With a couple of games on TNT and two fillers, there is a small four-game slate on Wednesday night. However, there are still some great options to sift through for NHL DFS.
NHL DFS Picks for DraftKings
Stack 1 – Anaheim Ducks
(W) Max Comtois: $3,700
(W) Troy Terry: $6,200
(D) John Klingberg: $4,400
The first stack to target on Wednesday’s slate features the Anaheim Ducks, who host the Minnesota Wild in TNT’s nightcap. Since they are on the second half of a back-to-back, backup goaltender Filip Gustavsson is slated to take the crease for Minnesota.
Through three appearances between the pipes this season, he is 0-3 with a .878 SV% and 3.92 GAA. If he qualified, Gustavsson would rank second last among starting goaltenders in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
These poor numbers are not the result of a small sample size either. Serving as a rotational goaltender for Ottawa last season, Gustavsson went 5-12-1 with a .892 SV% and 3.55 GAA.
Anaheim should be able to take advantage of a backup goaltender who is guarding the crease behind a team that is on the second half of a road back-to-back, especially considering that the Ducks enter this contest on two days of rest. A stack consisting of wingers Max Comtois and Troy Terry, along with defenseman John Klingberg, is a great build for this game, especially considering the relatively cheap prices on Comtois and Klingberg.
All three of these guys skate together on the first power play unit while Comtois and Terry are the wingers on the Comtois-Strome-Terry line. Minnesota’s penalty kill ranks just 21st in the league this season (76.3%).
Serving as a trigger man for both the first line and the first power play unit, Comtois has started to find a groove as he has scored three goals over the last four games. He is accumulating a good amount of points with his willingness to shoot the puck, as he is averaging three shots on goal per game over those four contests.
Comtois is a must-pair with his linemate Terry, who is the Ducks’ leading offensive playmaker. This season, Terry leads this team in both assists (12) and points (17) through 13 games.
Entering this matchup in particularly good form, Terry has logged one goal and seven assists over his last five games. He is also averaging 3.8 shots on goal and 1.2 blocked shots per game over that stretch.
These two wingers should pair well with defenseman Klingberg, who is starting to own up to that $7 million contract he signed over the off-season. Klingberg has now registered five assists over his last four games while averaging 2.8 shots on goal and 1.5 blocked shots over that span.
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Stack 2 – Montreal Canadiens
(C) Nick Suzuki: $6,800
(W) Cole Caufield: $6,800
(W) Kirby Dach: $3,900
The second stack to target on Wednesday’s slate features the Montreal Canadiens, who host the Vancouver Canucks. Since they are on the second half of a back-to-back, goaltender Thatcher Demko is slated to take the crease for Vancouver.
Through nine starts between the pipes this season, he is 1-6-2 with a .879 SV% and 3.90 GAA. It has been an incredibly tough stretch for Demko, as he has surrendered a minimum of three goals in each of his nine appearances this season, a trend that could continue against Montreal.
Over his last seven starts against the Habs, he possesses a .904 SV% and 3.27 GAA. In this contest, Montreal’s first line is the strongest stack to target, which consists of wingers Cole Caufield and Kirby Dach, and centerman Nick Suzuki.
All three of these guys also skate together on the first power play unit. Vancouver’s penalty kill ranks dead last in the league this season at a staggering 60.5%.
Since joining Caufield and Suzuki on the first line, Dach has been stuffing the stat sheet. Over his last five games, he has logged one goal and six assists. Priced south of four thousand, Dach is a must-play considering he should grab at least a point due to his linemates’ firepower.
Caufield and Suzuki keep trying to one-up each other this season, as both rank first on the team in goals (eight) and are each averaging north of a point per game. Over his last seven games, Caufield has posted four goals, and five assists while averaging 4.4 shots on goal.
Suzuki has been in great form as well, recording five goals and three assists over his last five games. If the Canucks head to the penalty box this game, then this stack is likely to explode in terms of point production, especially considering Demko’s recent form.
Stack 3 – Washington Capitals
(C) Evgeny Kuznetsov: $4,500
(D) Erik Gustafsson: $3,200
The last stack to target on Wednesday’s slate features the Washington Capitals, who host the Pittsburgh Penguins. Entering this game amidst a seven-game losing streak, Pittsburgh will look to goaltender Tristan Jarry in the net to turn things around.
Through eight starts between the pipes this season, he is 4-3-1 with a .903 SV% and 3.38 GAA. Among starting goaltenders, Jarry ranks in the bottom half of the league in GSAx/60 at 5-on-5.
It has been a specifically tough stretch for the Penguins’ netminder recently as he has surrendered a minimum of three goals in each of his last five starts, a trend that could continue against Washington. Across his four starts against the Caps last season, Jarry went 1-2-1 with a .884 SV% and 3.96 GAA.
While most of the attention in this game will go towards future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin (both in real life and DFS), it is best to utilize his production by taking those who play alongside him at a much cheaper price. That means backing his linemate Evgeny Kuznetsov and power play quarterback Erik Gustafsson.
With John Carlson sidelined with an injury, Gustafsson has taken over the defenseman role on the first power play unit alongside Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. Gustafsson made the most of this opportunity as he recorded three power play assists in Monday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Even more impressive than Gustafsson’s performance in that game was the work done by Kuznetsov, who recorded two goals, two assists, four shots on goal and one blocked shot. Pittsburgh’s penalty kill ranks 26th in the league this season, so it is not inconceivable that these two skaters put on another clinic on special teams.
Keep in mind that Carlson does have the potential to return this game, so Gustafsson should be a late swap option as he would be taken out of the first power play unit if Carlson plays.
Antti Raanta (CAR at FLA): $7,600
With starting goaltender Frederik Andersen expected to miss this game for Carolina after sustaining an undisclosed injury during Tuesday’s practice, backup netminder Antti Raanta is in line to start for the Hurricanes. While losing a starting goaltender typically hurts teams, Carolina is fortunate to be in a position where their backup is almost as good as the starter.
When filling in for Andersen last season, Raanta was tremendous between the pipes as he went 15-5-4 with a .912 SV% and 2.45 GAA. This strong play continued into the postseason when Andersen was hurt, as Raanta produced a .922 SV% and 2.26 GAA through 13 playoff games.
Raanta should continue to post good results in this contest against Florida. Across four career starts against the Panthers, he boasts a .918 SV% and 2.64 GAA.
It would not be surprising if Raanta is relatively low-owned on Wednesday’s DFS slate due to Florida’s strong offense and the fact that he is a backup. However, he is more than capable of filling in the starting duties.
Additionally, Florida’s fast-paced offense could be a benefit to Raanta’s fantasy points. The more shots he faces, the more points he can accumulate via saves.
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