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Fantasy picks: Evander Kane becoming lineup lock

Sabres forward among shots per game leaders, among Feb. 9 DFS targets

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

DraftKings Daily Picks: Thursday

DraftKings Daily NHL Picks for Thursday

The NHL Tonight crew makes its picks for top DraftKings players for Thursday night including Jack Eichel and Matt Cullen

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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 - Patrice Bergeron, BOS ($6,500)

On this 11-game Thursday slate, you'll want to invest in a forward like Bergeron with a high floor, high ceiling and something to prove. Bergeron has turned his season around with 19 points and 80 shots on goal in 18 games since Dec. 29, but it wasn't enough to keep his longtime coach Claude Julien around. The Boston Bruins host the San Jose Sharks in the first game under Bruce Cassidy, and Bergeron is a safe bet for at least a point and a high shot volume alongside Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak.

Video: TOR@BOS: Bergeron nets game-tying PPG on backhand

 

C - Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH ($5,600)

Kuznetsov, another slow starter who has caught fire, has 13 points and 23 SOG in his past 10 games and is tied for the second-most points League-wide since Dec. 5 (34 in 31 games). He has a favorable matchup against the Detroit Red Wings, who are allowing the third-most DraftKings points to opposing centers. Kuznetsov has been strong at home (22 points in 28 games) and does his damage on the second line with Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams and second power-play unit with Andre Burakovsky.

 

W - Evander Kane, BUF ($5,300)

Kane has scored five goals, five assists and has a whopping 50 SOG in his past 10 games for a stellar DraftKings points per game average of 5.2. Among those with at least 30 games played, Kane is tied for sixth in SOG per game (3.5) and fresh off a two-goal game with 9.5 DraftKings points in a 5-4 overtime win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. Even if the Buffalo Sabres and Anaheim Ducks are locked into a low-scoring game Thursday, Kane brings some peace of mind with at least three SOG in 13 of his past 14 games. NOTE: Kane is a game-time decision because of a hand injury sustained after his overtime goal against the Sharks.

Video: SJS@BUF: Eichel, Kane combine for awesome game-winner

 

W - Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA ($5,100)

The Florida Panthers should be fresh after their five-day break, and the line of Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Jaromir Jagr has a chance to pick up right where it left off. Huberdeau scored a goal, assisted by Barkov, in his season debut against the Ducks on Feb. 3. He also had six SOG and played 1:57 on the power play. Huberdeau's price remains affordable against the Los Angeles Kings, who play the finale of their four-game road trip after being outscored 10-1 in the first three games.

 

W - Chris Kunitz, PIT ($3,900)

The Sidney Crosby effect remains in full force despite an upper-body injury to Conor Sheary; Kunitz has picked up the slack with one goal and two assists in two games playing on the Pittsburgh Penguins' top line. He has seven SOG in the span and is a logical value play on the road against the Colorado Avalanche, who are allowing the second-most DraftKings points to opposing left wings. Kunitz had one assist and one SOG against the Avalanche on Oct. 17.

Video: NSH@PIT: Kunitz buries a loose puck from the slot

 

D - Brent Burns, SJS ($8,500)

Burns leads all skaters in DraftKings points per game (5.2) and is worth spending up for against the Bruins, who have allowed at least three goals in 13 of 16 games this calendar year. He's second in the League in SOG (209) behind Alex Ovechkin (210), and there's a 13-point gap between Burns (57 points in 54 games) and the second highest-scoring defenseman, Erik Karlsson (44 in 51). Burns has 34 points in 27 road games and should be the building block of your lineup.

 

D - Nikita Zaitsev, TOR ($4,300)

Zaitsev has seven points in his past eight games with 11 SOG and 17 blocks in the span. With Morgan Rielly back in the fold, it takes some of the burden off Jake Gardiner and Zaitsev, who lead Toronto Maple Leafs defensemen with eight and seven power-play points respectively. Zaitsev had impressive totals in the Maple Leafs' recent back-to-back set with 6.5 DraftKings points in an overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Monday and 5.5 at home against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. He's the ideal second defenseman on a daily fantasy roster for such a low price at home against the St. Louis Blues.

Video: DAL@TOR: Zaistev scores PPG through screen in front

 

G - Matt Murray, PIT ($8,200)

Murray and the Penguins lost to the Flames in a shootout at home, and the last-place Avalanche defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 on Tuesday. With such parity in the League these days, these results can happen on any given night. But things should even out Thursday with Crosby nearing the 1,000-point milestone (currently has 998) against the Avalanche, who have allowed the most goals per game (3.34). Murray returned value with 3.6 DraftKings points in the loss to Calgary and is 8-5-0 with a .913 save percentage and one shutout in 14 road games. Here is NHL.com's full list of projected goalie starters.

 

UTIL - Kenny Agostino, STL ($2,600)

The St. Louis Blues offense has suddenly found its groove since coach Ken Hitchcock was replaced by Mike Yeo on Feb. 1, and Agostino has been a huge surprise since being recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League on Feb. 5. With Robby Fabbri (torn ACL) out for the season, Agostino has stepped into a great spot on the third line with David Perron and Jori Lehtera. He's $100 above the minimum price against the Maple Leafs, who allow the seventh-most DraftKings points to opposing left wings. Agostino has points in each of his first two games with a combined nine SOG and one block.

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