This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The lead-up to the holidays can be hectic, so it's nice to, say, sit down and watch some NHL hockey on a Thursday. And, of course, to play DFS NHL for a little extra fun, and perhaps a little extra cash in your pocket. There are five NHL games on the docket. Here are my recommendations.
The slate is slim, and also lacks much in the way of truly enticing matchups. There are zero teams on the second leg of a back-to-back, and only one of the bottom-five teams in GAA is in action Thursday. Don't worry. I still have you covered.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. NAS ($8,200): Vasilevskiy is looking like his vintage self again. Over his last eight starts he has a 2.26 GAA and .924 save percentage. The Predators have scuffled offensively, on the other hand, as they have only scored 2.65 goals per contest.
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG at STL ($7,500): Hellebuyck has gotten off to a stellar start to the season, as through 19 appearances he has a 2.26 GAA and .932 save percentage. Now, the Blues started the year last in goals per game, so getting out of the bottom 10 is indicative of an offense on the rise. Even so, they have still averaged 3.04 goals and 29.8 shots on net per contest. I still like Hellebuyck in this matchup.
David Perron, DET at FLA ($5,400): Perron has racked up 12 points in his last 11 games. On the year, he's averaged a robust 4:00 per contest with the extra man and notched eight power-play points. The Panthers have a below-average penalty kill, and Spencer Knight has been quite busy. In his last nine full games (he just got pulled in his last start) he's faced at least 31 shots each and every time.
Michael Bunting, TOR vs. LOS ($3,600): Bunting has a six-game assist streak going strong. While he only has four goals this season, his 9.3 shooting percentage is well below his 14.6 average. Jonathan Quick will likely be in net for the Kings, and he has a 3.33 GAA and .888 save percentage.
FORWARD LINE STACK
Jets at Blues
The Blues have improved offensively, but defensively they remain in the muck. St. Louis has a 3.85 GAA and the league's worst penalty kill. Jordan Binnington has allowed at least four goals in five of his last six starts. Winnipeg's top line has worked well together since joining forces. This game should keep it going.
Scheifele has five goals in his last five games. He's also had at least 15 power-play points in each of his last five seasons. Wheeler is dishing out the assists while Scheifele is scoring the goals. He has nine assists in his last eight games, and he also had a hat trick against the Avalanche in that time. The rookie Perfetti doesn't get as much power-play time as his two linemates, but he hasn't needed it recently. Like his linemates he's been hot, with eight points in his last eight games.
Josh Morrissey, WPG at STL ($6,200): One of the hottest defensemen in the NHL is facing one of the worst defenses in the NHL. That's a nice combination to wander into. Morrissey has 27 points in 24 games, and that includes 10 on the power play. As I noted, the Blues are last on the penalty kill.
Rasmus Sandin, TOR vs. LOS ($3,200): When Morgan Rielly went down, Sandin stepped up. Over his last seven games he's averaged 3:40 per game with the extra man. The Kings have the 26th-ranked penalty kill, so all that time on the power play could pay off for Sandin.