DraftKings NHL Lineup Advice: Tuesday 3/3
With the final day of the NHL season slated for April 4, we are just about one month from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. After incredible starts to the year 2020, both Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay have cooled off lately. Boston now holds a seven-point lead in the East. Florida’s game has curtailed which means the Maple Leafs are currently comfortably in. Out West, Vancouver has slipped up a bit and now find themselves sitting in wild card position. On Sunday, they blew a 3rd period lead against a banged-up Blue Jackets team in Columbus. The race for the Western Conference wild card positions has tightened, with Vancouver, Nashville, Winnipeg, Arizona, and Minnesota all separated by just three points. Let’s take a look at another busy ten-game Tuesday night in the NHL.
Mika Zibanejad (NYR): $7,500 vs STL
It doesn’t seem possible, but I think the number one center on the New York Rangers may still be underrated. Mika Zibanejad has 32 goals, 33 assists, for 65 points this season. The only thing keeping Zibanejad away from hitting 100 points this year is a brief absence due to injury. He is scoring 1.25 points per game, a 103 point pace. He has more points in the last two weeks than anyone else in the NHL with 13. He has eight goals in his previous eight games. He also shoots the puck plenty, averaging over 3.5 shots per game. He has benefited from playing on a powerplay unit alongside Artemi Panarin, but he is skating on a line with Pavel Buchnevich and Phil Di Giuseppe this evening. Zibanejad is a superstar in this league. This is a game the Rangers must have if they want to remain in the playoff chase.
Kevin Fiala (MIN): $6,300 vs NSH
With 49 points in 60 games, Kevin Fiala is already having a career year. With 20 goals in the bank, he will likely surpass his career mark of 23 in that statistic as well. Fiala is also shooting the puck more, on pace to shoot it 210 times this season, well beyond his career average. Fiala has been hot lately. He is riding a four-game goal streak where he has tallied nine points over that span. He has 17 points in his previous 12 games. Minnesota is battling for playoff position now, and Fiala is a big reason why. Tonight he will host his former team in the Nashville Predators, so I expect him to have a little extra juice for this one as well.
Phillip Di Giuseppe (NYR): $2,500 vs STL
I’ve made some pricey selections tonight, so I had to find a bargain somewhere. Di Giuseppe is slated to play on New York’s top line this evening next to Mika Zibanejad and Pavel Buchnevich. The former 38th overall pick is a capable linemate for Zibanejad. He’s just starting to see regular NHL ice time with Chris Kreider out of the lineup. Di Giuseppe scored his first goal on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. This is a cheap way to stack a top-line on a team that scores the fifth most goals per game in the league.
Neal Pionk (WPG): $5,000 vs BUF
In a year where the Jets have really struggled to put together a defensive core, Neal Pionk has been a major positive. After losing Tyler Myers, Dustin Byfuglien, and Jacob Trouba in the offseason, Pionk was thrust into a huge role. He is currently paired with Dmitry Kulikov and skating upwards of 25 minutes a night. He is solidified as the quarterback on a power play unit that will hopefully return Patrik Laine this evening. The great thing about Pionk is that even if he is not on the scoresheet, you can count on him to shoot the puck and likely block a few shots. He has shot the puck 20 times in his previous three games. Tonight the Jets host a Buffalo team that is no longer playing for anything. The Jets need these points, and they need Pionk to contribute.
Mikko Koskinen (EDM): $7,300 @ DAL
I felt obligated to stray from my usual philosophy in goal, as I have selected several high priced players already tonight. Koskinen should get the start this evening in Dallas. The Oilers are coming off a back to back where they pounded the Predators last night 8-3. The Stars do not score many goals, 23rd in the league to be exact. The last time Koskinen faced the Stars, he made 34 of 35 saves in a 2-1 victory. I think this is a good spot to potentially save big money and find a win.