FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Thursday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

There's plenty of options Thursday with an 11-game slate and certainly some interesting matchups. There are no heavy favorites among the matchups, but the Golden Knights, who are hosting Detroit, and the Blue Jackets, who are visiting Arizona, seem like the surest bets. Otherwise, expect tight matchups for most of the other games, including Devils at Panthers, Rangers at Leafs, Lightning at Flyers, Sharks at Blues, Jets at Oilers and Hurricanes at Ducks.

GOALIES

Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA vs. NJ ($8,600): Bobrovsky's strong performance this season should negate the void left by Aleksander Barkov. The Devils are coming off a three-day break after their game against the Sens was postponed, but they're 2-1-2 on the road. Barring a standout performance from Mackenzie Blackwood (or Jonathan Bernier), the Panthers should win this game.

Jacob Markstrom, CGY at BUF ($7,900): Dustin Tokarski has been excellent for the Sabres, but Markstrom has also been very good for the Flames and he gets far better support from his forwards and defensemen. It's not a matchup that happens every often, but note the Flames have won four of their past five meetings, three of which have also gone to overtime.

Elvis Merzlikins, CBJ at ARI ($7,600): The Coyotes have won two of their past five and Merzlikins' play has tailed off a little bit, but it's still a matchup the Jackets should dominate. Neither team has any elite scorers, but the Jackets lineup definitely has more upside; it's more talented and it's deeper, and that should help them pull through.

Tristan Jarry, PIT at MON ($7,500): Jarry made just 17 saves in a 2-1 loss to Buffalo, but if the Pens can dominate puck possession like they did against the Habs, the result might be in their favor. The Pens are 7-2-1 against the Habs since 2017, and they sored at least four goals in six of their seven wins. Cayden Primeau – if he starts – may be able to steal this game, but he'll also need to have a little goal support, which has been hard to come by for the Habs. 

Carter Hart, PHI vs. TB ($7,400): The Flyers have alternated wins and losses since Oct. 28, but one thing that has remained constant has been Hart's excellent goaltending. It should be a duel between Hart and Andrei Vasilevskiy, and if the margin of defeat is small, then going with the underdog could pay off.

John Gibson, ANA vs. CAR ($7,200): Gibson will be a popular pick, both as a value play and a potential upset. The Ducks have defied all expectations and Gibson has been a big reason for their success. They'll be going for their ninth straight win, while the Canes have stumbled a little bit with two losses in their past five games. It's a matchup that might be closer than anyone thinks.

Jake Oettinger, DAL at MIN ($6,500): There's definitely a good chance for an upset here. Cam Talbot has allowed at least three goals in five of his past six games, and Oettinger looked solid in his season debut against Detroit. The Stars' biggest problem – scoring goals – has become an afterthought with 10 goals in their past two games, and they rank eighth in goals per game in November.

VALUE PLAYS

Anton Lundell, FLA vs. NJ ($5,300): Sam Bennett moves to center with Barkov injured, but Lundell remains their best matchup center. The Panthers still have more depth down the middle than the Devils, and expect Lundell's ice time to probably increase from his current average of 16:15 per game.

Chandler Stephenson, VGK vs. DET ($5,100): If Dylan Larkin is not available, the Knights will have a big advantage at center. Stephenson has three helpers in his past two games and will play on the top line with Mark Stone and Evgenii Dadonov, the team's two best finishers right now. Adam Brooks, recently claimed off waivers, may dress but it's unlikely he'll be eating up a lot of Stephenson's minutes.

Alexander Barabanov, SJ at STL ($3,900): Barbanov has three points in his past four games and will skate on the second line with Tomas Hertl. However, despite scoring seven points in 10 games and showing very well on a top-six role, note Barabanov has also scored two goals on just three shots.

LINE STACKS

Penguins at Canadiens

Sidney Crosby (C - $7,700), Jake Guentzel (W - $7,200), Bryan Rust (W - $6,100)

Guentzel's a good play on his own with his three-game point streak, and Crosby has been historically very good against the Habs, scoring 52 points in 40 games. All three players feature prominently on the Pens' power play, which will face the Habs' 29th-ranked PK.

Blue Jackets at Coyotes

Cole Sillinger (C - $4,500), Yegor Chinakhov (W - $3,400), Jakub Voracek (W - $4,400)

Voracek's working on a six-game point streak, Sillinger has six points in his past five games and Chinakhov just scored his first goal last game. The trio have clicked the moment the Jackets put them together and they get a (presumably) easy matchup against the Coyotes. This line continues to be a great value stack.

Oilers vs. Jets

Connor McDavid (C - $9,700), Zach Hyman (W - $6,900), Jesse Puljujarvi (W - $5,500)

Hyman and Puljujarvi haven't found the scoresheet lately and it's easy to pass on this stack because the Jets have dominated the Oilers in their past few meetings. However, the Oilers are at home where Dave Tippett gets last change, and at the very worst, you still get McDavid in your entry, who is as close to a guarantee as they come.

DEFENSEMEN

Alex Pietrangelo, VGK vs. DET ($6,700): With Alec Martinez on injured reserve and Shea Theodore potentially unavailable due to injury, look for Pietrangelo to log a ton of minutes in all situations. Special teams has not been Detroit's strong suit all season.

Shayne Gostisbehere, ARI vs. CBJ ($5,000): Should the Jackets' goaltending continue to struggle, Gostisbehere is in prime position to capitalize. He's been excellent in the desert, scoring 13 points on the season, including eight at even strength and ranks second behind Jakub Chychrun in shots among Coyotes defensemen.

Scott Perunovich, STL vs. SJ ($3,500): On a night with so many options on defense, you'll have to dig deep to find a good value play. The highly-touted Perunovich, who scored 20 points in 12 games in the AHL before getting called up, skated 18 minutes in his NHL debut, including 2:59 on the power play, though he finished with just one shot.

Mattias Norlinder, MON vs. PIT ($3,500): Norlinder was a third-round pick in 2019 and will make his NHL debut. Where he plays in the lineup remains to be seen; he's a defenseman who can skate and move the puck, though he's not really known for scoring. The Habs have had trouble all season moving the puck up the ice, and Norlinder may end up playing a key role in their transition game.

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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