This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday's NHL slate features no shortage of action, with nine games on tap after 7:00 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
While this slate mostly lacks lopsided matchups outside of the Lightning hosting the Wild, there's no shortage of value to be found in this slate, including in some games owners might reflexively avoid, like Jets-Stars and Golden Knights-Islanders. With a number of appealing affordable options in net, nailing your goalie pick can go a long way in crafting an effective lineup regardless of format.
The Golden Knights are playing their best hockey of the season while the Islanders are playing their worst. Vegas is riding a season-high four-game winning streak while the Islanders are 2-3-1 in their past six, having scored only 10 goals in those six games. Whether Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,400) returns from his personal absence or Malcolm Subban ($7,200) gets the nod after starting every game in this winning streak, whomever Vegas starts in net is primed to provide great bang for the buck.
Darcy Kuemper ($7,500) is another strong value play who can be had at an affordable price. He brings an 11-6-2 record, 1.97 GAA and .936 save percentage into a road clash with a Flyers team that's scoring a middling 3.14 goals per game.
Martin Jones' ($7,100) peripherals leave a lot to be desired, but he's 10-2-0 in his past 12 starts. He'll take on a slumping Hurricanes team that's lost three of its past four games, twice via shutout.
Linus Ullmark ($7,300) has grabbed the Sabres' starting job by the horns, winning three of his past four starts while setting aside 138 of 148 shots for a .932 save percentage over that span. His season save mark has climbed to .917, and it's likely to improve further against a Flames team that's scoring just 2.41 goals per game — second-fewest in the league.
With Patrice Bergeron (lower body) ruled out, David Krejci ($6,800) will continue to fill the most fantasy-friendly center spot in the NHL between David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. Krejci has produced a 4-4-8 line in his past six games, and he should stay hot against a Chicago team that's had trouble defending centers.
Artemi Panarin ($8,100) is living up to the lofty contract he signed to join the Rangers as a free agent this past offseason, with a 12-21-33 line through 26 games. The star winger will be extra motivated to deliver against the Blue Jackets team that he spent the past two seasons with.
Joonas Donskoi ($5,900) is thriving on Colorado's top line alongside star forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. He has a 3-2-5 line in the past two games alone, giving Donskoi 12 goals and 23 points in 27 games overall. Donskoi should stay hot against a Canadiens team that's allowing 3.46 goals per game and has won only once in its last nine.
Alec Tuch ($3,800) is an unconventional play against the stingy Islanders, but he could come through for GPP owners based on recent results. While New York has won only twice in its last six games, Tuch has three goals and three assists in his last three contests. Despite that hot streak, Tuch can be had for a meager $3,800.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Lightning vs. Wild
The Lightning's top line is starting to replicate its immaculate results from last season, and that's likely to continue against a Wild team that's giving up 3.14 goals per game. Kucherov has led the way, rediscovering the form from last year's magical 128-point campaign with a 6-13-19 line over his past 11 games. Point has added a 6-2-8 line in his past seven contests, while Palat potted his ninth goal of the season Tuesday, putting him on pace for 30.
Blue Jackets vs. Rangers
Each of these players costs no more than $5,000, making this line a potentially great source of value against a Rangers team that's giving up 3.31 goals per game. Nyquist is tied with Pierre-Luc Dubois for the team lead with 18 points, and he ranks second on the team with seven goals in 27 games. Bjorkstrand's not far behind with a 6-9-15 line, while Jenner has six goals and has scored as many as 30 before.
Jets at Stars
This against-the-grain stack might just pay off in GPP formats, just like it did in Winnipeg's 5-1 win over Dallas on Tuesday, when this trio combined for three goals, seven points and 11 shots. That game was the continuation of a recent trend for these guys, as Conner has a 3-3-6 line in his past four games while Laine's at 2-5-7 in that same stretch. All three of these talented forward have between 24 and 27 points, putting each on pace to top the 70-point mark.
Cale Makar ($5,900) has 27 points in as many games, including 12 on the power play. The offensively gifted blueliner should continue to produce against a 74.1 percent Canadiens penalty kill that's the second-most generous in the league.
Victor Hedman's ($5,800) outstanding campaign is flying under the radar, but he's up to a point-per-game pace with a 5-18-23 line in 23 appearances. The 2018 Norris Trophy winner will likely see his price climb before long, so lock him in at just $5,800 against the Wild while you still can.
Adam Fox ($4,100) took a few games to get acclimated to the NHL, but the rookie blueliner has been tremendous for a while now, posting a 5-8-13 line over his past 17 games. A Columbus team that's giving up 3.07 goals per game is unlikely to slow the talented blueliner down.
Despite missing six of his team's 29 games, John Klingberg ($4,700) leads the Stars with five power-play points. His proficiency with the extra man makes Klingberg a strong choice against a Jets penalty kill that ranks among the 10 worst at 76.9 percent.