This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
This schedule is madness. After just two games on Wednesday, there are 20 teams in action Thursday. Let's run through some of the interesting matchups quickly with some help from FanDuel Sportsbook:
Oilers at Canadiens (7 p.m. EST): The Habs, who are 2-0 in back-to-backs so far this season, will probably start Jake Allen after Carey Price faced the Leafs on Wednesday. This is a big test for Allen, who has outplayed Price so far and — dare we say it? — might be challenging for the No. 1 job.
Penguins at Islanders (7 p.m.): Not only is this rivalry underrated, it's also the first game under the Ron Hextall-Brian Burke regime. The line is tight (-106 for Pens, -110 for Isles) and they've averaged 7.5 goals per game in their past four regular-season matches (O/U is 5.5).
Lightning at Panthers (7 p.m.): The Panthers are finally facing an opponent that's unquestionably good. They've beaten Tampa just once in their last 10 meetings. The Lightning (-176) are the clear favorites for good reason.
Blue Jackets at Blackhawks (7 p.m.): The spread is tight (-106 vs. -110 in the Jackets' favor), but are we sure the Hawks aren't… kind of good? Kevin Lankinen is 5-1-3 with a .933 Sv% and the Hawks are 6-1-3 in their last 10.
Flames at Canucks (10 p.m.): It's almost panic-mode time in Vancouver. Another bad showing — they were just swept by Toronto — could mean drastic changes for what was one of the league's best up-and-coming teams. The Canucks have allowed 5.20 GA/GP in February and lost to Calgary twice in January.
(All fancy stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick...)
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB at FLA ($8,700): Vasilevskiy doesn't have the highest salary among goalies tonight so that's already a win. Statistically, analytically… really, any way you slice it, he's been the best goalie in the league. The Panthers have had a fun run, but perhaps it's time they came back down to earth. They're 23rd in 5v5 xGF/60 and 15th in 5v5 CF/60.
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. OTT ($7,900): This is a good matchup for the Jets even though the Sens played what was probably their best game in a 3-2 loss to Edmonton. Hellebuyck has never lost to the Sens in his career, sporting a 6-0 record with a 2.17 GAA.
Jacob Markstrom, CGY at VAN ($7,600): It's been a revenge tour for ex-Canucks (just ask Tyler Toffoli) with Markstrom getting in on the action, making 57 saves on 59 shots (.966 Sv%) in two games against them in January. The Canucks look better against the Leafs but couldn't generate many goals, and they'll face a similar challenge with ex-Canuck Chris Tanev and Noah Hanifin playing so well, allowing the fourth-lowest 5v5 CA/60 among pairs who have played at least 100 minutes.
Juuse Saros, NSH vs. DET ($7,100): Pekka Rinne might draw the start because he's been the better goalie, but regardless of who's in net, even the struggling Predators should be able to beat the Red Wings. Awful special teams, especially having the league's worst PK, is really hurting the Preds, but the good news is the Wings' special teams might be even worse. Interesting that the Detroit goalies are $100 more in salary, but huge underdogs (+168) in Sportsbook.
Oliver Wahlstrom, NYI vs. PIT ($3,000): Wahlstrom was moved to the taxi squad on Tuesday, probably for cap reasons because the Isles are up against the upper limit, and should dress for this game. Wahlstrom had four shots in just nine minutes last game, and in what has historically been a fairly high-scoring series, also possesses plenty of upside while playing on PP2.
Cody Glass, VGK vs. ANH ($3,000): Glass is their center of the future and certainly playing like one with six points in six games on the season. There's no real reason why Vegas shouldn't play him every game, and he gets to center PP1.
Filip Zadina, DET at NSH ($3,200): Zadina's one of the few Wings who have some offensive talent, and it's not like they can lean on any other line but his. He has two points in his past three games and will play with Dylan Larkin on the top line. The Preds are allowing 3.54 GA/GP, 26th in the league.
Kevin Stenlund, CBJ at CHI ($3,200): Alexandre Texier gets moved all over the lineup so Stenlund is your No. 2 center right now. He's played just three games but also recorded a point in every single one of them. It's anyone's guess how playing time will be dispersed under head coach John Tortorella, but for now Stenlund is a strong value play on the second line and PP2.
Joel Kiviranta, DAL vs. CAR ($3,500): Health has limited Kiviranta to just two games this season, but after nearly missing a month of games, he's back on the top line. Expected starter James Reimer was on a roll earlier this season, but since taking over for the injured Petr Mrazek has not been very sharp, allowing 10 goals in his past two games.
Pius Suter, CHI vs. CBJ ($3,700): Suter's been generally good, but still goes through his ups and downs. Right now, his play is on the upswing with four points in five games and back in his old spot centering the top line with Patrick Kane at his side. The Jackets have been uncharacteristic lately, allowing 4.25 GA/GP in February, no thanks to poor goaltending.
Chandler Stephenson, VGK vs. ANH ($3,800): He's finding his offensive groove with three goals in his past two games and nine shots in his past four games after scoring just one goal through the first eight games of the season. The Knights are 13-2-0 all-time with an average of 3.80 GF/GP against the Ducks.
Jack Roslovic, CBJ at CHI ($4,300): Can we safely say he's the new top center now? Roslovic is on a five-game point streak and gets the luxury of playing with two of the Jackets' best shooters in and also plays PP1.
Lightning at Panthers
This line might get overlooked because the Panthers are winning games, but it's a very strong stack with all three forwards playing on PP1 as well. Palat's lower salary makes this stack less cumbersome for filling out the rest of your roster.
Blue Jackets at Blackhawks
I think Laine is worth it because he's their best shooter and they feed him pucks constantly, and Roslovic is on a hot streak. The key is Atkinson, who is starting to turn the corner after a slow start and has scored twice in his past three games.
Jets vs. Senators
This line combined for five points and based on CF% has been one of the Jets' best lines. Ehlers has arguably been their MVP and Copp has been quite the complimentary piece in the top-six. This is a very good value stack against a bad team.
Golden Knights vs. Ducks
This could be a very poplar line stack because Stephenson's salary keeps the cost low while Vegas' offense pretty much runs through Stone and Pacioretty, who lead the team in assists and goals, respectively, and feature prominently on PP1.
Brent Burns, SJ at LA ($6,400): He's been quite productive even though the Sharks aren't very good, recording seven shots against the Kings in his last game and scoring three points in his past three games. The Kings allow the fourth-most shots per game (32.9), so there's an opportunity to pile up the shots.
Quinn Hughes, VAN vs. CGY ($5,800): The Canucks PP is the only thing that's really working right now, and that starts with Hughes, who leads the team in points with 17. He's also been shooting the puck a ton, and since plus-minus doesn't factor into FanDuel, Hughes is a strong value play relative to his talent.
Neal Pionk, WPG vs. OTT ($4,700): Winnipeg's workhorse is on a four-game assist streak and has nine helpers on the season. Pionk leads all Jets defensemen in 5v5 CF%, 5v5 xGF% and trails only Josh Morrissey in xGF.
Alec Martinez, VGK vs. ANH ($4,100): Under the assumption that Shea Theodore is not available (left Tuesday's game) and that Alex Pietrangelo (COVID) is questionable, Martinez is next in line to quarterback the PP. Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan have big shots, but Martinez plays a ton of minutes and offers up a lot of upside in blocked shots, too.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph, PIT at NYI ($3,800): I thought Joseph's minutes might get cut with Kris Letang and Mike Matheson back in the lineup, but, nope, he finished with 22:04 on Saturday against the Isles. Joseph's emergence should be watched closely, and he's not playing on the top pair just to be carried by Letang. Joseph has four points in three games since getting moved up the depth chart.
Kale Clague, LA vs. SJ ($3,600): Assuming Drew Doughty is out, Clague will probably move up to PP1. He's played at least 20 minutes in three of his past four games on a banged-up blueline, and has recorded either a shot or a blocked shot in all but one game this season.