Ryan Clifford brings you his top stacks, goalies, and cash game plays for your NHL DFS lineups tonight.
As always, you’ll find at least one of us in chat in the hour leading up to lock. Please join us there for any late scratches, goalie changes, or other DFS news.
We also have an NHL dedicated Twitter account where you’ll find important news and updates, as well as curated beat writer lists broken down by team.
Also new this season, my personal NHL projections and models are available for download under the projections section of the NHL tab. Of course, you can still access all player projections in our Fantasy Cruncher powered optimizer.
Slate Preview: Game/Team Projections
Top GPP Stacks
VAN: Brock Boeser/Bo Horvat/Tanner Pearson (Proj Own: 10-15%)
Vancouver was just shut out 3-0 on home ice by this Ottawa Senators team, but if you look past the score; Ottawa scored twice on the power play, and once into the empty net. They got a brilliant goaltending performance from Matt Murray, who stopped all 31 shots he faced. Vancouver dominated possession at 5v5 though, controlling nearly 60% of the attempt share. The shutout was likely an anomoly, and I have no qualms going right back to the Canucks in this matchup tonight. Ottawa has been horrendous all season on the road, and won’t generally have the luxury of a power play and great goaltending bailing them out in games like this. For Vancouver, you’ll notice I have two of their defensemen (Myers/Hamonic) listed in my core four, I really like this spot for GPP’s too. It’s the top line of Horvat, Boeser, and Pearson that has the most upside, but a case could be made for Miller and Hoglander on that second line, as well. With the top line, you have the benefit of full power play correlation, though, and Quinn Hughes would be the add-on at defense if you’re looking to target the PP1.
NYI: Jordan Eberle/Mathew Barzal/Noah Dobson (Proj Own: 4-8%)
It looks like Alex Ovechkin may sit out tonight’s contest with the New York Islanders. I didn’t find myself on the Caps side anyways here. The Islanders project well here on home ice, and the top line should get some cushy 5v5 matchups against the Caps depth, which was already the team’s weakness, and will be spread even thinner if someone needs to jump up to take the captain’s spot in the top six. As usual, Leo Komarov is pretty unnecessary to make this stack work. In fact, I probably prefer the mini-stack of Barzal and Eberle. If I’m going to spend the $2,500 it would take to stick Komarov in there, I’d much rather go with defenseman Noah Dobson, who correlates with Barzal and Eberle on the top power play unit. Dobson has a better floor, and arguably a better ceiling with those PP1 minutes.
FLA: Patric Hornqvist/Aleksander Barkov/Nikita Gusev (Proj Own: 8-16%)
I can’t tell you how much I love Florida’s decision to pair Patric Hornqvist with Alex Barkov on the top line. The shots should be flying with these guys on the ice at 5v5 together, and that’s exactly what we saw on Thursday night against the Canes. Florida controlled 75% of the Corsi share with Barkov and Hornqvist on the ice together at even strength, while generating 6 shots on goal, 6 scoring chances, 3 high danger chances, and a goal in just over 8 minutes of ice time. It’ll be the same two teams again tonight, so these three should see the same matchups, and I’d expect similar results. You’ve got full correlation on the power play with these three, with Keith Yandle manning the PP1 point. I wouldn’t consider Yandle a priority though, with Carolina having one of the league’s top PK units.
LA: Dustin Brown/Anze Kopitar/Alex Iafallo (Proj Own: 6-12%)
This Kings-Coyotes game will be my late night hammer tonight. I think it will go overlooked by most, but my model projects a pretty decent pace with a bit more scoring than the oddsmakers think. It’s been a minute since I’ve had this trio in my GPP write-ups. They opened on a tear for the first 6-8 weeks of the season. While they’ve since quieted down some, Kopitar has scored in three of his last four games, and L.A. gets a matchup on home ice against an Arizona team that has struggled mightily over the past month. Since March 24, Arizona has allowed 3.5 goals against per game (fourth-worst in the NHL), while killing just 60% of their opposition’s power play chances (second-worst). Since returning to the crease for Arizona last week, Darcy Kuemper has stopped just 85% of the shots he’s faced, with a goals against average over 3. Drew Doughty should be considered a priority add-on to this stack, fully correlating with these three on the top power play, and skating alongside of Kopitar and Iafallo on most of the Kings PK time.
ARI: Michael Bunting/Nick Schmaltz/Clayton Keller (Proj Own: 4-8%)
On the other side of this matchup, I’ve got a lot of interest in this trio of Schmaltz, Keller, and rookie Michael Bunting. Bunting was a fourth-round draft pick of the Coyotes way back in 2014. He’s had his first extended stay in the NHL here almost seven years later, and he’s been taking full advantage of the opportunity; scoring 7 goals in just 12 games thus far. So why Coyotes? I do think the Kings win this one, but this is a matchup-based play for me, as I’d expect Kopitar, Doughty and co. to be matched up with Dvorak and Kessel for most of tonight’s even strength play. Los Angeles has struggled to shore up their depth since shipping out Michael Amadio and Jeff Carter, while also stashing many of their good young players in the AHL. The Kings will be playing back-to-back tonight, after suffering a 4-2 loss to Minnesota last night. Jonathan Quick is the presumed starter. In his last five appearances Quick has stopped just 86% of the shots he’s face, with a GAA of 3.55. Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski correlate on Arizona’s top power play with both Schmaltz and Keller. The Yotes have the NHL’s fifth-best power play conversion rate (29.6%) since April 1, so either Chychrun or Goligoski make nice add-on options at the defense position.
WPG: Kyle Connor/Mark Scheifele/Blake Wheeler (Proj Own: 7-14%)
A highly dangerous trio of snipers that’s facing a Toronto team that’s lost five of six, allowing an average of 4 goals against in those games. Full power play correlation (Josh Morrissey the add-on) against a bottom-five PK.
DET: Jakub Vrana/Michael Rasmussen/Filip Zadina (Proj Own: 3-6%)
A super cheap, super low-owned stack option for tonight’s slate. The Red Wings have been a different team on home ice this season. Even without Dylan Larkin, I think they put up a fight against Dallas here. Filip Hronek would be the add-on here, skating with Zadina and Vrana on Detroit’s top power play unit.
Cash Plays or GPP One-Offs
I use a composite projection for cash plays and GPP one-offs (one in the same for me). This projection factors in projection, projected shots on goal, and floor.
Anaheim: W Rickard Rakell
Arizona: C Nick Schmaltz
Carolina: W Andrei Svechnikov, D Dougie Hamilton
Detroit: W Jakub Vrana
Florida: C Aleksander Barkov, C Sam Bennett, W Patric Hornqvist, D Gustav Forsling
Los Angeles: C Anze Kopitar, D Sean Walker
NY Islanders: C Mathew Barzal, W Jordan Eberle, D Noah Dobson
Ottawa: W Brady Tkachuk, W Drake Batherson
San Jose: W Noah Gregor, W Evander Kane, D Erik Karlsson
Vancouver: C Bo Horvat, W Nils Hoglander, D Tyler Myers, D Travis Hamonic
Vegas: D Alex Pietrangelo
Cash Core Four
- W Brady Tkachuk (OTT)
- W Jakub Vrana (DET)
- D Tyler Myers (VAN)
- D Travis Hamonic (VAN)
Here are my top goalies:
- Jonathan Bernier (DET)
- Chris Dreidger (FLA)
- Kaapo Kahkonen (MIN)
- Braden Holtby (VAN)
- Alex Nedeljkovic (CAR)
- Jack Campbell (TOR)