Tonight’s three-game slate makes for a nice change of pace after a busy weekend in the NHL. Here are my top two stacks for the night.
Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,500)-Vincent Trochek ($6,900)-Denis Malgin ($3,900)
With the last change at his disposal tonight, Oilers’ head coach Todd McClellan is likely to match the Connor McDavid line against Florida’s top line of Evgeny Dadonov, Aleksander Barkov, and Nick Bjugstad. That leaves the second and third lines of the Oilers to match up against Huberdeau, Trochek, and Malgin, who boast a dominant 57.43 CF% and a 75.00 GF% together at 5v5 on the season.
The Oilers shook up their lines again today at their morning skate, and their second line now features Milan Lucic, Leon Draisaitl, and Michael Cammalleri. Draisaitl and Cammalleri have struggled when playing away from McDavid this season, to the tune of a 43.14 CF%. That’s not the makeup of a shutdown line, and they should be forced to spend plenty of time in their own end tonight by the Panthers’ second line.
Cam Talbot is expected back in goal tonight for the Oilers. Talbot last played Friday night when he gave up three goals on 34 shots in a losing effort to the Ducks. He’s lost three of his last five starts with a .902 SV% over that span. A struggling goaltender and ample offensive zone time is an ideal combination for any line stack, and that’s what Florida 2 is looking at tonight. If you’re looking for a full stack I’d suggest Keith Yandle ($5,300).
Nick Schmaltz ($5,000)-Artem Anisimov ($4,800)-Patrick Kane ($7,400)
The Blackhawks draw the most appealing matchup of the night in the form of the lowly Coyotes. It’s no secret that Arizona has struggled to keep opposing offenses in check all season, but the problem has been amplified of late thanks to some shaky goaltending from Antii Raanta. Since returning from his post-car accident injury three games ago, the otherwise reliable Raanta has posted an ugly .894 SV%. He’ll be hard-pressed to turn his struggles around tonight against the likes of Patrick Kane.
Given the parity of the Coyotes’ top nine, head coach Rick Tocchet doesn’t tend to hard-line match with any of them. As a result, the Blackhawks’ second line should see a steady mix of Arizona’s top nine tonight. The one threat to Chicago 2’s production tonight is the Panik-Dvorak-Fischer line which has actually performed quite well recently at 5v5. Even if Kane and Schmaltz are held somewhat in check by this line, it’s not a hard match and they’re still in line for the bulk of the powerplay minutes as well.
As I said, the Coyotes aren’t going to hard-match either of Chicago’s top two lines tonight, so the Saad-Toews-Duclair line is certainly in play as well. The only reason I give the edge to the Kane line is the powerplay. Kane, Schmaltz, and Anisimov all feature on the top powerplay unit right now for the Blackhawks. The second unit now has an open spot thanks to Ryan Hartman being scratched tonight, and will probably feature some combination of Saad, Toews and Duclair, but the Blackhawks didn’t run powerplay drills in this morning’s skate so we can’t be sure. Getting the bulk of the powerplay time can obviously make a whale of a difference in DFS, especially against a team with a lackluster penalty kill and a struggling goaltender. If you want to make it a full stack, I suggest using Brent Seabrook ($4,200).