This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday's five-game slate includes a pair of round-robin contests featuring the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews and Vladimir Tarasenko. Meanwhile, the Flames will have the opportunity to close out their series against the Jets.
It was a shaky Game 2 for Cam Talbot ($8,300), but the coaching staff showed faith in the veteran netminder and kept him in the crease for Tuesday's matchup with Winnipeg. Talbot rewarded that faith by stopping 33 of 35 shots on his way to a win and 26.5 fantasy points. On the heels of that performance, Talbot sits atop the goalie pool as the most expensive option. If Winnipeg remains without Mark Scheifele (leg) and Patrik Laine (wrist), it certainly could be worth paying up for Talbot.
Given the talent on both teams, the Vegas vs Dallas matchup could be either a goal fest or a goalie battle. It will almost certainly be Jordan Binnington ($7,600) between the pipes for the Blues, while the situation for the Knights remains fluid after Robin Lehner ($7,800) got the start in the first round-robin game over veteran Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,800). Regardless of which side of the matchup you want to take, this trio of netminders offers good value given their respective salaries.
Following the Game 3 defeat, Connor Hellebuyck ($7,00) told reporters, "I don't see it being easy for them at all for the rest of the series," per Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet. That's the type of statement that would likely make fantasy players take an extra look at the netminder – nevermind that the Vezina Trophy candidate is the most cost-effective option on the board. Alternatively, the Flyers will be starting backup Brian Elliott ($7,300) in their round-robin matchup with Washington, which could be an intriguing contrarian play for GPP contests.
Scott Laughton ($3,600): Coach Alain Vigneault specifically called out Laughton's performance on the second line when discussing possibly shifting things around Thursday to get some more guys minutes. After scoring a goal on two shots, the only complaint about the 26-year-old's performance against Boston is the 12 minutes he spent in the penalty box. If he can avoid drawing the eye of the officials, Laughton could log upwards of 17 minutes in a second-line role.
Alexandre Texier ($2,800): Following the Jackets' Game 2 loss, coach John Tortorella shuffled the deck a little, which means Texier finds himself playing on the top line alongside Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson. The 20-year-old Texier has recorded a mere 7.5 combined fantasy points through the first two contests but his assignment on the first line should boost his opportunities to get on the scoresheet.
Chandler Stephenson ($3,000): Speaking of quality assignments, Stephenson figures to continue holding down his spot on the Golden Knights' top line with Max Pacioretty (undisclosed) on the shelf. The winger opened the scoring in Vegas' first round-robin matchup with Dallas and managed 11.5 fantasy points. Once Pacioretty is cleared to play, Stephenson will likely be bumped from the top-six, but until then, he should continue to provide solid value.
Canucks vs Wild
Blanked in the first game of the series, this trio made its presence known in Game 2, combining for two goals and two helpers. Despite all logging over nine minutes of ice time with the man advantage, only one of those four points was recorded on the power play. Still, given that many opportunities, Vancouver's top line isn't going to be held off the scoresheet for long.
Capitals vs Flyers
Rather than facing No. 1 option Carter Hart, Washington will be facing backup Brian Elliott, though it should be noted that Elliott won both of his matchups with the Caps this year. Paying up for Ovechkin's entire line isn't always easy to fit under the cap, which makes it a tricky stack option. Ovechkin didn't score in his first-round robin game, so you can bet he'll be extra motivated to fine twine. His linemates should reap the rewards, per usual.
Flames vs Jets
The fact that none of these three cost more than $6,000 is somewhat surprising considering they combined for three goals and four assists in Game 2 on Tuesday. If you don't believe in the depleted Jets, stacking the Flames' first line makes a lot of sense, though the could be widely owned.
While there hasn't been any official confirmation, indications are that John Carlson ($6,800) could rejoin the team against the Flyers. There is a reason he sits atop the salary list (75 points this year), and he may be worth the cost if you can find some value options to fill out the rest of your roster.
Mark Giordano ($5,900) will save you $900 compared to Carlson and provides a solid fantasy floor considering he blocked nine shots in his last two games while adding five shots and a power-play assist. In total, the 35-year-old garnered 30.2 combined fantasy points in his last two contests. Other viable hot options in the mid-price range include Alexander Edler ($5,700) and Jared Spurgeon ($5,400), who have two and three points, respectively.
As for value plays on the blue line, Erik Gustafsson ($3,700) has garnered two assists with the man advantage through three games while averaging 5:01 of power-play ice time. Shelling out less than $4,000 for a No. 1 power-play quarterback is a great value that gives you flexibility elsewhere in your lineup.