This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
The Maple Leafs were embarrassed by the Penguins on home ice Tuesday, and they'll get a rematch in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Head coach Sheldon Keefe has given his vote of confidence to Frederik Andersen, but whether the team can bounce back probably relies more on their shaky blue line.
There are seven other games firing up, including a divisional matchup between the Blue Jackets and Flyers. Both teams are neck-and-neck in the playoff race. Notable contenders Vegas and Tampa Bay will face off in the late slate as well. With a lot to decipher, read on for tips before setting your DFS lineup tonight.
It's quite tough to bet against Andrei Vasilevskiy ($9,400), but he's starting to price himself out of feasibility with a 21-game unbeaten streak. As such, I'm fading him. The Golden Knights are hosting this game, and per Natural Stat Trick, they've posted 3.06 GF/60 at even strength since the All-Star break – the fourth-best rate in the league.
Jordan Binnington ($8,400) broke out of his slump with a 19-save shutout against the Devils on Tuesday, and he'll look to keep it rolling against a team that has produced just 2.03 GF/60 since the break. This is the Blues' first game of a back-to-back, though, so Jake Allen ($7,400) could get the nod. His value makes him formidable as well.
Carter Hart ($8,300) has been a stud since returning from injury, posting a 3-1-0 record and a .928 save percentage. The flurry of injuries to the Blue Jackets has depleted their offensive upside, making it a prime matchup for the young netminder.
MacKenzie Blackwood ($7,600) is an appealing low-cost option. He's won four straight games and allowed just four goals on 164 shots – a .976 save percentage. The Sharks have lost even more firepower than the Blue Jackets, and they've scored just 10 goals over the past four contests.
A streaky player like Patrik Laine ($8,200) can be frustrating, except when he's on. And he's on. The 21-year-old sniper has six goals, three assists and 29 shots on net over seven games. He hasn't needed the power play in that stretch, but going against the Senators' last-ranked PK in February (15.24 GA/60) will only boost his ceiling.
Nick Suzuki has been red-hot since the All-Star break with 13 points – five on the power play – over 12 games. This matchup shouldn't slow him down, as the Capitals two-headed beast in the crease has shown major vulnerability recently.
The Bryan Rust ($4,700) Show is back again. After six straight pointless affairs, Rust broke through with a three-point outing against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday. There's no reason he can't replicate the effort again, especially if Evgeni Malkin (illness) returns.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Pittsburgh Penguins (TOTAL: $18,900)
This unit is a must-play if Malkin doesn't play, but it'll be a strong asset regardless. Zucker fits like a glove on Crosby's left wing, as the former has four points since his arrival while the latter last a whopping 10 games. Toronto's defensive situation continues to be turbulent, too, as seen by allowing five goals to the Pens on Tuesday.
Florida Panthers (TOTAL: $17,600)
Barkov drives the offense, but Huberdeau and Acciari are anything but passengers. Huberdeau has a four-game point streak, and Acciari has stacked up a career-high 19 goals. Leaving them untouched in DFS with a matchup against the putrid Kings is a mistake.
Los Angeles Kings (TOTAL: $17,300)
This trio is heating up with 12 points over the last three games, and they'll carry a heavier burden with Tyler Toffoli out of the picture. Picking a Kings stack is a solid contrarian option, too, and it could pay dividends against the Panthers, who have let up a league-high 3.67 G/60 over the last two weeks.
We may have gotten bored with the Norris race, but that's just because John Carlson ($7,200) has a stranglehold on it with a career-high 70 points through 59 games. He's recorded 24 of those with the man advantage, and Montreal just traded one of its top penalty-killers in Marco Scandella.
Mikhail Sergachev ($4,400) is an inconsistent scorer, but with five points in nine February games, he's worth the price of admission. He's a fixture on the power play, too, and the Golden Knights have allowed 11.01 G/60 in February – the fourth-most in the league.
Jeff Petry ($4,300) quietly is on a career pace with 36 points through 62 games, and he carries high shot volume and a willingness to hop in front of shots. That floor makes the price tag worth it, and the ceiling is appealing against Washington's struggling crease.