This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
If the Rangers can win their sixth straight game, they'll be in playoff position – not bad for a team that was expected to sell Chris Kreider at the trade deadline. The Flyers are streaking, too, having won four straight.
The Blue Jackets are slowly falling out of the playoff race with just one win in their past 10 games, and they'll host the Wild, who are 6-3-1 in their past 10. There's an outside chance the Wild make the playoffs, now 4-2-0 under Dean Evason.
A Columbus loss and a Hurricanes win will vault Rod Brind'Amour's squad back into the second wild-card spot. They have alternated wins and losses for the better part of two months and will be without Brett Pesce and either of their top two goalies. The Avalanche have the highest points percentage (.677) on the road and tied for second in wins (20).
Robin Lehner could make his Golden Knights debut against his former team, the Sabres, who lost despite an inspired effort against the Avs on Wednesday. Vegas has a good home record – for obvious reasons – and they've been flat-out dominant going 7-0-0 over the past two weeks.
It's easy to pin the Penguins' four-game losing streak on offense, which produced just six goals, but asides from allowing two goals against the league's second-worst offense, their goaltending has not been good; their .881 Sv% at 5-on-5 ranked 26th during that span, just slightly better than Detroit, according to Natural Stat Trick. True, their xGF% ranks 18th, but it's not the league's worst. That would be the Ducks, actually, who have a 38.89 xGF%, according to NST.
Pavel Francouz ($8,900) feels expensive because he's not the most talented goalie playing tonight but the matchups all favor him. The Avs are very good on the road, and the Canes are starting their third-string goalie and have not been very good offensively at home.
Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,600) or Robin Lehner ($8,000) would be good bets against Buffalo, of course Lehner being the better value play. The same goes for Tristan Jarry ($8,500) and Matt Murray ($8,200) because the Ducks shouldn't be a threat.
Carter Hart ($8,300) is much better at home (.941 Sv%) than he is on the road (.855 Sv%) so he seems like a bankable win even though the Rangers have been the second-best team over the past two weeks. They're 7-1-0 with a plus-11 goal differential, but the Flyers aren't far behind with a 5-1-0 and also a plus-11 goal differential.
Alex Stalock ($7,700) will probably start again and he's a good value play against Columbus. The Blue Jackets' goaltending hasn't been able to bail them out lately and scoring was never their strong suit.
Martin Kaut ($3,000) scored his first NHL goal against Buffalo and he's a good finisher who will get some power-play time. Both him and Tyson Jost ($3,400), who was robbed at least twice by Carter Hutton, have been playing well lately.
Gerry Mayhew ($3,200) has not scored a point in his two games after getting called up but remains on the top line. He did not appear on the score sheet in a lopsided 7-1 win against Detroit but the opportunities are there.
Dominik Kahun ($3,500) is expected to make his Sabres debut. He'll play on one of Buffalo's three third lines with Jimmy Vesey and Marcus Johansson. It's not exciting, but Kahun is expected to get more scoring opportunities than he did in Pittsburgh.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Minnesota Wild (TOTAL: $14,500)
Fiala's been the Wild's biggest driver on offense, and you're just hoping Mayhew and Staal rub off on him a little. The Jackets are tough but they're missing their top defenseman and their goaltending has not been elite.
Vegas Golden Knights (TOTAL: $17,300)
Marchessault and Stastny both play on the top power-play unit, so you're getting the same exposure as you would if you picked Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, but at a lesser price. The Sabres defense won't be deep enough to cover both lines.
The Ducks take a lot of penalties so I like Kris Letang ($6,800). Shea Theodore ($5,800), Cale Makar ($5,400) and Tony DeAngelo ($5,400) are good PP QB's as usual. The next step down would be do-it-all guys who can contribute in multiple categories while getting lots of ice time, and that includes Jaccob Slavin ($5,000), Jacob Trouba ($4,600) and Alec Martinez ($4,600), who is on a hot streak with four points in two games.
Ryan Graves ($4,100) gets a lot of blocked shots and Adam Fox ($3,800) has been productive on offense all season so they're generally pretty consistent value plays. The big name, however, is Matt Dumba ($3,700), who had three points against Detroit and registered 13 shots in his past four games.