This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday's NHL slate is a massive one, with 11 games on tap after 7:00 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
This expansive slate naturally features plenty of exploitable matchups. Among the teams to target are the Flames against the Devils and Hurricanes against the Rangers, with both favorites at home. Additionally, Kings-Senators and Wild-Sharks matchups that pit a pair of struggling teams against each other could turn into fantasy goldmines. In net, there are a few elite goalies from various spots on the price spectrum taking on slumping offenses.
Darcy Kuemper ($8,400) is off to a phenomenal start with a 1.69 GAA and .940 save percentage for the Coyotes. He couldn't ask for a better matchup here, as the visiting Blue Jackets have the league's second-worst offense at 2.33 goals per game.
The Blackhawks are hardly better than the Blue Jackets offensively, as they're averaging 2.36 goals per game. Whomever the visiting Canucks choose between Jacob Markstrom ($7,500) — 2.45 GAA, .918 save percentage — and Thatcher Demko ($7,300) — 1.78 GAA, .938 save percentage — in net should thrive in this favorable matchup.
Colorado's offense has lacked punch since losing Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog to lower-body injuries. The Avalanche come into this matchup against Nashville having been outscored 18-7 during an active five-game losing streak. Pekka Rinne ($7,700) should help ensure Colorado's slump continues, as he's 8-0-2 with a 2.07 GAA and .923 save percentage.
Eric Staal ($4,900) leads the Wild in both goals (five) and points (11) through 15 games, and all that production save for one assist has come in the past eight games. The veteran center should stay locked in against a Sharks team that's giving up 3.63 goals per game — fourth-most in the league.
Anze Kopitar ($6,000) will be the best offensive player on the ice for either side in Ottawa. He leads the Kings with 14 points through 15 games and is tied for the team lead with four goals. With 166 points in 178 games since the start of the 2017-18 campaign, Kopitar's capable of maintaining his prolific scoring pace despite an underwhelming supporting cast.
Matthew Tkachuk ($7,300) is hotter than the flame on his jersey, with five goals, three assists and 14 shots during an active four-game point streak, which was preceded by a scoreless eight-shot performance. He gets a golden opportunity to keep rolling at home against a Devils team that's allowing 3.69 goals per game — third-most in the league.
The Rangers are a bottom-10 defensive team, and the Hurricanes are catching them on the second leg of a back-to-back. Andrei Svechnikov ($6,600) is primed to capitalize on this favorable matchup. The second overall selection from the 2018 draft leads Carolina's forwards with 15 points, including six goals, in 15 games.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Flames vs. Devils
While Tkachuk is Calgary's hottest player, this top line can be added to him by owners stacking against a defensively challenged Devils team that's playing the third leg of a five-game road trip. This line is comprised of Calgary's second through fourth leading scorers, as Monahan has a 3-11-14 line, Gaudreau's at 4-11-15 and Lindholm's at 10-6-16, with only Tkachuk ahead of them at 9-9-18. Given Calgary's lack of secondary scoring — no other forward has more than three goals or eight points — the team's top players will likely need to carry the offense once again.
Sharks vs. Wild
The Sharks are off to a disappointing 5-10-1 start, but perhaps their 4-2 win over the Blackhawks on Tuesday was the start of a turnaround for a team that was expected to contend for the Stanley Cup. San Jose will host a similarly struggling Wild team that's been outscored 51-37 while starting 5-9-1, so the Sharks' top line should be able to assert itself in this matchup. Couture has scored only one goal on 35 shots, but he's racked up nine assists and his 2.9 shooting percentage is due to come up closer to his career 12.4 percent mark, so this could be a nice buy-low opportunity on Couture. Kane leads the Sharks with nine goals and his 13 points are one off the team lead, even though he's missed three of San Jose's 16 games. Labanc has a 5-4-9 line thus far, and all three of these forwards also feature on the top power-play unit.
Senators vs. Kings
The Senators have actually played respectable hockey recently, going 3-3-0 over their past six games while outscoring opponents 21-19 in that stretch. If ever there was a time to stack Ottawa's skaters, it's against a Kings team that's surrendering a league-high 4.00 goals per game. This top line has been the key to Ottawa's recent success. Pageau has a 6-4-10 line through 14 games, including three goals in his last two contests. Tkachuk has a 2-3-5 line to go with 16 shots in his past four games, and Duclair has four goals, two assists and 23 shots in the last six.
Dougie Hamilton ($6,500) leads the Hurricanes with 16 points in 15 games, which ties him with Nashville's Roman Josi for second in league scoring by a blueliner behind Washington's John Carlson. Given his production and favorable matchup against the tired Rangers, Hamilton should be worth paying up for.
Mark Giordano ($6,400) can be used to complete a Calgary stack against the Devils. The well-rounded blueliner has a 4-8-12 line through 18 games and is coming off his best performance of the season Tuesday, when Giordano keyed a 4-3 overtime win over Arizona with a goal, an assist and nine shots.
Ivan Provorov ($5,300) has a 3-6-9 line through 14 games for the Flyers, including two goals and six points on the power play. The 22-year-old Russian is the lone defenseman on Philadelphia's top power-play unit, which makes him an enticing option against a 68.9 percent Canadiens penalty kill that's the most generous in this slate.
Adam Fox ($3,200) will face off against the Carolina team that traded his rights to the Rangers this past offseason. New York is certainly glad it made that deal, as the rookie defenseman has found the scoresheet in four of his past six games, with his most recent point coming as a result of his role on the second power-play unit.