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. EDT and features no shortage of selection, with 10 games on tap. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.


There's no shortage of options for lineup construction available, with enticing choices in favorable matchups available among both goalies and skaters. The Hurricanes (vs. Detroit) and Bruins (vs. Buffalo) are both massive favorites, and the Maple Leafs (vs. Vancouver) aren't far behind. Toronto's game and Flames-Oilers both have higher over/unders at 6.0 goals, but Flyers-Devils and Panthers-Blackhawks are tied for this slate's highest line at 6.5 goals.


Jeremy Swayman, BOS vs. BUF ($8,500): Whether it's Swayman or Tuukka Rask ($8,500) that gets the nod, Boston's netminder of choice should be a strong choice against Buffalo's 28th-ranked offense (2.38 goals per game). Swayman has been particularly impressive, with a 5-2-0 record, 1.56 GAA and .946 save percentage in his young career.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. DAL ($8,200): Vasilevskiy has looked mortal lately, allowing three-plus goals in six of his last nine starts, but a date with a Stars team that he has dominated this season should help the star goalie get back on track. He's 4-1-0 against Dallas this season, with a 1.58 GAA, .940 save percentage and two shutouts.

Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR vs. DET ($8,200): Nedeljkovic has been the most impressive of Carolina's goalies, but he, $8,400 alternative Petr Mrazek (lower body) or James Reimer ($8,400) are all capable of shutting down the 30th-ranked a Detroit offense (2.24 goals per game). The Red Wings haven't been very threatening lately, with one goal over their last two games and no more than two goals in five of their last six.

Jacob Markstrom, CGY at EDM ($7,400): If you'd rather go the affordable route in net, Markstrom's your man. He has allowed just 14 goals in his last eight starts, holding seven of those opponents to two or fewer goals and shutting out the Oilers in their only meeting during that stretch.


Auston Matthews, TOR vs. VAN ($9,200): Matthews scored his league-leading 35th goal Tuesday and has put 30 pucks on net in his last five games, mustering at least five shots in each. The sky's the limit for him against a Canucks team that's also playing its second game in as many nights and is giving up 3.19 goals per game. Matthews is an expensive building block, but having him as the cornerstone of your lineup is likely to pay off.

Sebastian Aho, CAR vs. DET ($6,600): Aho has been excellent all season (21-28-49 in 49 games), but he's stepped it up a notch with a 3-6-9 line in his last five games. Stacking Hurricanes is less of a slam dunk than it appears against a Red Wings team that's actually been decent at limiting opposing goals (though still not good at limiting chances) recently, but Aho's a strong option regardless of whether you use him alone or in tandem with teammates.

Pavel Zacha, NJ vs. PHI ($4,300): Zacha has racked up a 2-1-3 line in the past two games against the Flyers to pull into the Devils' team lead with a 12-16-28 line in 43 games. The Flyers have leapfrogged the Senators and are now allowing the most goals per game in the league (3.53), so Zacha should continue to produce in this favorable matchup.

Alex Barre-Boulet, TB vs. DAL ($3,400): Barre-Boulet's skating on the top line and No. 1 power-play unit alongside Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat, and the rookie has scored a goal on six shots in each of his last two games. There's a lot to like about him at just $3,400.

Anthony Beauvillier, NYI at NYR ($3,700): Beauvillier's nothing special against the rest of the league but turns into a superstar whenever the Islanders face their crosstown rivals. His four-point outing in his last meeting with the Rangers gave Beauvillier a 10-10-20 line in 19 games against New York. The Rangers are the only team against which Beauvillier has performed at a point-per-game pace or better, and he averages just .45 points per game overall in his career.


Panthers at Blackhawks

Sam Bennett, (C - $4,100), Jonathan Huberdeau (W - $5,900), Grigori Denisenko (C - $2,500)

Florida's second line offers a nice mix of upside and value against a Blackhawks team that's allowed 19 goals in its last four games. There's been no stopping Bennett since he donned a Panthers sweater, as he owns a 4-6-10 line in seven games since arriving from Calgary via trade. Huberdeau leads the Panthers in points with an 18-39-57 line in 51 games, including a 3-8-11 output over the past five. The affordable Denisenko's filling in for Patric Hornqvist (upper body) and has some sleeper appeal given all the talent around him.

Flyers at Devils

Sean Couturier (C - $6,700), Claude Giroux (W - $5,700), Jakub Voracek (W - $5,400)

Philadelphia's top line has been effective in the last two games against a Devils team that's allowed 52 goals in its last 11, and the same should be true in the third consecutive meeting between these East Division foes. Giroux has potted three goals on nine shots in these last two games, bringing his season line to 14-22-36 in 47 games and giving him 18 shots in the last four contests. Couturier has a four-game point streak rolling and a 14-21-35 line in just 38 appearances overall. Voracek's also on a four-game point streak and owns a 9-29-38 line in 46 games.

Bruins vs. Sabres

David Krejci (C - $4,400), Taylor Hall (W - $5,800), Craig Smith (W - $4,200)

Secondary scoring behind the Perfection line has been hard to come by for the Bruins, but acquiring Hall at the trade deadline has helped Boston form a quality second line. Hall has a 4-3-7 line in nine games with Boston, and he's put at least four pucks on net in four of the last five games. Having Hall on his wing has sparked Krejci's offense, as the veteran center has a 5-4-9 line in the nine games with Hall in the lineup. Smith has slumped into a five-game point drought following a stretch of 11 points in eight games, but he appears to be on the verge of breaking out, with at least four shots on goal in two of the last three games.


Ty Smith, NJ vs. PHI ($3,200): Smith was excellent Tuesday in his return from a lower-body injury, dishing two assists in New Jersey's 6-4 win over the Flyers. That performance raised the rookie's point total to 23 in 45 games, and Smith's primed to contribute more offense in Thursday's rematch.

Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. DET ($6,900): Hamilton ranks in the top seven among defensemen in both goals (eight) and points (39) while leading all blueliners in shots with 160. He has a 2-5-7 line in seven games against the Red Wings, and Hamilton's shoot-first mentality gives him a high floor in a game that will likely take place primarily in Detroit's zone.

Tyler Myers, VAN at TOR ($4,300): Myers has played well for the Canucks since their season resumed, racking up a 1-3-4 line to go with 17 shots and 15 blocks in six games. That production includes three shots and five blocks in each of two games against Toronto, as well as an assist in one of those wins over the Maple Leafs.

Dmitry Orlov, WAS vs. PIT ($3,700): Orlov has found his offensive game recently, getting on the scoresheet in six of his last eight games and putting three-plus pucks on net in three of the past five. The Russian blueliner will look to stay hot in this high-profile battle with the rival Penguins.

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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