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Fantasy picks: Sergachev, Kucherov among best options

Lightning duo lead explosive offense that can come up big vs. Penguins

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

All season long, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and can be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.

 

[MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: DFS strategy guide | Cheat sheet]

 

Note: This contest does not include the Nashville Predators-New York Rangers game at 12:30 p.m. ET or the Edmonton Oilers-Philadelphia Flyers game at 1 p.m. ET.

 

CENTERS

Spend up for: Nicklas Backstrom, WSH ($6,660) -- Backstrom enters Saturday with 12 points (three goals, nine assists), tied for third in the League. He has points in six of the Washington Capitals' eight games, including three multipoint efforts. Backstrom is a playmaker who can accrue DraftKings points even when he doesn't score goals. His nine SOG this season prove he's more likely to assist than score, and he has 46 points (10 goals, 36 assists) in 45 career games against Washington's opponent, the Florida Panthers.

Value pick: Adrian Kempe, LAK ($3,400) -- The price alone makes Kempe worth a flier. The Los Angeles Kings' center had a hat trick and four points (15.5 DraftKings points) in a 5-1 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. True, he scored two goals in 25 games last season, but with the injury to Jeff Carter, Kempe will be counted on to step up his production and is a decent play against the Columbus Blue Jackets for the visiting Kings, who are off to a 5-0-1 start.

Video: WSH@PHI: Backstrom beats Elliott on a partial break

 

WINGS

Spend up for: Nikita Kucherov, TBL ($7,600) -- The second-most expensive wing in the contest, Kucherov has yet to show any signs of slowing down. The Tampa Bay Lightning right wing scored a goal in each of his first seven games this season before being held without one in a 2-0 win against the Blue Jackets on Thursday, but he's still averaging 6.3 DraftKings points per contest and is second in the League with 13 points. Kucherov has at least one point in all eight games this season and is in line for another big performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Value pick: Jeff Skinner, CAR ($5,600) -- The Carolina Hurricanes have played five games this season and Skinner leads them with three goals. He had two points in a 2-1 win at the Calgary Flames on Thursday and is the best offensive threat on the Hurricanes. Skinner is a three-time 30-goal scorer, including an NHL career-high 37 last season. Carolina's opponent, the Dallas Stars, have allowed four goals three times in seven games this season, so Skinner could be in line for a big night.

Video: CAR@CGY: Skinner buries huge slap shot from circle

 

DEFENSEMEN

Spend up for: John Klingberg, DAL ($6,300) -- Klingberg is off to a hot start with seven points (two goals, five assists) in seven games., good for 4.5 DraftKings points per game. The Stars have averaged fewer than three goals per game, but Klingberg runs their power play, which ranks in the top five in the League. He's coming off a two-assist performance in a 5-4 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday and has 20 SOG and 11 blocked shots this season, showing he can chip in offensively and defensively.

Value pick: Mikhail Sergachev, TBL ($3,600) -- The rookie scored his first two NHL goals in a 2-0 win against the Blue Jackets on Thursday (7.5 DraftKings points) but is still a bargain at this price. He had two assists against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday and has six points (two goals, four assists) in eight games. With an offense that's averaging 3.63 goals per game (tied for fourth in the League) and has the NHL's top two scorers in Steven Stamkos (14 points) and Kucherov, the Lightning are a good pick to light up the scoreboard on any given night, and the rookie has shown increased confidence in recent games.

Video: TBL@CBJ: Sergachev wires second goal past Bobrovsky

 

GOALTENDER

Anton Khudobin, BOS ($7,500) -- With Tuukka Rask injured, Khudobin will see most of the starts for the Boston Bruins. He allowed three goals on 29 shots in a 6-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday and is 2-0-0 with a 2.16 GAA and .928 SV% this season. Khudobin will face the Buffalo Sabres, who are 1-5-2 and have scored two goals or fewer in five of eight games.

Video: VAN@BOS: Khudobin denies Gagner's backhand shot

 

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