This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's NHL slate is a light one, with just two games on tap after 7:30 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
The Canadiens will be favored at home against the Senators, and the same goes for the Capitals on the road against the Rangers. Both Canadian teams are wrapping up back-to-back sets, while both American sides are well rested.
The Capitals have a league-best 16-3-4 record, and Braden Holtby ($8,100) has won seven consecutive starts and is 10-0-1 in his last 11. A Rangers team that's lost its last two games by a combined score of 13-6 is unlikely to end Holtby's run of dominance. With Carey Price likely to sit for Montreal after starting Tuesday, Holtby's the clear-cut go-to goalie in this slate.
Craig Anderson ($7,200) could end up delivering decent bang for the buck, as the Canadiens are still dealing with the fallout of losing both Jonathan Drouin (wrist) and Paul Byron (knee) to significant injuries up front. If you're going against the grain and want to avoid Holtby, Anderson looks like the least-bad alternative.
Jakub Vrana ($5,700) is tied with T.J. Oshie for second on the Capitals with 10 goals, and he actually has eight assists to Oshie's five. Despite this success, Vrana remains the most affordable member of Washington's second line, behind both Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom at $6,200 apiece.
Even though the Rangers are underdogs, Artemi Panarin ($5,900) is a steal at just $5,900. The star winger has an 11-game point streak going, with a 5-12-17 line over that span. Panarin's showing no signs of slowing down, having mustered multiple points in five of the past six games.
Kaapo Kakko ($4,000) missed the last two games due to the flu, but the rookie second overall pick had been gaining momentum prior to getting sick. He's scored three goals in his last two games played and has a 4-1-5 line in the past five, making Kakko an enticing option at just $4,000 if he suits up for the Rangers.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($5,200) has been Ottawa's best offensive player all season, leading the team with 12 goals and 16 points. If the Senators are going to pull the upset in Montreal, expect Pageau to lead the way.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Capitals at Rangers
The Rangers' 3.61 goals allowed per game are second-most in the league and easily the most in this slate, so it's worth it to pay up for Washington's expensive stars. Washington's reshuffled top six now has the team's two highest-scoring forwards together, with Kuznetsov (9-12-21) joining Ovechkin (15-10-25). Wilson's having a nice season as well — he's tied for fourth on the team in both goals (nine) and points (18).
Canadiens vs. Senators
Montreal's newly formed second line in the wake of the aforementioned injuries up front should perform well against the 9-11-1 Senators. Armia scored his seventh goal of the season Tuesday, putting him into a tie for second on the team. Domi's 13 points through 21 games are disappointing, but he has another gear in him, as illustrated by last season's 72-point campaign. Suzuki has demonstrated flashes of skill with a 5-4-9 line accrued mostly in a bottom-six role, and now he'll have a chance to strut his stuff in the top six.
Senators at Canadiens
The Senators will likely get the benefit of facing backup goalie Keith Kinkaid, who has struggled to a 1-1-2 record, 4.24 GAA and .887 save percentage. This line features Ottawa's two best wingers, as Duclair has an 8-4-12 line in his last 13 games, while Tkachuk's at 5-4-9 over the past 11. Brown has fared decently in limited action, dishing out four assists through seven games.
Only Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have scored more points than John Carlson ($7,800). It's rarely a good idea to pay as much for a defenseman as you would for an elite forward, but Carlson has produced every bit like an elite forward with 35 points, and he should benefit from this favorable matchup.
Michal Kempny ($4,600) has gone four games without a point after playing at a point-per-game pace through his first 11 appearances this season, but his overall rate of .73 points per game is still excellent for a $4,600 defenseman. If you don't have the funds for Carlson, Kempny could be a nice consolation prize.
Kempny's not the only productive defenseman who can be had at a reasonable price in the Capitals-Rangers clash. New York's Anthony DeAngelo ($4,500) has a 6-9-15 line through 18 games, including six points with the extra man. That production would make plenty of forwards jealous, yet DeAngelo costs less than five other defensemen in this meager slate alone.
Shea Weber ($6,800) saw his point streak snapped at six games Tuesday, but he still has four goals and four assists over his past seven games. He fills the box score with shots and blocks as well, offering an excellent mix of high floor and ceiling for the Canadiens.