The NHL’s two-game Sunday slate offers two sides in stellar matchups with the Penguins and Panthers, and there will be massive ownership percentages on both of those two teams’ superstars. Let’s dive into the best NHL DFS picks from this light slate.
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The plan of action here is shooting for the Blue Jackets – Panthers game to break wide open, which is a realistic possibility considering each team’s recent results.
As for the other games, Chicago has generated just 2.41 goals per game this season, which is the lowest average in the entire league. That makes Casey DeSmith by far the best goalie target, and he and Sergei Bobrovsky are the only real options on today’s slate.
Pittsburgh has trended into far better form since snapping its seven-game losing skid and has allowed a very steady 3.16 goals against per game while posting a 4-1-1 record against some tough competition. The Penguins have allowed 2.88 expected goals per 60 (xGA/60) during that sample and should be able to limit Chicago’s high-danger chances in this spot.
Chicago’s paltry 2.41 goals per game come with just 2.58 expected goals for per 60 (xGF/60), and combining those underlying numbers with the quality of talent on the roster, an offensive upswing does not seem likely anytime soon.
Blue Jackets vs. Florida Panthers
A season ago, Florida scored more goals than any NHL team of the salary cap era on route to winning the Presidents Trophy, yet it still allowed goals at a relatively high rate of 2.95 per game. Considering the team features essentially all the same strengths and deficiencies, it’s not surprising to see that Florida has still played a notably high-event style of hockey this season. That makes this Columbus matchup a great DFS target for both sides.
The Panthers have generated the most chances in the NHL this season with 4.16 xGF/60, and they should be able to generate a lot of offense against a Blue Jackets team that is allowing the most goals against in the league this season. In all likelihood, winning rosters tonight will include three or four Panthers, but the Panthers themselves are still allowing a 13th-most xGA/60 (3.34) and 3.32 goals against.
Sergei Bobrovsky has also offered far worse play in goal than Spencer Knight and will likely start tonight after Knight played yesterday’s contest against Calgary.
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This trio combines the Panthers’ high-powered top power play unit and will be a deadly stack should that unit break through twice or more in this matchup. Aleksander Barkov is the highest-salaried skater on the slate and has begun to dominate after a slow start to the season, with 11 points over his last 10 games and an average of 4.6 shots on goal during that span.
Sam Reinhart will not skate at even strength with Barkov, but he is on Florida’s top power play, which has looked incredible over the last handful of games. Reinhart’s play has been dominant of late, and it’s not surprising to see he has five goals over his last six games.
Aaron Ekblad will also skate on the top power play and will get huge minutes at five-on-five. At $5,400 on DraftKings and $5,900 on FanDuel, he still seems to be undervalued compared to where he will be moving forward. Ekblad generated 57 points in 61 games a season ago and will be likely to match such production this season as he continues to settle back in post injury. In this matchup, he is a heavy discount compared to last season, and Ekblad should hold extra value in this spot.
Cole Sillinger has some legitimate offensive upside this season and will remain on both the Columbus second line and second power play alongside Yegor Chinakhov. Sillinger enters this matchup in strong form, with two goals and as assist over his last four games and an average of 2.75 shots on goal during that span. His price of $2,800 on DraftKings is simply too low in a reasonable matchup.
The same goes for Chinakhov, who also enters with 3 points over his last four games and should be able to sustain such production moving forward.
Emil Bemstrom is another very interesting option and is a logical stack with Johnny Gaudreau. That pair compile another interesting way to mix in some Blue Jackets in this matchup.
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