa Bay and Toronto will more than likely carry the highest ownership percentages of the night. Throw in a little Winnipeg and Washington and you all of a sudden have almost too many choices on your hands this evening. Nikita Kucherov has been on fire for Tampa Bay, as he and Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon have registered 14 points apiece over the last two weeks to lead the league in that category. MacKinnon’s linemate in Mikko Rantanen leads the league with 45 points while both MacKinnon and Kucherov are in striking distance just two points behind. Washington has the Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom duo, while Winnipeg boasts Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele as their big guns battling up on the front line.
Any of these duos could be considered as a decent core play so let’s take a look at some players who may have the same potential but may not have as much ownership as the players mentioned above.
Max Pacioretty - Vegas Golden Knights - $6,600 FD, $5,300 DK
After a very slow start, the line of Pacioretty, Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin have started to click to the tune of 11 goals and 12 assists over the last six games. Pacioretty leads the trio with six goals and three assists over that time frame with the team winning five out of those last six games. Coincidence? I don’t think so, as whenever you can get your second line scoring as much as the first line does, you should be able to win a good portion of your games. Vegas has been playing better of late and will need this line to do some damage this evening if they want to have a shot at beating the current Metropolitan Division leaders in the Washington Capitals.
Jonathan Huberdeau - Florida Panthers - $6,400 FD, $5,900 DK
While the top line for the Florida Panthers consists of Aleksander Barkov, Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman, it has been Jonathan Huberdeau that has been the one racking up the points of late. Over the last seven games, he has found the back of the net twice while assisting on 11 other goals. The main thing to look at here is the six power play points that he has recorded over those seven games, as the Panthers have connected on 13 of their last 35 opportunities when they had the extra attacker. It just so happens that the Boston Bruins have been failing in this category, as they have given up seven power play goals over their last nine games. The injury to Patrice Bergeron has had an effect on the Boston penalty kill, so look for Florida to expose that tonight on home ice.
Jake Guentzel - Pittsburgh Penguins - $6,600 FD, $5,800 DK
As Sidney Crosby gets hot, so does his right hand man in Jake Guentzel. Crosby has grabbed six goals and four assists over the last six games while Guentzel has hammered home four goals to go along with four assists over that same time frame. Guentzel can be spoken of in the same breath as Gabriel Landeskog, Nikolaj Ehlers and Tom Wilson, as they all get exposure to some of the better players in the game, which helps their point totals skyrocket. Look for some goals in this one as Pittsburgh will look to avenge the 6-3 loss they took last Wednesday night in Colorado.
Thomas Chabot, Morgan Rielly and John Carlson all make for decent plays this evening if you can afford to put them in your lineup. Chabot leads this group with 31 points in his first 27 games while the other two are averaging over a point a game. In case you were thinking of using Samuel Girard as a cheaper defensive play, you may have to think again, as the Colorado defenseman may be pushed out of the way, considering Tyson Barrie could return to the lineup this evening.
Keith Yandle - Florida Panthers - $5,600 FD, $5,000 DK
Much like Jonathan Huberdeau, Keith Yandle has been a big part of the recent success the Florida Panthers have been enjoying while skating with the man advantage. Sixteen of his 23 points have come with the extra attacker, so there is no reason for him to see a drop in ice time based on those numbers.
One would think that Devan Dubnyk would get the call in tonight’s Minnesota at Vancouver game, but even if he does he hasn’t been too safe of a play of late. Dubnyk has posted a .824 save percentage over the last four games he has played in, while his 4.23 goals against average is equally horrendous. Now, if the Wild decide to start Alex Stalock ($7,400 FD, $7,800 DK), then by all means plug him in as he has let in just four goals on the last 56 shots he has seen. Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,800 FD, $7,800 DK) should be a decent play here, as he has posted a save percentage of .938 and a goals against average of 1.88 over the last nine games he has played in. He is a big reason as to why the Vegas Golden Knights have been on the upswing of late and should come away with the win in front of the home crowd.