It's a great time to be a New York sports fan. That's because the Islanders and Rangers are playing Thursday, of course — what other reason could there be? There are nine NHL games Thursday, and here are some of the best options available for your daily fantasy lineup…
Ottawa Senators, OTT vs. NJD ($15,700): The Devils have scored 4.17 goals per game this season, but they've only managed 29.5 shots on net per contest. New Jersey also averaged 2.20 goals per game last year, so it's unlikely its offense is going to improve that much. Craig Anderson has a .926 save percentage so far this season.
John Tavares, NYI at NYR ($13,900): Tavares has 18 shots on goal in six games, so he clearly has still been involved offensively despite a lack of scoring. After having the worst season of his career (2.74 GAA, .910 save percentage), Henrik Lundqvist has been even worse this season (3.23 GAA, .902 save percentage). There may be no reason to worry about Tavares, but King Henrik's time seems to have passed.
Victor Rask, CAR at CGY ($10,200): Last season, Rask put 186 shots on goal, and he started 58.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, the fourth most of any regular Carolina forward. He also has double-digit power-play points in all three seasons of his career. Calgary's netminder Mike Smith has a career .913 save percentage, and the Flames have allowed 36.3 shots on goal per tilt this season.
Cam Atkinson, CLM vs. TAM ($13,200): Last year was a huge breakout for Atkinson. He posted 35 goals, 27 assists, 240 shots on goal and 21 power-play points. Those were all career highs, and this year he's playing even more (18:55 as opposed to 18:05). He already has three goals and 21 shots on net in six games. Tampa Bay has allowed 34.9 shots on net per game this year.
Alexander Radulov, DAL at ARI ($12,900): The Stars already have Radulov on their top line, and he's started 56.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone (third most of any Dallas forward). The Coyotes have allowed a league-high 4.47 goals per game this year, and last year they were only marginally better (3.15 goals per game). These two teams just squared off, and Radulov notched a goal while putting five shots on net. It wouldn't be surprising to see him do that again.
Rick Nash, NYR vs. NYI ($10,300): Sure, Nash isn't the player he used to be, and he's often hurt, but it would be foolish to write him off. He's already put 29 shots on net in seven games, which is a significant number. The fact that he's started a whopping 69.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone certainly helps. The Islanders allowed 2.90 goals per contest last year, so if Nash remains as active offensively, it wouldn't be surprising to see him light the lamp.
Torey Krug, BOS vs. VAN ($11,000): Krug has put at least 205 shots on net in his last three seasons, and last year he notched 25 points with the extra man. The Canucks had the 28th-ranked penalty kill last season, which has to be enticing for Krug. Vancouver also allowed 2.94 goals per game, and that was with Ryan Miller. Now they have turned the reins over the Jacob Markstrom, who has a .905 career save percentage.
Noah Hanifin, CAR at CGY ($8,000): Hanifin is playing a career-high 19:10 per game, and also 2:33 on the power play. Hanifin has also started 66.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, which definitely helps. As previously noted, the Flames have allowed 36.3 shots on net per game.