Thursday's one-game NHL DFS slate is loaded with top-tier scorers as the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs begin. The Carolina Hurricanes come into this game as the betting favorite, but we shouldn't discount the Florida Panthers who have eliminated two of the top four teams in the league in the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Look for each teams's stars such as Sebastian Aho, Brent Burns, Matthew Tkachuk and Aleksander Barkov to play a big role in tonight's outcome As you build daily fantasy hockey lineups for these NHL Playoffs matchups, be sure to check out our NHL daily projections, NHL DFS lineup generator, and other NHL daily fantasy tools. Let's get into our NHL DFS picks and top plays on DraftKings and FanDuel for today's Stanley Cup Playoffs slate!


Highest Expected Goal Totals 

Carolina Hurricanes: 3

Florida Panthers: 2.6

Carolina Hurricanes vs Florida Panthers

Players to target: Matthew Tkachuk, Brandon Montour, Sam Reinhart, Jordan Martinhook, Brent Burns, Martin Necas, Seth Jarvis

There will almost certainly be some forwards you can miss being on the ice, Matthew Tkachuk will not be one of them. He is almost impossible as he is always doing something. he has the second-highest prop bet odds to score a goal at +135, with only Sebastian Aho owning better odds. Florida has also seen production from Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart, and Carter Verhague, as well as nice value from Anthony Duclair. With the Hurricanes, it has surprisingly been Jordan Martinhook who has been leading the way. He has 8 points in his last four games, and he scored goals in three of the final four games in the series against the Devils. I would also want to keep an eye on Martin Necas, and Seth Jarvis who have also been productive for the Canes.

This series is likely to present different lineups than we will see with the other series, and the big reason for that is neither of these teams blocks a lot of shots, so you are going to be looking for shots and points. Brent Burns and Brandon Montour are going to be the most obvious spots to look for that production, but I wouldn't completely discount Aaron Ekblad and Gustav Forsling who have been getting points for the Panthers as well.

If I had to pick a goalie in this one I would be going with Frederik Andersen. Outside of one game against the Devils, Andersen was rock solid for the Canes. This isn't to say that Sergei Bobrovsky will have no value. He was also very good against Toronto, but his ability to blow up feels like it is higher, especially on the road against a team that seemingly scored at will in their last series.

When I’m building lineups today I am looking at using either Sam Reinhart or Seth Jarvis in my captain spot to ensure that I can build a well-rounded line. In addition to that I would want to use one of either Jordan Martinhook or Anthony Duclair as they will allow you to get a couple of top players into your lineup. The first game of a series is always tough as a lot will be determined today, but the odds makers have this as a close matchup so I would seek balance and consider using a goalie as this might not be a high-scoring affair.