This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
It's a jam-packed, 12-game slate in the NHL on Thursday with the Lightning, Senators and Jets all playing the second leg of a back-to-back set. With the playoffs in sight there are also a number of teams battling for a postseason berth. Arizona, Montreal, Carolina, Pittsburgh, Colorado and Columbus are all in the hunt, whereas plenty of other clubs still have an outside shot at making it to the second season.
Carey Price, MON vs. NYI ($7,600): The Islanders own an underwhelming 45.66 Corsi For percentage and scored just 2.03 goals per hour at five-on-five since Feb. 1, and outside the odd hiccup, Price's has posted elite numbers. He enters in strong form with a .948 save percentage and 1.52 GAA, which has improved his year-long marks to .925 and 2.27 since Dec. 1. Additionally, a Montreal win and Columbus loss catapults the Habs into a playoff position.
Mikael Backlund, CGY vs. OTT ($5,600): Ottawa is playing its second road game in consecutive nights following a 7-4 loss to Vancouver on Wednesday, and the rebuilding Sens have now allowed the second most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (14.89) since the trade deadline. With the soft matchup, Backlund checks out as a solid value, who's also in good form. The Swede has recorded two goals, four assists and 17 shots through his past five outings.
David Krejci, BOS at NJD ($5,400): Dating back to the beginning of February, Krejci has recorded nine tallies, 14 helpers and six power-play points and is arguably playing the best regular-season hockey of his career. The second-line center is also skating with the No. 1 power-play unit, and the Devils are a plus-matchup. After all, New Jersey has surrendered 3.3 goals per hour with an .893 team save percentage since the All-Star break.
Timo Meier, SJ at LA ($6,400): The streaky scorer has only found the back of the net once on 14 shots through the past five games, and this should prove to be a soft matchup for him to kick his funk. The Kings have won the fewest games in the league and allowed a healthy 3.49 goals per hour since dealing Jake Muzzin to Toronto on Jan. 28, and Meier's 3.02 points and 20.25 shot attempts per 60 minutes at five-on-five are both rock-solid numbers.
James van Riemsdyk, PHI at CHI ($5,600): Skating with Claude Giroux in all situations has been a boon for van Riemsdyk's production. The duo have clicked for 5.3 goals and 15.43 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this season, and van Riemsdyk has recorded 14 points – 10 tallies – through his past 12 outings. Obviously, facing Chicago is equally as appealing. The Blackhawks have surrendered a league-high 3.6 goals and 14.53 high-danger scoring chances per hour since Dec. 1.
Dylan Sikura, CHI vs. PHI ($2,900): Projected to skate with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane on the top line, Sikura stands out as an upside source of cap relief. The rookie has recorded 13 shots through his past three games, and there should be positive regression ahead of his 7.79 on-ice shooting percentage at five-on-five. After all, Sikura is still searching for his first career goal 31 games into his career.
Mark Giordano, CGY vs. OTT ($6,100): As highlighted, the Sens should prove to be a favorable opponent for Giordano and the Flames. The power-play quarterback has registered six assists, nine shots and five blocks while logging 22:08 of ice time per outing (2:04 with the man advantage) during his five-game point streak, and his 2.35 points per hour rank third among all regular defensemen this season.
Zach Werenski, CLS at EDM ($4,700): Quietly, Werenski is off to a historic start to his career with offensive numbers through his age 19-21 season ranking with the likes of Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Larry Murphy, Scott Stevens and Phil Housley. Of late, the third-year blueliner has recorded 12 points, 26 shots and 16 blocks through his past 14 outings. Look for more success from Werenski with Edmonton allowing the second most goals per 60 minutes while shorthanded (9.01 goals) and owning a 30th-ranked 75.3 penalty-kill percentage.