Welcome to Saturday’s two-game NHL Slate. The regular season has come to an end, which means the real fun starts. 16 teams start their quest to become Stanley Cup champions, but only one team will come away victorious. We have four teams in action start and lots of good value to exploit. NHL DFS in the playoffs is different. You don’t build lineups the same way but don’t worry, I’ll be here to guide you. You can build daily fantasy hockey lineups on DraftKings and FanDuel for Saturday, April 20th, but before you build those NHL daily fantasy lineups, don’t forget to check out our NHL DFS projections, the NHL Value Finder, and the NHL DFS lineup generator. Let's now take a closer look at the daily fantasy hockey top plays for tonight's NHL DFS slate.


Highest Expected Goal Totals 

New York Islanders Vs Frederik Andersen (likely)(2.3)

Carolina Hurricanes Vs. Semyon Varlamov (3.4)

Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Jeremy Swayman (likely) (2.7)

Boston Bruins Vs. Ilya Samsonov (likely) (2.9)

New York Islanders Vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Players to target: Matthew Barzal, Casey Cizikas, Noah Dobson, Jordan Staal, Jake Guentzel, Seth Jarvis, Andrei Svechnikov, Frederik Andersen

The New York Islanders went on a nice little run late in the season and were able to lock up the third spot in the division, but let’s make no mistake here; they aren’t going to win this series. They finished with a negative goal differential, their goaltending has been questionable all season and their penalty kill was the worst in the league. If the Metropolitan division was just slightly better, they wouldn’t be here. Carolina is going to take care of them relatively quickly, but I don’t know if we are going to see a ton of goals in his first game.

The Islanders' offense was decent this season, but I’m not going to target many of their players. Up front, I’ll go with Matthew Barzal because I think he’s the most complete player. Casey Cizikas is expected to skate on the top line and he’s only $3000 on DK. The savings alone is enough to get him into my lineup. On the back end, it looks like Noah Dobson will be able to suit up for this game. He cooled off down the stretch, but he’s their best offensive defenceman and he’s going to log a ton of minutes. He can also block shots, so his floor for tonight and the entire series should be very high.

On the flip side, Carolina is going to get their fair share of scoring chances. Considering how bad the Islanders' PK was this season, I’ll target players who are going to see some power play time. Jake Guentzel is the obvious choice, but you can also look at the second unit. If you want some five-on-five correlation, Guentzel and Seth Jarvis is the way to go. You can also move down the lineup and stack Jordan Staal and Andrei Svechnikov. They should get a very favorable matchup on home ice.

We need to pick a goalie tonight and for me, it’s Frederik Andersen. He missed a chuck of the season due to health issues, but he finished the season with a 13-2-0 record, a 1.84 GAA and a .932 SV%. In his last ten games, he posted a 1.30 GAA and a .951 SV%. Those are beyond elite numbers. When he’s healthy, he’s elite and the Islanders are really going to struggle to get the puck past him today. $8100 on DK is a bargain considering just how good he has been. This game should be a low-scoring affair, so I’ll go with Andersen and not look back.


Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins

Players to target: Auston Matthews, Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, Ilya Lyubushkin, Simon Benoit, Pavel Zacha, David Pastrnak, Danton Heinen, Pat Maroon, Charlie McAvoy, Jeremy Swayman

It’s another year of the Toronto Maple Leafs meeting the Boston Bruins in the first round. We know how the last meeting ended, so Leaf fans are hoping for a different end to the story this time around. There is no shortage of skill on their team, but it’s the goaltending and defence that will decide if they make it to the next round or not. One thing is for sure; we should have a long series and some competitive hockey games.

For Toronto, it all starts with Auston Matthews. He hasn’t always been the most productive player in the playoffs, but for DFS purposes, it’s hard to say no to him. He scored 69 (nice) goals this season and had 370 shots on goal. He’s a shooting machine and that trend won’t change tonight. If you need some value, Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi are two players to consider. Both played some good hockey in the second half of the season and they are going to be key parts of the offence. Both are skating on the top line with Matthews, but if you don’t want to pay up for him, just pair Bertuzzi and Domi together for a nice mini stack.

On the back end, Ilya Lyubushkin and Simon Benoit are the two players to keep in mind. We are going bottom of the barrel here because Toronto’s defence doesn’t produce a ton of offence. Joel Edmundson should return to the lineup, but he’s not the player he once was. Lyubushkin is great at blocking shots and Simon Benoit has earned an everyday spot in this lineup. He’s more of a physical presence, but at his $2500, three blocked shots is all he needs to hit value.

For Boston, they are going to need to come out and contain the Leafs’ best players. They aren’t as dominant as last season, but they still proved a lot of people wrong and made it this far. If you’re going to trust the Bruins tonight, you might as well go with David Pastrnak. He had seven points against the Leafs in four games this season, but only two were goals. He’s still the most dangerous forward they have, so you have to believe he will find a way to score. There are other good discount options like Pavel Zacha and Danton Heinen, so fit them into your lineup where you can. Charlie McAvoy is the only defenceman I would consider rostering. He fell short of 50 points this season, but he can shoot the puck and also block shots. He’s on the top power play and is going to see a healthy amount of minutes. He’s only $4900 on DK, so at that price, I’ll gladly slide him into my lineup and hope he can hit value.

When it comes to picking a goalie in this game, I’m going to lean on Jeremy Swayman. There is a chance that Linus Ullmark gets the call for this one, which would be fine too, but I just like Swayman better. Whoever starts is going to see a dangerous offence that can score goals and they might end up facing a lot of shots. The save bonus is in play here, so if you don’t want to play Andersen as a free square, go with whoever stars for the Bruins. I expect them to be able to take care of business on home ice in game one.