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NHL Yahoo Cup: DFS strategy, lineups for Round 8

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The eighth round of the free-to-enter NHL Yahoo Cup runs on Thursday, and there's still time to join the contest and win your share of $5,000 if you haven't already!

After the tournament paused last week for Thanksgiving, it picks right back up this week with 10 NHL games on the slate.

Here are three lineup combinations I recommend playing in Round 8 of the tournament.

Option 1: Hammer the Hurricanes Stack

The Carolina Hurricanes are a team worth loading up on for Round 8 of the Yahoo Cup, (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Carolina Hurricanes are a team worth loading up on for Round 8 of the Yahoo Cup. (Yahoo Fantasy)

The Carolina Hurricanes have lost four of their last five outings, but nothing screams "get right" like a home date against the Ottawa Senators.

Over the past two weeks, the Sens have allowed a league-worst 5.25 goals against per game, and their 3.84 goals against per game on the year ranks last, too. The squad has struggled on the penalty kill, as its 74.1 percent kill rate is 28th in the NHL.

This is shaping up to be an excellent spot for members of the Hurricanes power play, and that's why I've included all five into my lineup. Vincent Trocheck, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Martin Necas, and Andrei Svechnikov all made the cut and are poised to break out. Carolina's man-advantage sits 15th in the NHL with a success rate of 18.6 percent, but that number is likely on its way up.

On defense, I targeted Aaron Ekblad and Scott Perunovich. Ekblad is a good target as the Florida Panthers host the Buffalo Sabres, and the latter owns the fourth-worst penalty kill (71.4 percent) over the past two weeks. With the 25-year-old quarterbacking the Cats' top power-play unit, it makes sense to include him. I also selected Perunovich because of his role on the St. Louis Blues' second power-play group. At 29.5 percent, the Blues own the second-best power play in the league this season and Perunovich notched a power-play assist in his latest outing.

Between the pipes, I chose Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby. Andersen and the Canes are massive home favorites against the Sens, while Holtby and the Stars are also favored at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Update: Both Frederik Andersen and Braden Holtby will not be starting on Thursday. As replacements, Antti Raanta ($29) and Vitek Vanecek ($27) have been selected.

Option 2: The Advantageous Avalanche Stack

The Colorado Avalanche visit the Bell Centre and will likely find some power-play success. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Colorado Avalanche visit the Bell Centre and will likely find some power-play success. (Yahoo Fantasy)

The Colorado Avalanche have Nathan MacKinnon back in their lineup, which means it's time to get him back in yours.

The Avalanche center returned on Wednesday night and recorded two assists in his first outing back since suffering a lower-body injury. Immediately being reinserted onto the squad's top line and first power-play unit, he's once again a player you want to build your team around in DFS.

Additionally, I also poached Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar from the Avalanche's power play. With Gabriel Landeskog ($31) and Nazem Kadri ($25) being as expensive as they are, it's not feasible to fit all five members of the man advantage in your lineup. I picked Rantanen as he plays alongside MacKinnon at even strength and on the power play, and selected Makar because the blueliner has recorded 21 points over his last 14 outings.

The reason why the Avs are worth loading up on is that the team faces a Montreal Canadiens squad that has been absolutely brutal on the penalty kill. The Habs have a kill rate of 45.5 percent over the last two weeks, which ranks dead last in the league, while their 68.1 success rate during the 2021-22 campaign is the second-worst mark.

I selected Trocheck, Seth Jarvis, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi because I absolutely love the setup for the Canes. With plus-minus alone being worth two points, all three should benefit from an absolutely amazing spot against the Senators.

In net, I stuck with Holtby, but I also selected Cam Talbot. He's won his last three outings while the Minnesota Wild have won four-straight games. Being priced at $27 with his team being favored at home against the New Jersey Devils is a nice value.

Update: Both Talbot and Holtby are not starting on Thursday. As a result, Vitek Vanecek ($27) and Kaapo Kahkonen ($24) have been added to this lineup.

Option 3: Caps Locked Stack

The Washington Capitals' offense has been red-hot recently. (Yahoo Fantasy)
The Washington Capitals' offense has been red-hot recently. (Yahoo Fantasy)

The Washington Capitals offense has been absolutely rolling lately, which is awful news for the Chicago Blackhawks.

In each of its last four games, Washington has scored four goals or more. That spells trouble for a Chicago penalty kill that has only killed 72.7 of its penalties over the last two weeks, the fifth-lowest mark in the NHL.

In my lineup are all five members of the Capitals' top power-play unit: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Aliaksei Protas, Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson and John Carlson. During Washington's recent four-game offensive outburst, those five players have combined for an impressive 28 points. Protas ($10), specifically, is a great player to add to your lineup given his low dollar value and excellent opportunity on both the team's first line and top power-play unit. 

Due to the relative cost-efficiency of the Caps stack, I was also able to snag Makar on defense. I added Kotkaniemi for the reasons illustrated above, and stuck with Talbot and Holtby in net.

Update: Both Talbot and Holtby are not starting on Thursday. As a result, Vitek Vanecek ($27) and Jonas Johansson ($23) have been added to this lineup.

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