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NHL DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Saturday (2/19)

by Matthew MacKay | @Matt_MacKay_ | Featured Writer
Feb 19, 2022
Anze Kopitar

A seven-game slate rounds out Saturday’s NHL schedule, which is fewer games than the double-digit amount that is typically provided. Nevertheless, there should be a lot of scoring to go around, as three of the four games on Friday wound up totaling seven or more goals. Not surprisingly, Florida, Carolina, and Los Angeles emerged victorious from these games. The only outcome that trended in the opposite direction was Dallas’ 1-0 shootout victory, overcoming Marc-Andre Fleury’s (G – CHI) stellar night defending the crease.

My recommendations from Thursday’s slate were a mixed bag of results once again. Brady Tkachuk (LW – OTT) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (C – WPG) each scored a goal, while both defensemen Rasmus Dahlin and Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D – VAN) each netted an assist. Thatcher Demko (G – VAN) racked 25 saves, and an overtime win despite allowing San Jose to score four goals, effectively erasing the negative points lost earlier in the matchup. However, Linus Ullmark (G – BOS) was not as fortunate in the net against the New York Islanders, surrendering four goals in a rout. John Tavares (C – TOR) was virtually silent despite skating for nearly 17 minutes, and Alex Tuch (RW – BUF) took four shots on goal but failed to hit paydirt. Overall, having five of eight players wind up with a point or a win in the net is a satisfactory outcome.

Oddsmakers expect all seven of Saturday’s games to hit under 6.5 total goals scored, which may be attributed to the high-quality goaltenders projected to start in between the pipes. As always, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite high-value prospects to target when constructing DFS lineups ahead of Saturday’s puck drops.

Check out today’s daily fantasy hockey contests at DraftKings >>

Recommended Plays: DraftKings 

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Anze Kopitar (C – LAK): $6,900
Anze Kopitar is the Los Angeles Kings’ point leader despite playing in his 16th season for the franchise. The 34-year old veteran has spent his entire career with the Kings, and he’s experienced the highs of winning two Stanley Cups while also enduring the terrible losing seasons. The Kings have become a giant juggernaut in the Western Conference, and Kopitar is a primary reason. He has a whopping 30 assists, while the next closest player has 21 assists. Kopitar can bury goals too, but he’s currently on a four-game goal drought. He compensates for this with four to five shots on goal in most games and enters Saturday’s road contest in Arizona fresh off netting two assists against Vegas on Friday. He’s equipped with a high floor and can produce a high ceiling against inferior competition. Such is the case for Kopitar on Saturday, as he’ll face Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka (G – ARI), who previously surrendered four goals in a loss to Tampa Bay. Vejmelka has a 3.45 GAA and is one of the most vulnerable netminders in the league, making Kopitar a priority in DFS lineups.

Matthew Tkachuk (RW – CGY): $6,800
In February, Calgary has been the hottest team in the NHL, currently riding an eight-game winning streak entering Saturday’s home game against the Seattle Kraken. 24-year old first-line winger Matthew Tkachuk has been phenomenal for the Flames this season, scoring 23 goals and producing 31 assists to occupy the second-highest point scorer (54) on the team behind only Johnny Gaudreau (LW – CGY). Tkachuk has elite genes, as his father, Keith Tkachuk, is a legendary hall-of-fame winger most notably associated with the St. Louis Blues. The 24-year old winger has a five-game point streak intact, including two multi-point efforts, including a three-point finish against Anaheim in his last game. At $6,800, Tkachuk is a solid value, and he has the propensity to deliver lineup-winning production. So lock Tkachuk into lineups with confidence and watch the points pile up.

Quinn Hughes (D – VAN): $5,000
Vancouver has incrementally improved their collective play across the last couple of months, positioning them for the ability to climb up the Pacific Division for a playoff berth. They will need to keep producing at their current pace to get there, which means second-line defenseman Quinn Hughes should retain a role within the offense. The 22-year old is now in his fourth year with the Canucks, and he’s set to smash his career-high in points (45) set back in 2020. This is primarily due to the 33 assists Hughes has produced through 46 games this season. It helps that he earns additional minutes on the second powerplay unit, but he also raises his appeal in DFS lineups by diving in front of one or two opposing shots in the defensive zone. Hughes has only scored three goals this season, but he scored in his last game against San Jose and buried an assist. Keep in mind this was Hughes’ first game back from a three-game absence in the league’s Covid-19 protocols. Perhaps the rest refreshed his legs. In any case, he is involved on offense and is heating up, so plug Hughes into lineups ahead of Saturday’s 10 pm ET puck drop.

Thatcher Demko (G – VAN): $7,500
I recommended Thatcher Demko in my previous DFS Primer, and I will do so again. The 26-year old goaltender had his worst game in five starts, allowing four goals against San Jose but ultimately prevailing with an overtime win on the road Thursday night. Demko is 3-1 in his previous four starts and will face an Anaheim Ducks team trending downward fast. The Ducks have lost four in a row and previously lost 2-1 back on December 29th. What’s even juicier is the fact that DraftKings is valuing Demko at a $7,500 salary, which is comically low. So take advantage of the value and anchor your lineups with Demko defending the crease against a Ducks team that lacks momentum.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000

Patrice Bergeron (C – BOS): $6,700
Admittedly, there is some risk baked in with Patrice Bergeron in just his second game back from a three-game absence due to suffering an upper-body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins a week ago. The 36-year old veteran is now in his 18th season with the historic Boston Bruins franchise, and his return could not occur at a better time. The Bruins are on a two-game losing skid and are 3-5-2 in their previous ten games played. They have been unable to score more than two goals in any of their last five games played, which is likely due to the six-game suspension first-line winger Brad Marchand (LW – BOS) is serving. Still, Bergeron is a highly talented player in the offensive zone and is usually a high-volume shooter. He had an assist in back-to-back games before his injury but laid an egg in his first game back against the Islanders on Thursday. Ottawa will deploy Matt Murray (G – OTT) in the net, coming off of surrendering four goals in a bad loss to St. Louis on Tuesday. Expect Bergeron to rack up an assist and attempt several shots on goal, justifying his salary in a rare plus-matchup for the Bruins.

Andrew Mangiapane (LW – CGY): $6,700
If you’re looking to roster a consistent point-scorer, look no further than Andrew Mangiapane. The 25-year old second-line winger for the Calgary Flames is on a tear at the moment, carrying a seven-game point streak into Saturday’s home game against Seattle. Mangiapane scored a goal with only one shot against the Kraken back nearly two months ago in a game where Philipp Grubauer (G – SEA) did not defend the crease. Grubauer will be the starting goaltender on Saturday, but that has minimal bearing on Mangiapane’s production, as he’s fared well against teams like Toronto, Vegas, and Dallas during this point streak. Mangiapane even racked up three blocked shots against Anaheim in his last game on Wednesday, so his floor is extremely high. You won’t find many other players with the skill and opportunity Mangiapane possesses on Saturday’s slate. So acquire him in lineups and don’t look back.

Jakob Chychrun (D – ARI): $5,100
Arizona is already planning for their offseason, but that shouldn’t prevent you from tapping into some of the value skating on their depth chart. Believe it or not, 23-year old Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun has been heavily involved within the offense in their previous five games played. Chychrun has three assists during this stretch, but he has three games where he’s attempted five shots on goal. Add this volume onto the two to four blocked shots he also produces, and all of a sudden, you have a high-floor defenseman rostered in your DFS lineups. It’s not a sexy pick, but we’re looking for wins, not style points. So swallow your pride and plug Chychrun into lineups as a solid prospect with good value.

Jeremy Swayman (G – BOS): $7,900
Boston doesn’t have much going their way lately, but their 23-year old goaltender, Jeremy Swayman, could reverse their bad fortune if he sustains the high level of play displayed in previous starts. Swayman has only allowed four goals in his last three starts, earning 30-plus saves in two of these games. Swayman also recorded his second shutout of the season against Ottawa last weekend, so perhaps a few days to rest after a disappointing 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers will yield his third shutout. Swayman did earn a win during his previous start against the Senators back on November 9th, allowing two goals on 29 shots. At under $8,000, Swayman is the best value goalie on Saturday’s slate. Boston is talented enough to score against Matt Murray, meaning Swayman has an easy path to victory and an abundance of DFS points.

View daily consensus odds from all major sportsbooks for the NHL at BettingPros >>

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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