This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's modest NHL slate consists of four 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.
The Islanders are Wednesday's biggest favorites on the road against the lowly Ducks. The other three games are all projected to be competitive. Sabres-Capitals and Avalanche-Maple Leafs both have over/unders of 6.5 goals, while Wild-Blues checks in at 6.0 along with Islanders-Ducks.
Semyon Varlamov, NYI at ANH ($8,100): Varlamov figures to get the easier half of the Islanders' back-to-back set after Ilya Sorokin ($8,300) played in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Kings. Every point matters to an Islanders team that's clinging to the last Eastern Conference playoff spot, but the hot and cold Varlamov should play closer to his high ceiling than his low floor against a Ducks team that's tied for the fewest goals per game at 2.52. Varlamov's 3-2-1 in his last six outings, with two total goals against in the three wins and 15 in the three losses.
Ilya Samsonov, TOR vs. COL ($8,100): Samsonov has been excellent on home ice and Colorado's offense hasn't been quite as fearsome as years past, so there's some against-the-grain appeal here for anyone brave enough to deploy Toronto's netminder against the Stanley Cup champs. Even after scoring eight times in Montreal last game, the Avalanche rank in the middle of the pack with 3.23 goals per game. Meanwhile, Samsonov's 17-2-1 with a 2.01 GAA and .926 save percentage at Scotiabank Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury, MIN at STL ($7,800): Fleury's in his finest form of the season, with just seven goals allowed during his personal five-game winning streak. A Blues team with only three wins in its last 12 games is unlikely to slow him down.
Nathan MacKinnon, COL at TOR ($10,200): MacKinnon's worth building around if you can find enough bargain options to fit his $10,200 salary. He has averaged a goal per game over his last 15 while adding 11 assists over that span, and MacKinnon also leads the league in shots per game this season at 5.3.
Alex Tuch, BUF at WAS ($7,300): Tuch wasted no time in his return from a lower-body injury, lighting the lamp twice in Monday's win over Toronto. The power forward has enjoyed a breakout season, as he reached the 30-goal mark Monday in only his 58th appearance, and Tuch has added 34 assists.
Mitch Marner, TOR vs. COL ($7,200): Marner has logged three consecutive multi-point performances, racking up a 2-6-8 line over that span. He's up to 24-61-85 through 66 games and should remain productive against an Avalanche team that's allowed 11 goals in its last three games.
Pavel Buchnevich, STL vs. MIN ($5,900): Buchnevich has become a go-to offensive player on this slimmed down Blues roster, and he's made the most of the opportunity with a nine-game point streak, as a mid-streak position change from wing to center hasn't slowed him down. He has a 4-11-15 line over that span, and he's easily over a point per game on the season at 20-38-58 in 51 games.
Mason McTavish, ANH vs. NYI ($4,800): McTavish is a nice value at hus sub-$5,000 valuation. The third overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is coming off a two-goal game, and Anaheim will be focused on expediting his development for the remainder of the season. McTavish has averaged a point per game over his last seven while skating in a top-six role and on the top power-play unit.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Islanders at Ducks
Bo Horvat (C - $6,500), Anders Lee ( W - $5,400), Josh Bailey (W - $3,000)
Horvat has unsurprisingly slowed down offensively since leaving the run-and-gun Canucks for the defensive-minded Islanders, but he still has 36 goals between the two, which puts him just outside the top 10 league-wide. Lee has a pair of multi-goal efforts in his last five games and needs just four more goals to reach 30. Of Bailey's 25 points, four have come in the last six games, and he's a nice value given his top-line role against a Ducks team that's allowing a league-high 4.00 goals per game.
Capitals vs. Sabres
Evgeny Kuznetsov (C - $4,500), Alex Ovechkin (W - $7,800), Tom Wilson (W - $4,200)
Ovechkin sat out Tuesday's loss to the Rangers due to a lower-body injury, but with Washington's playoff hopes on thin ice, he'll likely do all he can to limit that absence to one game. Conor Sheary ($2,900) took his spot on the top line Tuesday. Ovechkin has long been known as the league's premier power-play sniper, and if he plays, he'll have a nice opportunity to add to his career total of 296 power-play goals against Buffalo's 30th-ranked penalty kill (72.9 percent). Kuznetsov features alongside Ovechkin on the top power-play unit and ranks second on the team with 18 power-play points -- two shy of Ovechkin's team lead. Wilson has seven goals in 19 games this season, so he could have been flirting with the 30-goal mark this season had he been healthy.
Wild at Blues
Joel Eriksson Ek (C - $6,000), Matthew Boldy (W - $5,600), Marcus Johansson (W - $2,900)
This line will get more opportunities to strut its stuff offensively as Minnesota plays without Kirill Kaprizov (lower body), especially against a Blues team that's surrendering 3.65 goals per game. Eriksson Ek becomes the go-to guy on the power play with Kaprizov out, as his 11 power-play goals are second on the team behind Kaprizov's 16. Boldy's two goals on eight shots over the past two games have him up to 19 goals overall, three back of the second-place total shared by Eriksson Ek and Mats Zuccarello ($6,500). Johansson has a 1-2-3 line in six games since a trade ended his second stint in Washington and began his second stint in Minnesota.
Cale Makar, COL at TOR ($7,300): If not for injuries, Makar could have been giving Erik Karlsson a run for his money atop the blue line scoring leaderboard. Makar has a 15-40-55 line in just 52 games, including a 2-8-10 output during his current five-game point streak.
Noah Dobson, NYI at ANH ($5,500): If you're stacking Islanders in Anaheim, don't forget about the team's top source of offense from the blue line. Dobson easily leads all Islanders defensemen in both goals (12) and points (38), and his 17 power-play points in an Islanders jersey this season are the most among all of the team's healthy skaters.
Cam Fowler, ANH vs. NYI ($5,000): Fowler continues to enjoy a late-season surge, having dished out 11 helpers in his last 10 games. If the Islanders show some tired legs as they finish up a back-to-back set across the country, look for Fowler to take advantage and add to his recent success.
Rasmus Sandin, WAS vs. BUF ($3,700): Sandin continues to provide tremendous value on Washington's blue line since coming over from Toronto via trade. He has a 1-8-9 line through five games with the Capitals, and Sandin's spot on the top power-play unit against the vulnerable Sabres penalty kill puts him in great position to add to his strong start with his new team.