This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Just four games are on the docket Wednesday with two contests firing up at 7 p.m. EST. The Rangers played last night, and both the Bruins and the Stars play Thursday night. None of the games have higher than a 6.0 O/U, so there's not quite a clear chalk. Even though the Stars are projected as underdogs, I'll lean heavily on them against the Golden Knights, who haven't found consistency in the blue paint yet. Furthermore, the Rangers and some deeper options with the Bruins found the list tonight.
All advanced statistics are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.
Jeremy Swayman, BOS at VAN ($8,400): Linus Ullmark is coming off an illness, so Swayman should get the start, but check back before game time to be sure. Swayman has been inconsistent this season, but overall he has been solid with a .918 save percentage and a 7-4-1 record. Even with the coaching change, the Canucks aren't fully back on track. They rank 18th in the league with 2.41 xGF/60 at even strength over the past month.
Alexandar Georgiev, NYR vs. COL ($7,700): Georgiev is the guy in net for now because Igor Shesterkin (lower body) is out of the lineup. The 25-year-old is in a bit of a slump with an .876 save percentage this season, but we should expect him to improve after putting together four straight solid campaigns. He's a sleeper tonight with the Avalanche coming in at 23rd over the last month with 2.25 xGF/60.
Mackenzie Blackwood, NJD vs. PHI ($7,100): Blackwood has been simply mediocre this season, but his home numbers are outstanding, as he has recorded a .930 save percentage and a 2.12 GAA through six games. Meanwhile, the Flyers simply haven't generated offense lately with 1.46 GF/60 at even strength since the start of November.
Sean Couturier, PHI at NJ (C - $6,600): Couturier has scored five goals on 67 shots this season (7.5 percent). Over the past two seasons, he scored no 13.1 percent of his shots, so we should expect him to start scoring more soon. He provides a good opportunity to hedge against Blackwood, as the Devils rank 24th in the league with a 3.26 GAA.
Chandler Stephenson, (C - $5,500): Stephenson's evolution from a fourth-liner in Washington to a first-liner in Vegas was marvelous, and he is showing it's no fluke with 22 points (nine goals) through 24 games. He should be a contrarian option as an underrated player, especially with a seemingly tough matchup against the Stars. But the Stars rank 17th in the league with an 80.9 penalty-kill percentage, and Stephenson's spot on PP1 helps fuel his potential.
Craig Smith, BOS at VAN (W - $4,200): Smith has piled up two goals and four assists over the last eight games, including two power-play helpers. In that span, he averaged three shots per game. His playing time is steady on the second line, and he'll look to take advantage of Vancouver's shaky defense and goaltending situation that ranks 20th with 3.04 GAA.
Nico Hischier, NJ vs. PHI (C - $4,400): Hischier has been only mediocre this season with 14 points through 23 games, but he's still skating on the top line and PP1. The opportunity tonight is massive, as the Flyers' goaltending is in flux. Carter Hart has an .841 save percentage and a 5.22 GAA over his past four starts while Martin Jones maintained .892 and 4.41 marks over the last five contests.
Hintz fully broke out last year and has kept up the pace this year, recording 11 goals on 61 shots (18.0 percent) and five assists through 18 games. Robertson and Pavelski have combined for 37 points this season as well. The trio tends to fly under the radar with Dallas, but they'll have high upside tonight with a matchup against the Golden Knights, who uncharacteristically rank 20th in the league with a 3.04 GAA.
Kakko has been just mediocre this season, but he can ride the coattails of Zibanejad – who has 18 points through 23 games and Kreider – who ranks fourth in the league with 17 goals. The trio is a bit overshadowed by Artemi Panarin's line, making them a strong fit for tournament formats. With a matchup against Colorado's 25th-ranked PK (75.8 percent) and Darcy Kumper's .897 road save percentage, this unit has an elite ceiling.
Charlie McAvoy, BOS at VAN ($6,700): McAvoy has generated 14 points – eight with the man advantage – through 20 games this season while averaging 24:09 of ice time. He's coming off an illness but should be ready to rock tonight. Look for him to convert on the power play, as the Canucks rank last in the league with a 65.5 penalty-kill percentage.
Quinn Hughes, VAN vs. BOS ($6,300): The Canucks looked quite good Monday night in their 4-0 win over the Kings. Who knows if they were simply due or if new coach Bruce Boudreau actually made a difference? If it's the latter, Hughes could start clicking at an even higher rate soon. Through 25 games, he has recorded 20 points – nine with the man advantage– and 54 shots on net.
Devon Toews, COL at NYR ($5,600): Toews has posted a point in 10 of the past 12 games, totaling 15 points in that stretch with four on the power play. He comes far cheaper than Cale Makar ($7,100) but has similar potential, especially against the Rangers' 15th-ranked PK (82.4 percent).
John Klingberg, DAL at VGK ($4,400):
Klingberg used to command a similar salary to blue-line mate Miro Heiskanen ($6,200), but he has endured a slow start to the year with seven assists and no goals through 17 games. However, he's still averaging 21:34 of ice time per game while skating on the top power-play unit. Klingberg doesn't maintain much of a floor, but there's probably not a player in this range with a higher ceiling.