This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday's NHL slate features 10 games after 7:00 p.m. EST. Below, you'll find a breakdown of the action and suggested options for crafting an effective DraftKings DFS lineup. All game lines and odds used below are pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook.
There are two heavy favorites in action Thursday: the Islanders against Arizona and the Kings against Chicago. After those two teams, the Devils vs. Ottawa and Avalanche vs. Nashville are expected to get the job done at home, while the Golden Knights and Rangers are favored in Buffalo and Detroit, respectively.
Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. ARI ($8,100): Sorokin's 6-3-0 with a 2.20 GAA and .933 save percentage. By the time he's done with the Coyotes, those numbers should look even better. Arizona has been a tricky fantasy opponent for goalies due to a lack of shot volume, but New York's stifling defense should help Sorokin pick up an easy win in this one.
Alexandar Georgiev, COL vs. NSH ($7,800): Georgiev has been excellent to begin his tenure in Colorado, notching a 6-1-1 record, 2.61 GAA and .925 save percentage. He's well positioned to add to that success at home against a Predators team that's averaging 2.62 goals per game — fourth-fewest in the NHL.
Kaapo Kahkonen, SJ at STL ($7,700): Kahkonen's 3.73 GAA and .885 save percentage leave much to be desired, but if you think he's off to a slow start, wait until you see the Blues' offense. St. Louis is off to a dreadful 3-8-0 start while scoring a league-low 2.09 goals per game. The Blues will likely get going eventually, but locking in Kahkonen in hopes that St. Louis' early struggles continue is a viable strategy.
Igor Shesterkin, NYR at DET ($7,400): The Rangers recently lost to the Red Wings in overtime, but that was with winless backup Jaroslav Halak in net. Turning to Shesterkin should help the Blueshirts win the rematch, as the reigning Vezina Trophy winner has gone 6-2-2 with a 2.58 GAA and .910 save percentage in what has been a bit of a slow start if anything.
Connor McDavid, EDM at CAR ($9,400): There's a convincing argument to make for building around McDavid any time he plays, and this time's no exception. He's on an incredible heater over the past seven games, with a casual 9-9-18 line over that stretch. McDavid's low point over that span is 18.1 fantasy points, and he's topped 40 twice. Carolina has a tough defense, but he's catching the Hurricanes at the right time, as they're likely to deploy third-string goalie Pyotr Kochetkov here with Frederik Andersen hurt and Antti Raanta having just started Wednesday's loss to Florida.
Jack Eichel, VGK at BUF ($7,100): Eichel deserves a mention here in his return to Buffalo. The former Sabres franchise player is finally enjoying the team success he craved in Vegas, and Eichel has been a key cog for the Golden Knights with a 6-9-15 line through 14 games. Eichel comes in riding a six-game point streak and has accrued at least 12.8 fantasy points in each of those games. Going back further, he's reached 12.0 fantasy points in nine of the last 10 games.
Sebastian Aho, CAR vs. EDM ($6,500): Carolina will have to score to keep pace with the Oilers, and Aho's the likeliest source of offense for the Hurricanes. The top-line center has a 7-8-15 line through 13 games heading into this home game against an Oilers team that's giving up 3.50 goals per game.
Pavel Buchnevich, STL vs. SJ ($4,700): This is a nice opportunity to buy low on Buchnevich, who exceeded a point per game last season (76 in 73), then notched a goal and an assist in the season opener but hasn't marked the scoresheet since. A lower-body injury derailed his early momentum, but Buch is too skilled to be held down for too long, and a home game against Kahkonen and the Sharks could be just what the Russian winger needs to reignite his offense.
Tomas Tatar, NJ vs. OTT ($3,700): Tatar's a nice value play given his recent success. The veteran winger's thriving in a top-six role for a Devils team that's won seven in a row. After opening the season with a personal five-game point drought, Tatar has been held without a point only once in the past eight games, and an Ottawa team that's giving up 3.67 goals per game is unlikely to slow him down.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Avalanche vs. Predators
With a couple of more affordable stacks available below, you should have no trouble carving out the cap space to fit some or all of Colorado's top line. MacKinnon's 19 points in 11 games are good for a rate of 1.73 points per game, which checks in third league-wide behind McDavid and Leon Draisaitl ($8,500). While those two have to contend with Carolina's top-10 defense, MacKinnon's line will face a Nashville team that's allowing the 10th-most goals per game (3.38). Rantanen has a 7-9-16 line, including 4-3-7 over the past three games, and Lehkonen has supplied a 3-4-7 line through 11 games.
Kings vs. Blackhawks
Los Angeles' top line doesn't have household names besides Kopitar, but this has been an effective combination for the heavily favored Kings. Vilardi leads the team with a 10-5-15 line through 15 games, and his valuation will continue to climb the longer he keeps up this production. Kopitar has been solid as usual with two goals and 11 assists, while Kempe's 6-3-9 line has him on pace to top the 30-goal mark again after potting 35 last season.
Islanders vs. Coyotes
There's some nice value available on this line against a Coyotes team that's surrendering 3.83 goals per game. Nelson has a 6-3-9 line in his last seven games and 15 points through 14 games overall. Beauvillier and Bailey have modest 3-4-7 and 3-2-5 lines, respectively, but given the favorable matchup and their deployment in the top six, it's a good time to lock in one or both affordable wingers to clear cap space for the likes of McDavid or MacKinnon.
Tony DeAngelo, PHI at CLS ($6,500): DeAngelo has been a key part of the Flyers' offense, ranking third on the team in points with a 2-6-8 line through 12 games. He has a nice opportunity to add to that production against the Blue Jackets, who are allowing a league-high 4.58 goals per game.
Devon Toews, COL vs. NSH ($5,700): Toews is an understated but key component of Colorado's dominance. He's one point shy of averaging a point per game, and Toews has averaged more than two shots and two blocked shots per game to boot. He's been especially effective over the past three games, averaging 16.3 fantasy points thanks to a 1-4-5 line.
Charlie McAvoy, BOS vs. CGY ($5,200): McAvoy could be ready to make his season debut, and his well-rounded game and likely role on the top power-play unit would make McAvoy a solid fantasy choice given how well the Bruins have done without him so far. Boston's new coaching staff is getting the most out of its players, so McAvoy should hit the ground running if he plays.
Filip Roos, CHI at LA ($2,500): Roos has played a consistent role on Chicago's blue line with Seth Jones sidelined by a thumb injury. Over the three games since Jones went down, Roos has two assists, five shots and four blocked shots. You could do worse at the minimum $2,500 valuation if you need to fill out your lineup with a bargain bin blueliner.