Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This lineup has been constructed with expensive and value picks and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
C - Auston Matthews, TOR ($7,700)
Matthews has been a DFS beast on the road this season, totaling 24 points (fifth in NHL), 16 blocks and 68 shots on goal in 20 games for an average of 5.3 DraftKings points per game. He has 12 points, 11 blocks and 35 SOG in his past 10 games (5.4) and is a safe bet for the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road against the New York Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist may be 9-4-1 at home, but he's been unusually generous with a .900 save percentage.
C - Sam Reinhart, BUF ($5,000)
The Buffalo Sabres will be playing the second of a back-to-back on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, but Reinhart is still a high-upside value play. He has 12 points in his past 10 games entering Thursday, and has 11 power-play points this season on mostly Buffalo's first power-play unit. The Sabres are tied for seventh in the NHL in power-play efficiency (22.3 percent) entering Thursday.
Video: PHI@BUF: Ristolainen sets up Reinhart for PPG in 2nd
W - Alex Ovechkin, WSH ($8,000)
This slate offers enough value options for you to go all-in on two superstars, such as Matthews and Ovechkin, the newest member of the NHL's 1,000-point club (1,001). Ovechkin has 23 points and 90 SOG in 22 home games (5.0 DraftKings points per game). He has been even better in his past 10 games (5.3), and has back-to-back multipoint outings. He faces the Chicago Blackhawks, whom he has scored eight goals and 12 points against in 13 career games.
W - Drew Stafford, WPG ($3,900)
The value spike for Stafford has continued with Patrik Laine (concussion) out of the Winnipeg Jets lineup. Stafford and the Jets have a favorable road game against the Arizona Coyotes, who have been outscored 53-41 in 19 home games this season. Stafford has points in three straight games on a line with Mark Scheifele ($6,700) and Nikolaj Ehlers ($5,900), and is averaging 2:30 of power-play ice time in the two games since Laine went down.
W - Pavel Buchnevich, NYR ($3,900)
Buchnevich, who has not played since Nov. 12, will return to the Rangers lineup against the Maple Leafs on Friday. He has eight points in 10 games, including three on the power play. He has been strong at Madison Square Garden (five points in six games), and is in position to make an immediate impact regardless of where he lands in New York's deep lineup.
Video: WPG@NYR: Buchnevich shows off hands and scores
D - Jake Gardiner, TOR ($4,300)
Gardiner has not been held without a point in consecutive games at any point in the past month, getting at least one in 10 of 14 games since Dec. 10. He had an impressive stretch of six PPP in eight games from Dec. 11-28. Despite having no PPP in his past five games, he's still averaging 3:12 per game with the man-advantage and offers plenty of upside sharing so much ice time with Matthews, William Nylander and Mitchell Marner.
D - Nick Leddy, NYI ($4,300)
Leddy is a high-floor defenseman going for the same price as Gardiner on the road against the Florida Panthers. He logs plenty of power-play minutes (3:07 per game) for the New York Islanders, scoring eight of his 17 points with the man-advantage. He has two goals, four blocks and four SOG in two games against the Panthers this season (5.0 DraftKings points per game), and has five straight games of at least 2.5 DraftKings points. He has strong peripherals as well with 65 blocks and 70 SOG in 38 games.
G - Braden Holtby, WSH ($7,700)
Holtby has been at the top of his game lately for the Washington Capitals, who have won seven straight games. He has two shutouts and three goals allowed in his past four starts combined for an impeccable average of 8.8 DraftKings points per game. He has a difficult matchup against the Blackhawks, but his home splits (13-5-1, .930 SV%, 4 SO) bode well for his chances on this big stage.
Video: WSH@OTT: Holtby stops Karlsson's shot through traffic
UTIL - Matthew Tkachuk, CGY ($4,900)
Tkachuk has 16 points in 19 home games, and has been thriving on the Calgary Flames' second line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. He has 10 points in his past 10 games, and has combined for 10 SOG in his past three games. How could you not invest in one of the top rookies in the League for such a low price at home against the New Jersey Devils, who will be on the second game of a back-to-back?
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