FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.


It's a busy Thursday with 10 games on the slate. Here's the rundown on some key matchups:

Rangers at Devils (7 p.m. EST): This should be an interesting match for years to come because both teams are laden with elite talent. Other than the Rangers having one of the best PK in the league, the two teams are within two spots of each other in PP% and GF/GP, and  just 0.24 apart in GA/GP. The Devils have won both matchups so far this season, mostly thanks to Mackenzie Blackwood, who made 84 total saves.

Flyers at Penguins (7 p.m.): Tristan Jarry has won five of his past six games, which is a big reason for the Pens' turnaround, while the Flyers remain maddeningly inconsistent. It's worth noting the Pens have lost just once at home; in the past five matchups between these two teams, the home team has always emerged victorious.

Jets at Canadiens (7 p.m.): The Jets have been victorious in both games this season, the most recent win thanks to Connor Hellebuyck's 40 saves. The Habs' goaltending hasn't been nearly as good, but expect Carey Price to start again after winning his last game, and a new goalie coach might have a significant positive impact. The Jets will likely go with the same lineup, meaning Paul Stastny is the top left winger while Pierre-Luc Dubois centers Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor.

Lightning at Blackhawks (8 p.m.): If the Hawks can hold onto the fourth spot, this is a preview of a potential first-round playoff matchup. The Lightning remain a juggernaut; they've won five straight and Andrei Vasilevskiy continues to make a strong case for MVP with three straight shutouts and a microscopic 1.65 GAA. The Lightning have won both of their previous meetings by a combined score of 10-3, but that was in early January before Kevin Lankinen had claimed the starting job.


Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB at CHI ($8,800): The Hawks might be a tougher opponent than the Stars, whom Vasilevskiy just shut out twice, but the Lightning are in a class of their own. They defend very well in their own zone, and have the 10th-best 5v5 CA/60, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. BUF ($8,600): Varlamov's workload has been a lot heavier (17 of 22 games) than expected, but it's been well-earned; his current .927 Sv% ties a career best and he's won three of his past four games, the losing only in overtime. The Sabres are having an awful time scoring goals, and note the Isles have not lost in regulation on home ice all season.

Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR vs. DET ($7,800): Based on the rotation, Nedeljkovic will likely be the starter, but either him or James Reimer will be good choices against the Wings, who are last with a .340 P%. Only three players in the Wings' projected lineup have scored at least 10 points: Bobby Ryan, Anthony Mantha and Filip Hronek.

Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA at NSH ($7,800): Everyone's talking about the Panthers goal support, but here's the most interesting part – the Panthers rank second in the league in 5v5 CA/60, according to Natural Stat Trick. His numbers aren't that much better than last year's, but he's played well over the past three games with a .929 Sv%.


Jordan Staal, CAR vs. DET ($4,500): Odds are, if the Canes are blowing out the Wings, head coach Rod Brind'Amour is going to spread out his ice time with Staal possibly playing a bit more to protect the lead. Staal has produced like a top center this season with 17 points.

Alexis Lafreniere, NYR at NJ ($3,700): It's starting to turn around for the former first pick, scoring four points in his past five games. His shooting percentage was unsustainably low, and the pucks are going in even though Lafreniere is not increasing his shot volume.

Oliver Wahlstrom, NYI vs. BUF ($3,700): With Anthony Beauvillier struggling with just one goal, Wahlstrom has provided some much-needed offensive depth. He gets a chance to extend his scoring streak to five games, which was coincidentally kickstarted with an assist on Feb. 22 against the Sabres. His ice time remains limited, but the talented finisher doesn't seem to need many opportunities to capitalize.


Islanders vs. Sabres

Mathew Barzal (C - $6,700), Anders Lee (W - $7,100), Jordan Eberle (W - $6,000)

Lee has made minced meat of the Sabres this season, scoring four goals in three games. Barzal and Eberle have an assist each against them, but this line has been crushing their opponents all season with a 57.14 CF% and average over one scoring chance per minute at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Jets at Canadiens

Mark Scheifele (C - $8,200), Blake Wheeler (W - $7,100), Paul Stastny (W - $5,400)

This line clicked when Stastny was bumped up, and in 22:34 of 5v5 TOI, they have out-chanced their opponents by a 2:1 margin and 87.74 CF/60. The Habs are excellent at even strength, but goaltending is still a concern at the moment and they have yet to face the Jets' new top line.

Blue Jackets at Stars

Jack Roslovic (C - $4,900), Patrik Laine (W - $7,400), Cam Atkinson (W - $6,700)

Atkinson alone is an ideal value play, having scored three goals in his past five games. He had a quiet start to the season but he's been an excellent high-volume finisher, and Roslovic just snapped an eight-game goal drought. The main concern is Laine, but he has feasted on the Stars in his career, scoring 19 goals in 19 games.


Kris Letang, PIT vs. PHI ($5,900): He's been phenomenal with eight of his 15 points on the season scored over his past six games. Up until the last game, it didn't look very pretty for the Penguins, but historically, Letang has been very good against the Flyers, scoring 37 points with a plus-24 rating in 51 games.

Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. DET ($5,200): You hate to pick on Detroit, but it's just too easy. Hamilton's on a three-game assist streak with 10 shots in that span. The Canes' transition offense and Hamilton's ability to move the puck should spell trouble for a team with multiple key players injured and mediocre goaltending.

Rasmus Andersson, CGY vs. OTT ($4,300): The Flames are in shambles right now but it's still a matchup that favors them. Andersson's the top PP QB and the Sens have taken 100 penalties this season, second-most in the league. He has an assist and five shots in his past three games.

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.
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Jason Chen
Jason won the 2021 FSWA Hockey Writer of the Year award, and was also a finalist on 2019. He joined RotoWire in 2013. Jason has also written for Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, The Hockey News, The Hockey Hall of Fame's Legends Magazine, and Centre Ice Magazine.
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