FanDuel NHL Lineup Advice: Thursday 2/27
As we come down the stretch in the NHL, every night will feature a game with massive playoff implications. Tonight, we see both Western Conference wildcard teams square off in Nashville and Calgary. Out East, the streaking Rangers look to continue climbing the standings against Montreal. Also out East, we have the Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the Florida Panthers. These two teams are in what seems to be a head-to-head race for the third spot in the Atlantic division. Let’s take a look at some DFS options for this busy ten game slate.
Mikael Backlund (CGY): $5,700 @ NSH
Mikael Backlund is putting together a solid season as the Calgary Flames second-line center, but it’s what he is doing lately that makes him an interesting selection tonight. He has 14 goals, 24 assists, for 38 points this season. 15 of those points have come in his last ten games. He has eight goals in his prior eight games. Tonight is a massive contest against the Nashville Predators. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne has been sick this week, so it is unclear whether he will start. Backlund will skate on a line with Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk, as well as the second power-play unit.
Erik Haula (FLA): $3,800 vs TOR
If you’re looking for a cheap option in order to spend elsewhere, how about Erik Haula? He is only a year and a half removed from a 29 goal season with Vegas. Clearly he didn’t fit in great with the Carolina Hurricanes, but now he gets an opportunity to replace Vincent Trochek as the Panthers second-line center. He’s slated to play alongside Mike Hoffman and Frank Vatrano tonight, as well as centering the second power-play unit. This should be a high scoring event, there have been 20 goals scored between these two teams in their two games this season. For this price, he is worth a shot.
Anders Lee (NYI): $6,400 @ STL
For a guy that has scored 40 goals in the NHL, it seems like Anders Lee gets overlooked. This season he has 19 goals and 20 assists for 39 points. His shooting percentage has dipped to 10.6% off his career average of 13.9%. This could be because he is shooting the puck more than ever. With 180 shots on goal through 62 games, Lee has averaged over five shots a game in his last seven contests. Lee has a three-game point streak going with six points in that span. Tonight, he will skate with the top group alongside Mathew Barzal and Jordan Eberle, as well as the top power-play unit.
Kyle Palmieri (NJD): $6,600 @ SJ
I’m going back to the well on Kyle Palmieri. He paid off on Tuesday night with a power-play goal and three shots on goal. Palmieri was retained by the Devils through the trade deadline despite considerable interest from teams. I would expect him to be a lot more relaxed in these final twenty games. Tonight, the Devils head to San Jose to take on a Sharks team that has surrendered over three goals per game this season. Palmieri will continue skating on the top line with Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier as well as the top power-play unit. I expect him to be on the score sheet for a third consecutive night tonight.
Aaron Ekblad (FLA): $5,100 vs TOR
Sometimes it feels like this former Calder Trophy winner gets forgotten about down in Florida. It has been hard to miss him lately though; he has nine points in his last nine games. Tonight is a massive game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and you can be sure that Ekblad will play up around 25 minutes. Toronto has had a lot of trouble keeping pucks out of their net. They find themselves fifth-worst in the league in goals-against per game. As previously stated, there have been 20 goals scored in the two games these teams have played this season. I expect another high scoring affair this evening.
Alexandar Georgiev (NYR): $7,400 @ MTL
It has been a very interesting year in goal for the New York Rangers. It appears they’re completely prepared to move on from Henrik Lundqvist. Igor Shesterkin had taken the reigns until a car accident temporarily sidelined him earlier this week. Enter Alexandar Georgiev, who a lot of Ranger fans had tabbed as the heir apparent to the King last season. Georgiev’s impressive performance should not be overshadowed by Shesterkin. The Rangers are surrendering the second-most shots per game in the league this season. It’s extremely common for their netminder to face over 40 shots in a game. Since we turned the calendars into a new year, Georgiev has posted a 2.3 GAA and a .922 SV% in ten outings. After trading away assets at the trade deadline, the Canadiens made it clear they have packed it in for the season. The Rangers have to win this game if they want to remain in a chase for the final playoff spot. I like Georgiev tonight, especially as the 28th ranked goalie on the FanDuel platform (includes backups).