This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Tonight's slate features nine NHL games with six of those contests starting at 7:00 p.m. ET, so make sure to set your lineup early. There are two divisional contests, and only one team – the Avalanche – are playing on the second half of back-to-back games, while four teams play again Friday night. Keep on reading to decipher the large slate and set your stake in DFS glory.
Tuukka Rask ($9,000) is expected to start and will look to extend his six-game win streak where he's posted a .943 save percentage. The slumping Blackhawks are coming to town, as they've won just one of their last seven games while averaging less than two goals per contest. It's undecided who will be in the opposing net, but it's hard to trust Corey Crawford ($7,500) or Robin Lehner ($7,600) against a fierce B's offense.
Connor Hellebuyck ($8,500) leads the league with 14.21 Goals Saved Above Average, according to Natural Stat Trick, and he ranks second with a .934 save percentage. As one of the best goalies in the league this year, he's in an optimal position against the Stars, who rank 16th with 2.46 GF/60 at even strength over the last month.
Since the Golden Knights sent Garret Sparks back to AHL Chicago, it's likely Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,700) is returning to the team. It's unsettled whether he'll be thrust back into action for the first time since Nov. 23. If not, Malcolm Subban ($8,300) will get the nod against the Islanders, who rank 28th with 3.58 goals per game.
Brian Elliott ($7,600) hasn't lost in regulation since Oct. 29, and he's recorded a .926 save percentage and 2.38 GAA in the process. He'll get the nod in a favorable matchup, as the Coyotes have notched just 2.29 GF/60 during the same stretch.
Nazem Kadri ($5,500) gets opponents' secondary defensive options because of their power first line, and he's posted five goals and six assists over the last 12 games as a result. The Canadiens have allowed 2.99 GA/60 at even strength over the past month, so Kadri, who's starting 55.5 percent of shifts in the offensive zone, should be in solid position to add to his totals.
Morgan Frost ($3,900) is working on the top line in his natural center position. He hasn't notched a point since posting three over his first two NHL games, but he's garnered a solid floor since then with at least three shots on goal in seven of eight contests.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Boston Bruins (TOTAL: $21,200)
Coach Bruce Cassidy is mixing up the lines to account for Patrice Bergeron's absence, and this matchup against the Blackhawks will be this unit's first game together. The Hawks have allowed an average of 3.57 goals per contest over the last seven, so the door could be open for a ceiling game.
Colorado Avalanche (TOTAL: $21,300)
MacKinnon extended his point streak to eight games (seven goals, 11 assists) Wednesday, and Rantanen has picked up right where he left off with a score and five helpers over the last two contests. Carey Price has had immense struggles lately with an .849 save percentage over his past seven starts, so this trio's set to ink up the scoresheet.
Carolina Hurricanes (TOTAL: $17,800)
This is another crew that hasn't spent much time together lately, but Aho and Teravainen have combined for 10 goals and 13 assists over the last 11 contests. It's even more intriguing that they also coupled for 62 shots on net in that span, making a solid floor. Since the Sharks have yielded 3.19 GA/60 at even strength over the last month – the third-most in the league – this line has mega potential.
Brent Burns ($6,400) and Erik Karlsson ($6,700) are both premier defenders who rely on the power play for good chunks of their success. Carolina rings up at an 87-percent penalty-kill rate, so it'll be tough for either to exceed their current valuation.
Ivan Provorov ($5,500) takes a four-game point streak into this contest, and he's averaging a whopping 25:47 since the start of November. In that span, he's accrued 11 points – six on the power play – over 17 contests. Although Arizona has one of the stingiest defenses in the league, it has shown vulnerability lately, making Provorov a solid option at a reasonable price.
You can't leave Cale Makar ($5,300) if you're going to stack the Avalanche, as he's racked up 26 points – 11 on the power play – through 26 games. The 21-year-old's in good position against Montreal's 73.2 penalty-kill rate.
Adam Fox ($4,300) is starting a surge with five points and 15 shots on net over the past six contests, and he continues to man the power play. That will come in handy against Columbus' 19th-ranked penalty kill (77.4 percent).