This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday marks the 12th day of 2023 with 12 NHL games after 7:00 p.m. EST. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective DraftKings DFS lineup. All game lines and odds used below come courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
There are numerous lopsided matchups Thursday, which could lead to some big fantasy performances from a few big names. The Avalanche and Hurricanes are both massive road favorites in Chicago and Columbus, respectively. Meanwhile, the Lightning (vs. Vancouver) and Bruins (vs. Seattle) are expected to take care of business on home ice. The Tampa Bay and Carolina games both have over/unders of 6.5 goals, as do the Jets-Sabres, Maple Leafs-Red Wings, Predators-Canadiens, Senators-Coyotes and Panthers-Golden Knights matchups.
Alexandar Georgiev, COL at CHI ($8,400): Georgiev has struggled recently, but a game against the league-worst Chicago offense could be what he needs to get back on track. The Blackhawks average a league-low 2.21 goals per game, and the only other team below 2.5 (Anaheim) is idle, so this is easily the most goalie-friendly matchup out there Thursday. Pavel Francouz ($7,900) would also be a strong choice should Colorado start the backup in his return from injured reserve.
Logan Thompson, VGK vs. FLA ($7,600): Thompson has been solid behind the stout Vegas defense, as he sits at 18-10-1 with a 2.66 GAA and .914 save percentage. He'll have a robust ceiling against a shot-happy Panthers team, which averages a league-high 35.7 shots on goal but is tied with the Golden Knights for 13th at 3.26 goals per game.
Igor Shesterkin, NYR vs. DAL ($7,500): Many of Thursday's games are expected to be high-scoring, but that isn't the case for Stars-Rangers, which is one of two games with a slate-low over/under of 5.5 goals. Shesterkin's ratios have fallen off from last season's historically strong marks, but it's hard to complain too much about a 19-6-6 record, 2.49 GAA and .916 save percentage heading into a home game against a Stars team that's without first-line center Roope Hintz (upper body).
Filip Gustavsson, MIN at NYI ($7,400): The other game with an over/under of 5.5 goals is also in New York, and Gustavsson should capitalize on facing the 20th-ranked Islanders offense (3.10 goals per game). Gustavsson has been Minnesota's best option in net for a while now, going 8-2-0 in his last 10 decisions while allowing no more than one goal six times over that span.
Nikita Kucherov, TB vs. VAN ($8,700): The sky's the limit for Kucherov against a Canucks team that's been burned for 3.93 goals per game, including 12 in the first two games of Vancouver's current road trip. Kucherov's third in the league with 59 points in 39 games, and he's been held without a point only twice in his last 14 games. The star winger also had a favorable matchup in his previous game, and he made the most of it with two goals and two assists against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Kyle Connor, WPG at BUF ($7,600): Connor has a 5-7-12 line during his current seven-game point streak, bringing his season production up to 20 goals and 30 assists in 41 games. He's on pace for an even 40 goals and 100 points, and the star winger could accelerate that pace against a Sabres team that's surrendered at least four goals in each of its last four games and three-plus goals in seven straight.
Filip Forsberg, NSH at MON ($6,400): Over the past couple weeks, Forsberg has looked like the player who needed only 69 games to pot 42 goals last season. Since returning from the holiday break, the top-line winger has eight goals in eight games, and he's added four assists for good measure. Forsberg should keep rolling against the struggling Canadiens, who are mired in a 2-10-1 slump.
Matty Beniers, SEA at BOS ($4,800): Beniers is an against-the-grain option against the dominant Bruins, but the second overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is turning into a star and likely won't be available at a sub-$5,000 valuation for much longer. Beniers has a five-game goal streak going, and he's added a second point in four of those five games for a surging Kraken team that's won six in a row.
Milan Lucic, CGY at STL ($2,600): With so many pricey stars poised for big games, clearing cap space will be important, and locking in Lucic at just $100 above the minimum valuation can help create some valuable room in your lineup. The rugged winger has played well in a top-six role recently, notching two goals during his current three-game point streak. St. Louis' banged-up defense corps has had trouble clearing the crease in front, and Lucic does his best work right in front of the net. These teams just met Tuesday, and Lucic lit the lamp in that game.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Avalanche at Blackhawks
Nathan MacKinnon (C - $9,300), Artturi Lehkonen (W - $5,600), Evan Rodrigues (W - $5,500)
With MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen ($7,900) on separate lines, affording the entire Colorado top line will be easier against the 10-25-4 Blackhawks. MacKinnon has missed some time due to injuries, but his prorated stats are right up there with the league's best. He's sixth among players with more than five appearances at 1.39 goals per game, and if MacKinnon had dressed for all 39 of Colorado's games, he would likely be leading the league in shots on goal, as he has 148 in just 28 appearances. Lehkonen has a 9-17-26 line in 36 games and Rodrigues is at 9-10-19 in just 28 appearances. The latter's also on a six-game point streak.
Hurricanes at Blue Jackets
Paul Stastny (C - $3,000), Martin Necas (W - $6,600), Andrei Svechnikov (W - $6,300)
Maybe this wouldn't be the case if Sebastian Aho ($6,200) hasn't missed seven games, but as things stand, Necas and Svechnikov occupy the top two spots in both goals and points for the Hurricanes with 17-22-39 and 19-15-34 lines, respectively. Stastny's best days are behind him, but he's a nice value option while skating between these two skilled wingers, and the veteran pivot has picked up four points over his last four games. Carolina's likely to dominate a Blue Jackets team that's getting outscored 3.93 to 2.55 on average, and this line should lead the way.
Senators at Coyotes
Tim Stutzle (C - $6,600), Brady Tkachuk (W - $7,700), Claude Giroux (W - $5,300)
An Arizona team that's allowing 3.68 goals per game – fifth-most in the league – is unlikely to have an answer for Ottawa's top line. Stutzle had a seven-game point streak halted last time out, but the third player selected in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft still has an 8-4-12 line in his last eight games. Tkachuk's point-per-game production through 40 has been accompanied by 174 shots, which is fifth-most in the NHL. Giroux has added a 15-21-36 line, including three multi-point games in his last six.
Cale Makar, COL at CHI ($7,600): If you're stacking Avs, don't forget to include Makar. He's on his lowest scoring pace since his rookie season, which for Makar translates to just one point shy of a point per game with 38 in 39. Makar's still top-five among defensemen in goals (10), points (38) and shots (125).
Victor Hedman, TB vs. VAN ($6,600): The goals continue to elude Hedman, but he's making up for that with plenty of helpers. The star defenseman has dished out seven assists in his last four games and he continues to lay a nice base of shots and blocks to boot. His production was stifled earlier by a move off the top power-play unit, but Hedman has since reclaimed that spot from Mikhail Sergachev ($6,300), and four of Hedman's seven recent helpers have come on the man advantage.
Brady Skjei, CAR at CLS ($4,400): Much like the Hurricanes as a whole, Skjei's having an understated but strong season. His 2-2-4 line in the last three games has Skjei up to 8-11-19 through 40 games. The 28-year-old blueliner is on pace to challenge his career high of 39 points, which Skjei set back in his rookie season of 2016-17 with the Rangers. The Blue Jackets are unlikely to slow him down considering Skjei mustered a goal and an assist against Columbus less than a week ago.
K'Andre Miller, NYR vs. DAL ($3,800): After scoring a highlight reel goal and adding an assist in Tuesday's win over the Wild, Miller has a 2-4-6 line during his four-game point streak. Stretching back further, Miller has contributed a 4-10-14 line in his last 16 games. Only two of those points have come on the power play, so Miller shouldn't be bothered by facing the fourth-ranked Dallas penalty kill (82.9 percent).