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NHL DFS Picks & Stacks for DraftKings & FanDuel Lineups | Tampa Bay Lightning & Max Pacioretty 3/8/22

Michael Clifford

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Best free NHL picks tonight and hockey betting picks and predictions

There is a monster 11-game slate to look forward to tonight. That means lots of options for NHL DFS picks, so this article will be using our Awesemo tools, like our projections, to help narrow things down. Our subscribers should check our Discord through the day for updates on this March 8th, 2022 slate.

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Dylan Larkin (DET vs. ARI): DraftKings – $5,700 | FanDuel – $8,300

The Red Wings are expected to welcome Jakub Vrana back to the Detroit lineup, and that has pushed Tyler Bertuzzi back to the top line. This is great news for Dylan Larkin and the Wings in general, really. That top line has been excellent this year when they have had the chance to skate together, creating 2.9 expected goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5, leading to a commensurate scoring rate of 3.3, while also controlling over 53% of the expected goals. Without Bertuzzi, they lose nearly a full goal per 60 minutes, so, yes, it is a big difference.

Coming into town tonight is an Arizona team that has seen its play slip of late. They have allowed the most scoring chances per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last five weeks, and if it were not for very good goaltending, things would look worse than being 25th by goals allowed. The Coyotes are giving up more shots than a student bar offering 50-cent Jell-O shooters, and that plays well into Larkin’s hands here tonight.

With such a deep slate, Larkin is not necessarily a must for cash games. In tournaments, though, his reunited line should be heavily considered tonight. He is also fine as a one-off in those same contests.

Note: New lines were submitted by Detroit after this article was submitted, with Bertuzzi going back to the second line. This is still a great matchup for Larkin, and his price, at least on DK, is still very palatable.

Jeff Carter (PIT vs. FLA): DraftKings – $3,300 | FanDuel – $5,300

Jeff Carter has seen his price plummet on DraftKings because of a drop in production and shot rate. As for the latter, players go through tough stretches, like his current one that has seen seven shots on goal in six games. He did something similar back in January (six in five games) and then averaged nearly four shots per game for nearly three weeks. Those are the ebbs for a player in a long season, particularly an older player. Were it not for the bargain price, he would not be in heavy consideration.

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Florida is in town tonight playing a road back-to-back, which is a tough situation for any team. Carter may be lining up on what is the third line, but he is skating nearly 17 minutes a night over the last couple of weeks, and those are not third-line minutes. Florida is a very good team with very good depth, but they will be a bit tired for this and do like to push the pace anyway. That could play well for the Penguins tonight, who are coming in rested.

Both teams have depth scoring so a lot of these decisions come down to pricing. Carter has a reasonable floor with his shots and at that price does not need much to succeed. For a cheaper center on FanDuel, Dawson Mercer (NJD – $4,600) remains on the top line for New Jersey.

Winger

Max Pacioretty (VGK at PHI): DraftKings – $6,300 | FanDuel – $9,400

At a certain point, a player’s price just drops too much and it alleviates some concerns. This applies to Max Pacioretty, who has had injury concerns this year but is now priced much cheaper on DraftKings than he has been most of the year. He made his return on Sunday night, skating nearly 17 minutes, assisting on a tally and landing five shots on goal. That is a lot more like the Pacioretty fans have seen most of this year, and it is what makes his price so appealing.

It really was nice to see, because Pacioretty’s 10 prior games saw him land just 15 total shots, which is why the injury concerns always popped up. He has missed time, but if he is anywhere close to healthy like the earlier parts of the season when he was averaging five shots on goal per game through 15 games, he is very reasonably priced tonight.

The matchup going into Philadelphia is not like Arizona or Detroit, but it is not particularly difficult, either. The Flyers are just outside the bottom-10 by most defensive categories at 5-on-5 over the last five weeks, which is not awful but not great, either. Pacioretty is fine by himself in tournaments or as part of a line stack.

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He is over-priced on FanDuel but still fine for tournaments. You can also consider Vladimir Tarasenko (STL – $7,600) in their home matchup against Ottawa.

Jordan Kyrou (STL vs. OTT): DraftKings – $5,500 | FanDuel – $6,600

The team in one of the best spots tonight is St. Louis, as they are hosting the Ottawa Senators. The Canadian side is bottom-5 in the league over the last six weeks, with their penalty kill also in the bottom-10 by expected goals against. What is saving them is top-5 goaltending in that span. Outside of a few goalies in the league, teams cannot rely on elite goaltending every night, and Ottawa does not have any of those goalies.

Where Jordan Kyrou fits in today is tough to say. The team has jumbled their lines a lot of late and called up a couple of players from the AHL for this contest. That is all to say that even line combinations at morning skate may not persist long into the game. Regardless, Kyrou has been skating nearly 19 minutes a night over his last five games. He has points in each of those games and is over a point-per-game on the season. He is a wonderful playmaker and is great in transition, helping any line he is on.

At his price, it is tough for him to pay off without bringing linemates along, but it may not be a bad idea to one-off him, given the roster issues.

Kevin Fiala (MIN vs. NYR): DraftKings – $4,300 | FanDuel – $6,400

Facing off against Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin is always a precarious situation. He is, arguably, the best goalie in the world, and has certainly been the best goalie in the NHL this season. Even as great as he is, he has still allowed at least three goals a game in 12 of 37 games. Three goals are enough for players that are not priced at the top of the list to easily find success. That is where Kevin Fiala and his depressed DraftKings price come into play.

The Rangers have finally assembled a complete top line, but it has left their depth a bit weak. Over the last five weeks, with the top line off the ice, the Rangers are carrying just 47% of the scoring chances. Fiala will not see much of that New York top line tonight, and that is good for him and his linemates. As it is, he is averaging 3.7 shots on goal over his last 10 games, so there is a reasonably peripheral floor, even against a tough goalie.

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With so many games on the slate and Shesterkin in town, there may not be much ownership on Minnesota tonight. Fiala can be a fantasy success tonight even without scoring himself, given his price.


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Defensemen

John Klingberg (DAL at NSH): DraftKings – $4,200 | FanDuel – $4,500

Whether Miro Heiskanen returns for Dallas tonight or not, John Klingberg will be a part of the top power play unit for the Stars. That is crucial for this matchup, as the Nashville Predators are among the most penalized teams in the league, something that has persisted over the last several weeks. As the penalty kill goaltending has not been as good as earlier in the year, Nashville has the sixth-highest goals against rate per minute over the last five weeks. And that is on top of all the penalties they take. This is one of the better power play matchups that Klingberg and the Stars will get.

If Heiskanen returns, Klingberg should see some ice time losses but that is not as important as his power play role. He does not have a high peripheral floor, but that is also why he is not overly expensive. This is one of the better spots to use him, even on the road.

Martin Fehervary (WSH at CGY): DraftKings – $2,700 | FanDuel – $4,100

Going into Calgary means facing off against one of the shot-happiest teams in the league. Martin Fehervary is averaging 1.6 blocks per game this year, as well as over a shot per game. Not a lot, but not bad for a guy priced where he is. For Calgary, this is their second game in as many nights and fourth in six evenings. That should play to Washington’s advantage, for as much as they can get one against a top team like the Flames.

The hope here is for Fehervary to rack up some blocks on the road against a team that shoots a lot. He is a punt target for those playing on DraftKings tonight.

For fantasy players over on FanDuel that may need a cheap defenseman who can put up more than peripherals, Klingberg is fine. Otherwise, Timothy Liljegren (TOR – $4,000) is also in play as long as he stays on the top pair.

Goalie

Karel Vejmelka (ARI at DET): DraftKings – $7,400 | FanDuel – $6,900

There is no team on the slate tonight allowing more shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 over the last five weeks than Arizona. While Detroit is not a high shot-volume team, they are getting reinforcements back in Vrana, and that does give them a complete top-6 again. Karel Vejmelka has had very good games this year in all kinds of situations and he is top-10 in the league in high-danger save percentage. Among cheap goalies on the slate tonight, Vejmelka should be considered in tournaments.

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TB1: Cirelli – Kucherov – Point

This particular trio does not have much of a sample because of Nikita Kucherov’s injuries over the last couple of years. All the same, with Anthony Cirelli and Brayden Point skating together, the Lightning score 3.2 goals per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 and control 62% of the expected goals, going back to last year. Surely, adding Kucherov, one of the top wingers in the league, will not hurt this great chemistry.

Tampa is going into Winnipeg tonight, and while the Jets are getting healthier, they are bottom-10 by expected goals against over the last five weeks. Returning players will help a bit, but will not make them elite overnight. Even the penalty kill has started to slide after starting the season very strong. This Lightning trio warrants consideration tonight.

VGK2: Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith

There have been times this year where this trio had struggled mightily to score, but there have not been many times they have struggled to generate chances. Their play has picked up of late, averaging nearly 40 scoring chances generated per 60 minutes over their last eight games together. The difference of late is they are finishing their chances, and are scoring over four goals per 60 minutes in that span, even while shooting under 10%. They are a great line and are very cheap tonight. They should not have much ownership, and that makes them targets.

*Additional Stats from Natural Stat Trick


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Initial daily fantasy hockey ownership projections for main slates will be posted daily by 4 p.m. The best NHL DFS projections model was created and is maintained by Alex Baker and Jake Hari. Find more NHL DFS tonight and NHL DFS picks DraftKings as well as the best DFS NHL picks tonight. The DFS rankings NHL for fantasy points and value are derived directly from Alex's own NHL DFS projections today.

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