NHL Power Plays 2/17/17

It’s a small three-game slate in the NHL on Friday night, including two teams playing a road game on the second night of a back-to-back: Pittsburgh and Colorado. Keep an eye on your favourite news resource as we will get information trickling in before lock about lineups for those two teams.

Note: All pricing for Fantasy Draft.

Center

Elias Lindholm (Carolina) – $8,500

It has not been a large sample of minutes yet, but in 76-plus minutes together this year, the line of Lindholm, Jordan Staal, and Sebastian Aho have been excellent driving the play –  adjusted for usage, via Corsica Hockey, Carolina controls over 52.6 percent of shot attempts when those three are on the ice together. The most important note for this game, however, is the Hurricanes are hosting one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL, with that team playing their second game in as many nights.

Aleksander Barkov (Florida) – $12,800

Since returning from injury two weeks ago, Barkov doesn’t seem to have missed a beat, playing over 18 minutes a game and registering 10 shots on goal in four contests. Those four games include six points. Going into Anaheim means the Panthers are facing a team that plays a low-event game, indicating not many shots for nor against. The Barkov line, however, has been able to generate over 10 scoring chances per 60 minutes of ice time dating back to last year, so even in a low-event game, they should get their chances.

Winger

Oliver Bjorkstrand (Columbus) – $7,100

The rookie was called up for Columbus’s last game, and responded with a goal and three shots on target. In their last game home against the Penguins, Alexander Wennberg’s line, which is where Bjorkstrand is playing, only faced off against Sidney Crosby’s line for three minutes out of a possible 18:21. That should give the top line for the Blue Jackets good matchups against the depth of Pittsburgh. Those playing the expensive options like Crosby or Evgeni Malkin will need to save cap space somewhere, and this winger is a good place to start.

Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh) – $9,500

Pittsburgh’s top line should see a fair amount of Brandon Dubinsky’s line from Columbus tonight. That bodes well for Kunitz and company, as Dubinsky, Boone Jenner, and Cam Atkinson have been arguably the worst defensive trio among the Blue Jackets forwards this year: in their 462 plus minutes of ice time together, the Jackets give up over 60 shot attempts per 60 minutes. As a team, Columbus only gives up 54 per 60 minutes. For the DFS players avoiding Crosby’s high cost, but still looking to get exposure in a good matchup despite the back-to-back, Kunitz is the target.

Jakob Silfverberg (Anaheim) – $11,700

In the wake of the Antoine Vermette suspension, the new top line in Anaheim – depending how you grade their lineup – consists of Ryan Getzlaf flanked by Ondrej Kase and Silfverberg. The Swede is on pace for career highs in goals, assists, and shots on goal, not to mention playing nearly 18:30 per game. Ryan Kesler’s line typically takes the tough matchups in home games, and that should free up the Getzlaf line to play against the depth of the Panthers. Florida has been good defensively for most of this season, which is why paying for ice time and shot production is paramount when looking at Ducks skaters, and Silfverberg can give both.

Defense

Seth Jones (Columbus) – $11,300

Through 50 games this year, Jones has provided 109 shots on goal, and blocked 84 more. That kind of floor – nearly four shots-plus-blocked-shots per game – is worth paying up for in cash contests. His 31 points also give him an 82-game pace of 51 points. For Friday, specifically, catching the Penguins on a back-to-back should bode well offensively for the Blue Jackets, as Pittsburgh has given up nearly 33 shots per game in the second of back-to-backs on the road this year. They aren’t a stout defensive team to begin with, but every edge matters, and Jones provides a safe enough floor for cash games.

Justin Faulk (Carolina) – $11,600

It is tough to consider any player a must-play in NHL DFS given the random nature of the game. All the same, getting an awful Colorado team on the second night of a back-to-back means all high-end Carolina skaters are options tonight, with Faulk being no exception. The blueliner has a slightly higher floor than Jones does, and is, all things considered, in a better matchup. It is debatable which unit is the top power-play unit, but Faulk runs the unit with Staal and Lindholm. With such a good matchup, power-play minutes, and a high floor, it’s hard to leave this defenseman off of cash game rosters.

Team Goaltending

Florida – $14,300

It was a tough start to the year for James Reimer, as he had a sub-.900 save percentage through the end of November. Since that point, however, he has posted a very solid .927 mark. On tonight’s slate, the Panthers goaltending is the second-cheapest, and money needs to be saved when paying up for the elite options. Florida’s goaltending can help in this regard.