This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
It's an exciting Friday with the toilet bowl between the historically bad Red Wings and the Senators, with the winner drawing that much closer to getting Alexis Lafreniere. It's strange, but the Red Wings might be the favorite here, having kicked off their three-game homestand with a win against the Habs, while the Sens have lost five in a row.
The Coyotes and Hurricanes will kick of the first of two inter-conference games in an interesting matchup between two hockey markets who may not yet realize just how good their teams are. The Coyotes won four straight before losing to the surging Lightning last night, and the Hurricanes have been very good but unfortunately stuck in a ridiculous tough division. The Coyotes are 14-7-3 on the road and tied for second in the league in road wins.
Crosby's Penguins and MacKinnon's Avalanche is the best ad – paid or unpaid – the Cole Harbour minor hockey association will ever have. The two stars go head-to-head with Crosby getting the slight edge with a 7-6-0 record, but the Avs should be well-rested after a two-day break.
I don't like Tristan Jarry ($8,700) at this price. He's been very good all season but he's allowed three goals in each of his past three games and the Avs offense can steamroll just about anybody. Jarry's .949 Sv% at 5-on-5 entering January was second in the league (min. 60 TOI), but so far this month ranks just 25th, according to Natural Stat Trick. Philipp Grubauer ($7,800) didn't look sharp in his last start so Pavel Francouz ($8,100) will probably get the nod, and I like his chances better than Jarry's.
Petr Mrazek ($8,500) has not been good but he should have the upper hand against the unproven Adin Hill ($7,700). The Coyotes are good on the road and young goalies, especially the higher-end prospects, can steal a game, and Hill's numbers have been good so far.
Filip Zadina ($3,600) has a goal in two straight games. With nothing to play for this season, the Wings' first priority is to get their young players some experience. The Sens allow the third-most shots per game and the third-most goals allowed per game. Robby Fabbri ($3,800) has cooled off a little, but staying on the top line in Anthony Mantha's absence gives him a lot of value considering how much Jeff Blashill leans on this line.
Anthony Duclair ($4,300) has cooled off so he won't be a popular pick, but maybe Drake Batherson ($3,000) is the next Senator to get hot. The speedy rookie has one assist but he's played over 15 minutes in his past two games and looks much better than he did in October when he played two games but ended up getting cut and sent to the AHL.
Martin Necas ($3,600) has two assists in three games playing on a very good third line with Erik Haula ($4,700). Christian Dvorak ($4,500) is settling in as the Coyotes' top center with Taylor Hall, though the team ranks just 20th in expected goals, according to Natural Stat Trick.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Carolina Hurricanes (TOTAL: $18,600)
In their past three games Aho's line has a 65.91 CF%, according to Natural Stat Trick. Translation: they've been dominating the competition, but not getting a lot of results. It's difficult to bet against them for long when they've been playing so well all season.
Colorado Avalanche (TOTAL: $24,500)
The big line is back! It's an expensive line stack but the trio have fared well against the Pens in the past.
Detroit Red Wings (TOTAL: $15,200)
I like the matchup against the Sens even though Larkin and Bertuzzi don't have strong career numbers against them. The Sens defense continues to lack quality depth.
Dougie Hamilton ($6,200) is having a Norris-caliber defenseman who's crushing almost all of the possession metrics. He scored two points against the Flyers and now has 39 points this season.
Thomas Chabot ($5,700) plays a lot so he's got the highest floor. He routinely flirts with 30 minutes per game and continues to get a lot of shots and block a lot of them in pretty high volumes.
Samuel Girard ($4,600) has continued to outplay Cale Makar ($5,300) lately so he's a slightly better value play, but Makar gets a lot of power-play time and also gets a lot of starts in the offensive zone.