Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
TOP CENTER: Sidney Crosby, PIT ($8,400)
The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday, and Crosby has been very good against the New York Rangers this season. He has three goals, two assists and 15 shots on goal in three games against the Rangers (7.0 DraftKings points per contest). Crosby has been held without a point in two straight games for the third time this season; he hasn't gone three straight without one. The Penguins won't want the Rangers catching them for third place in the Metropolitan Division (they are six points ahead of New York). Expect Crosby to have a big performance to make sure the Rangers don't get closer.
Video: NYI@PIT: Crosby buries a rebound from tough angle
VALUE CENTER: Anze Kopitar, LAK ($5,100)
The Los Angeles Kings are clinging to hopes of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs and should make easy work of the Vancouver Canucks, who have been eliminated from contention. Kopitar has 39 points (11 goals, 28 assists) in 44 games against the Canucks in his career. He had his highest DraftKings point total (8.0) since Jan. 31 with a goal, an assist, two blocked shots and four SOG against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. Kopitar has four multipoint games in his past 10, making him a prime tournament play given his low price and high upside.
TOP WING: Vladimir Tarasenko, STL ($7,800)
Tarasenko hasn't scored against the Colorado Avalanche this season. There seems to be something wrong with that sentence. The St. Louis Blues arguably are the hottest team in the NHL right now, and Tarasenko has a lot to do with that. He has 13 points (eight goals, five assists) and 54 SOG in his past 12 games (5.42 DraftKings points per contest). Tarasenko just finished dispatching the Arizona Coyotes in a home-and-home, combining for two goals, two assists and 12 SOG. The Blues could score a lot of goals on the Avalanche, and Tarasenko's ceiling is sky-high, though his ownership percentage likely will be too.
Video: ARI@STL: Tarasenko beats Smith with rebound tally
VALUE WING: Marcus Johansson, WSH ($5,100)
Johansson has a goal, seven assists and six SOG during a four-game point streak, good for 5.125 DraftKings points per game. For some reason, his four-assist game in a 5-4 overtime win against the Minnesota Wild wasn't enough to get his price bumped up, so take advantage of that in a juicy matchup against the Coyotes. Johansson's road splits also are eye-opening; the wing has 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 37 games away from Verizon Center, 0.9 more DraftKings points on average than at home.
Video: WSH@COL: Johansson scores PPG on fortunate deflection
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Justin Schultz, PIT ($5,800)
Schultz has just two assists in his past 10 games, but he has 16 blocked shots and 30 SOG in that span. He's gone 11 straight games without a goal after scoring in three straight from March 3-8. The odds of his goal drought extending against the Rangers are lower than usual considering the Penguins have scored 15 goals in three games against New York this season. Schultz has a goal, two assists, five blocked shots and nine SOG in those games (4.7 DraftKings points per contest). He's a solid stack candidate with Crosby and cheap wing Bryan Rust ($4,200).
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Brady Skjei, NYR ($4,200)
Had this season's rookie class been weaker, Skjei would be able to make a strong case for the Calder Trophy. He ranks second among first-year defensemen in points with 38 (five goals, 33 assists) in 76 games. Skjei has a goal and three assists in his past two games, and although he doesn't provide much in terms of blocked shots and SOG, he could get multiple points against the Penguins. Pittsburgh limps into Madison Square Garden having allowed 16 goals during a four-game losing streak. Skjei gets time on the second power-play unit and has a high ceiling.
Video: NYR@ANA: Skjei powers home one-timer on his birthday
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Jonathan Quick, LAK ($7,700)
With Ben Bishop starting in a 4-1 win against the Flames on Wednesday, expect Quick to be in net against the Canucks. He's allowed two or fewer goals in nine straight games, a streak that should continue against Vancouver, which has scored fewer than two goals in four of its past six. Despite underwhelming results (15-14-2), Quick has a 1.67 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 31 games against the Canucks in his career. The Kings do an excellent job of limiting shots, giving Quick a better chance at getting a shutout.
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