When building a Daily Fantasy Hockey lineup, it’s important to consider the special teams matchups. When a team or line goes off offensively, more often than not it’s because of the power-play. Below I’ve gone over the special teams matchups for tonight’s three-game slate to help you identify the best power-plays to target. All totals are per 60 minutes of 5v4 ice-time. Each team’s league-wide rank in a given category is noted in brackets. Good luck!
Montreal Canadiens @ Buffalo Sabres [7:00 PM EST]
|Canadiens PP||Sabres PK|
|PP%/PK%||20.1% (13th)||74.0% (29th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||2.73 (t-26th)||3.00 (t-15th)|
|SH%/SV%||12.92% (19th)||.838 SV% (26th)|
|Shots For/Against||53.26 (14th)||58.07 (26th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||45.87 (22nd)||48.43 (18th)|
|xGoals For/Against||5.88 (24th)||6.99 (25th)|
|Sabres PP||Canadiens PK|
|PP%/PK%||19.3% (20th)||78.7% (t-21st)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.00 (18th)||2.94 (t-12th)|
|SH%/SV%||14.01% (11th)||.874 SV% (12th)|
|Shots For/Against||47.98 (28th)||60.23 (29th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||41.95 (26th)||50.47 (21st)|
|xGoals For/Against||5.49 (26th)||7.17 (27th)|
The Canadiens will draw plenty of attention from DFS players tonight, and for good reason. Their puck dominance at 5v5 suggests they’ll be spending a lot of time in Buffalo’s end tonight, and the special teams matchup isn’t one that’s going to swing the game in Buffalo’s favour. Montreal’s power-play is far from the deadliest in the league, but true to form, they do fire shots on goal at an above-average rate. That kind of shot production should be attractive to DFS players, especially against a struggling goaltender. With Linus Ullmark (lower-body) expected to miss three-to-four weeks, it will be Carter Hutton in goal for the Sabres tonight. Hutton is a remarkably poor 0-7-4 in his last 12 appearances, posting an .867 SV% in the process. Don’t be surprised if he crumbles under the onslaught of shots he’ll be facing tonight.
Nashville Predators @ New Jersey Devils [7:30 PM EST]
|Predators PP||Devils PK|
|PP%/PK%||17.0% (24th)||79.3% (19th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.37 (5th)||3.35 (27th)|
|SH%/SV%||11.02% (25th)||.835 SV% (28th)|
|Shots For/Against||56.14 (6th)||45.52 (4th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||52.16 (11th)||40.43 (2nd)|
|xGoals For/Against||7.02 (8th)||5.50 (2nd)|
|Devils PP||Predators PK|
|PP%/PK%||14.1% (31st)||74.2% (28th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.47 (3rd)||3.16 (21st)|
|SH%/SV%||9.02% (31st)||.809 SV% (31st)|
|Shots For/Against||55.31 (9th)||51.39 (12th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||46.58 (t-19th)||45.98 (11th)|
|xGoals For/Against||6.73 (12th)||6.42 (18th)|
The old saying goes you need your goaltender to be your best penalty-killer, and that certainly hasn’t been the case for the Devils. New Jersey has done an outstanding job of limiting shots and quality chances on the PK, but have been let down by their goaltending. That bleak .835 SH SV% could be on the rise, though, if Mackenzie Blackwood’s performance on Monday is any indication. The 23-year-old netminder stopped 35 of the 38 shots he faced on route to a 4-3 victory over the Senators. Don’t be surprised if New Jersey’s elite penalty-killers blank the Predators power-play tonight.
Not only did Nashville play last night, but they don’t exactly project to be the team to take advantage of New Jersey’s weakness in goal. The inability to finish on the man advantage has been an issue all year long for Nashville, as evident by their 25th-ranked 11.02 PP SH%. Throw in the fact that they’re on the tail-end of a back-to-back, and it’s hard to get excited about Nashville’s power-play tonight.
On the flip side of this matchup, there’s reason to be optimistic about the Devils’ power-play tonight. New Jersey’s dead-last ranking in PP% can almost entirely be attributed to their abysmal 9.02 SH% with the man advantage. The 6.73 xGF/60 they’re averaging suggests regression should be coming sooner than later. At the very least, you can expect the power-play to pad New Jersey’s shot totals tonight. The Devils have a knack for drawing penalties, averaging almost 3.5 power-plays a game, and their power-play generates shots at an above-average rate. Considering the low cost, I’d say the price and time is right to gamble on the Devils’ basement-dwelling power-play.
Los Angeles Kings @ Arizona Coyotes [9:30 PM EST]
|Kings PP||Coyotes PK|
|PP%/PK%||16.8% (25th)||82.3% (t-8th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||2.92 (21st)||2.83 (8th)|
|SH%/SV%||10.20% (29th)||.880 SV% (8th)|
|Shots For/Against||56.09 (7th)||52.52 (17th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||42.58 (25th)||44.74 (6th)|
|xGoals For/Against||6.20 (t-21st)||6.20 (12th)|
|Coyotes PP||Kings PK|
|PP%/PK%||20.0% (t-14th)||73.8% (30th)|
|PP/PK per Gm||3.08 (14th)||2.84 (9th)|
|SH%/SV%||14.95% (9th)||.815 SV% (30th)|
|Shots For/Against||46.16 (29th)||52.42 (16th)|
|Scoring Chances For/Against||40.51 (27th)||51.40 (23rd)|
|xGoals For/Against||5.51 (25th)||6.31 (15th)|
Both of these teams played last night, so we shouldn’t expect fatigue to be a factor one way or the other. The Coyotes formidable penalty-kill should hold strong against the Kings tonight. While Los Angeles does an admirable job of finding shots on the man advantage, the lack of scoring chances suggests they’re more than content with getting low-quality looks from the outside. Arizona has a knack for suppressing scoring chances on the penalty-kill, making the job easier for their already superb goaltenders. It’s hard to imagine the Kings making a breakthrough on the man advantage tonight.
Arizona’s power-play has actually struggled to create quality shots and scoring chances, but that’s been masked by their 14.95 SH%. Their PP% will likely continue to gradually decline, but considering the matchup, they might be able to stave off regression another night. Los Angeles does a mediocre job of suppressing shots and scoring chances, but the real issue is in goal. The Kings rank second-last in the NHL with a .815 SH SV%. It’s a dream matchup for a team like Arizona that’s been so heavily-reliant on execution. Despite all the red flags in the underlying numbers, it’s hard to overlook the Coyotes power-play in this matchup.