This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
It's a quiet night in the NHL with just two games on the docket — a likely high-scoring affair between the Capitals and Hurricanes, and a lopsided bout with the Red Wings visiting the Stars. Dallas is a significant favorite with Detroit owning a 4-14-2 road record, and the last time Washington and Carolina hooked up there were 10 total goals.
The Stars have only surrendered 1.14 five-on-five goals per home game this season, and Ben Bishop's ($8,100) salary isn't prohibitive enough to overlook as such a sizeable favorite. The veteran has also won consecutive home starts and allowed just four goals in the process to improve to 11-5-2 with a .939 save percentage and 1.91 GAA at American Airlines Travel Center. Dallas backup, Anton Khudobin ($7,900), is a fitting alternative if given the starting nod. Just note that either Stars netminder will be highly owned.
Because both Dallas goaltenders are reasonably priced, looking elsewhere is risky. Ilya Samsonov ($7,400) has already been confirmed for the Capitals, but the Hurricanes score 3.63 goals per hour at home. Similarly, Petr Mrazek ($7,700) and James Reimer ($7,700) don't offer significant enough savings to take on the added risk.
Alex Ovechkin ($7,500) is showing signs of breaking out of a long-standing offensive funk. He's recorded a pedestrian four tallies and four helpers through 13 contests dating back to the beginning of December. However, the stretch does include a four-game point streak, in which he's registered 22 shots. This price is too low for the fantasy floor the high-volume shooter offers, too.
While in the midst of a cool stretch with just four goals through his past nine games, Andrei Svechnikov's ($5,900) salary has probably dipped too far. His 3.43 points per 60 minutes still rank 16th in the league, and the 19-year-old Russian has positive regression ahead in the assists column.
With three goals, three assists and 13 shots through five outings since returning from a knee injury, Erik Haula ($4,000) has played well for Carolina. He's also averaged 2:53 of power-play time during the stretch and enters Friday game with a two-game point streak.
Filip Zadina ($3,600) is settling in at the highest level with three tallies, six helpers, four power-play points and 21 shots through his latest 13 outings. The rookie is receiving consistent time with the man advantage and offers upside and cap relief. As noted, though, it's a daunting road matchup against Dallas.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Over the past three years, Tyler Seguin ($7,000), Jamie Benn ($6,200) and Alexander Radulov ($6,300) have shared the ice for 1818:46 and scored 5.31 goals per hour with an 11.9 shooting percentage, which includes this year's modest 3.66 and 8.8 marks. A date with the worst team in the league is a good bet to help with statistical correction. The Red Wings have allowed a league-high 3.98 goals per hour on the road this season, after all.
It's been a good run for Carolina's top offensive line, as Sebastian Aho ($6,400), Teuvo Teravainen ($6,000) and Nino Niederreiter ($4,200) have combined for 12 goals and 26 assists through the past 11 contests. They've clicked for an impressive 13.7 high-danger scoring chances and 61.0 Corsi For percentage at five-on-five over the past two years, too, so there's a track record of strong play.
It'll be important to double-check Washington's lines before locking your own lineups, as Lars Eller ($3,800) slotted up between T.J. Oshie ($5,300) and Jakub Vrana ($5,100) last time out. The trio have clicked for a respectable 3.0 goals, 12.45 high-danger scoring chances and a 58.5 Corsi For percentage at even strength this season, and they provide coverage to both power-play units and don't break the bank.
Both John Carlson ($6,400) and Dougie Hamilton ($6,200) are in play Friday. Carlson paces the league in points per hour, whereas Hamilton leads the league in shot attempts per hour. Both defensemen log huge minutes and are in good recent form. In fact, one avenue to differentiating your lineups is turning to both high-priced defensemen and chasing value with your forwards.
With John Klingberg ($5,000) out with a lower-body injury, look for Miro Heiskanen ($5,400) and Esa Lindell ($4,000) to receive a boost in fantasy value. Heiskanen is projected to quarterback the No. 1 power-play unit, and the smooth-skating sophomore has just a single assist through his past 10 games, so a soft matchup is just what Heiskanen needs. Lindell, however, is cheaper and has an assist in consecutive games.
Arguably playing the best hockey of his career, Dmitry Orlov ($3,600) has recorded two tallies, nine helpers, 26 shots and 14 blocks over his past 15 outings to provide nice cross-category coverage. His salary hasn't climb, either. The veteran is also receiving power-play looks with the second unit.