DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

DraftKings NHL: Thursday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

Thursday's NHL slate begins at 7:00 p.m. EST and features 10 games. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.


There's no shortage of options to choose from here, but the teams that stand out are Winnipeg (vs. Ottawa), Nashville (vs. Detroit) and Vegas (vs. Anaheim). Those are the three heaviest favorites, and the Senators-Jets game is also tied for this slate's highest over/under at 6.5 goals with a pair of other North Division matchups in Edmonton-Montreal and Calgary-Vancouver.


Juuse Saros, NSH vs. DET ($8,200): Saros has been shaky to start the season, with a 3.68 GAA and .881 save percentage, but a matchup with a Red Wings team that's allowing 3.29 goals per game while scoring a league-low 1.93 should help mask a lot of his shortcomings. Considering Saros has a 2.63 GAA and .916 save percentage for his career, it should be only a matter of time until he turns things around, and this game offers the perfect opportunity to jumpstart that turnaround.

Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. PIT ($7,800): Coach Barry Trotz is a master at orchestrating low-event hockey, which isn't much fun for viewers but is plenty of fun for goalies, as Varlamov's 5-2-1 with a 1.88 GAA and .932 save percentage behind the stingy New York defense. That strong start already includes a trio of shutouts, so Varlamov has tremendous upside relative to his $7,800 valuation.

Kevin Lankinen, CHI vs. CLS ($7,700): We keep waiting for Lankinen to turn back into a pumpkin, but the rookie appears to be the real deal in net for Chicago. He's 5-1-3 with a 2.17 GAA and .933 save percentage heading into this matchup with a low-scoring Blue Jackets team that's averaging only 2.71 goals per game.

James Reimer, CAR at DAL ($7,800): Reimer's holding down the fort in Petr Mrazek's (thumb) absence, with a 5-1-0 record despite subpar rate stats. He'll take on a Dallas offense that got off to a blistering start but has slowed down considerably lately. The Stars have won only one of their last six games and were limited to a single goal three times in that stretch.


Chandler Stephenson, VGK vs. ANH ($4,300): Stephenson has a 3-1-4 line in his last two games, including a goal and an assist in Tuesday's win over the Ducks. The most affordable member of Vegas' top line should continue to provide good value in this rematch.

Dustin Brown, LA vs. SJ ($4,500): Brown had two goals and an assist when these teams met Tuesday, bringing his season line to 6-5-11 through 12 games, including five power-play goals. The rugged veteran should continue to outperform his modest valuation against a Sharks team that's allowing 3.55 goals per game.

Logan Couture, SJ at LA ($6,000): Couture has been by far the best player on the Sharks, leading the team in goals (six) and points (10) through 11 games, while remarkably sporting a plus-1 rating on a team with a minus-11 goal differential. The veteran pivot has lit the lamp in four of his last five games, and Couture just posted a goal, an assist and a season-high six shots in Tuesday's 4-3 shootout win over Los Angeles.

Jordan Eberle, NYI vs. PIT ($5,100): Between poor goaltending and injuries on the blue line, the Penguins have been among the league's worst defensive teams, allowing 3.73 goals per game — third-most in the league. Eberle took full advantage of Pittsburgh's struggles with two goals in these teams' last meeting last Saturday, and the top-line winger is in a nice groove at the moment, with three goals on 15 shots over his last four games.

Patrik Laine, CLS at CHI ($7,100): Laine has made an instant impact with his new team, potting three goals through four games with Columbus to give him a 5-1-6 line in five games overall this season. His shooting ability is as good as it gets, and Laine should find plenty of room to fire off a few lasers against a Blackhawks team that's allowing 34.0 shots per game — second-most after the Canucks (34.7). The skilled winger should be even more motivated to perform after being benched for the final 26 minutes of Columbus' last game after mouthing off to an assistant coach.


Jets vs. Senators

Mark Scheifele (C - $6,400), Nikolaj Ehlers (W - $6,400), Andrew Copp (W - $5,300)

This top-line trio has led the way for the Jets this season, and all three of these guys should continue to find success against a Senators team that's allowing a league-high 4.14 goals per game while bringing up the rear in the league standings at 2-11-1. Scheifele has a 5-10-15 line through 12 games to lead the Jets in points. Ehlers is second with 14 points, including a team-high eight goals. Copp's tied with Kyle Connor for third on the team with 12 points, all of which have come in the past 10 games.

Flames at Canucks

Sean Monahan (C - $5,100), Johnny Gaudreau (W - $6,100), Sam Bennett (W - $2,700)

Vancouver has been atrocious defensively, allowing the second-most goals (3.94) and the most shots (34.7) per game. Things aren't getting any better for the Canucks, who have lost each of their last five games in regulation while getting outscored 26-10 over that stretch. Calgary has gotten roughly equal production from each of its top two lines, but this second line is easier to fit under the salary cap while still leaving room for other top options. Monahan and Gaudreau have both bounced back from down years in 2019-20 and regained their form from 2018-19, when Monahan posted a 34-48-82 line and Gaudreau had a 36-63-99 line. The center currently sits at 2-7-9 through 12 games while Johnny Hockey has a 7-6-13 line, leading the Flames in goals and tied with Elias Lindholm for the team points lead. Bennett has asked for a trade and is doing his best to up his value in the meantime. Both of the 2014 fourth-overall pick's points have come in the last six games and he has 11 shots over the last five.

Predators vs. Red Wings

Colton Sissons (C - $2,600) Filip Forsberg (W - $6,700), Viktor Arvidsson (W - $5,500)

Forsberg has been by far the best offensive player for the Predators, as his six goals and 11 points through 13 games are at least three goals and four points more than any other player on the team. Arvidsson's tied with Mikael Granlund for second on the team with seven points, while Sissons is getting an opportunity to fill in on the top line with Ryan Johansen (upper body) on IR, making Sissons an intriguing short-term value option. This top line figures to find success against a Red Wings team that's ahead of only Ottawa in the standings after bringing up the rear last season and hasn't finished better than sixth-worst since the 2015-16 season.


Mikhail Sergachev, TB at FLA ($4,900): Sergachev's surging offensively, having dished out eight assists in his last six games. He'll look to continue his success in Florida against a Panthers team that allowed Sergachev to score four points in four meetings last season, which is the most points he had against any opponent in 2019-20.

Darnell Nurse, EDM at MON ($5,600): Nurse is in the midst of a prolonged hot streak, having scored a goal in four of his last five games while playing at a point-per-game pace over his last nine. He also has 15 shots over his last four games while frequently sharing the ice with Edmonton's elite top two lines, and a Montreal team that's playing its second game in as many nights will have a hard time mustering the energy to slow Nurse down.

Neal Pionk, WPG vs. OTT ($4,400): Pionk has frequently gotten into the point column this season, dishing out nine helpers through 12 games, including one in each of the past four. The offensive-minded blueliner has an excellent opportunity to stretch his point streak to five games against the lowly Senators.

Dante Fabbro, NSH vs. DET ($3,800): Fabbro flies under the radar on a Nashville blue line full of big names, but the 2016 first-round pick is quietly turning into a solid contributor. He has put multiple pucks on net in nine of the last 10 games and has a power-play goal on eight shots in the last two. Fabbro's valuation should start to climb once he begins to get rewarded more consistently for his efforts, making this a good time to buy low on the talented defenseman.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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