This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
There are five games in the NHL on Monday, and every team had Sunday off. The Islanders are the largest favorite on the slate, and the bout between the Golden Knights and Rangers has the potential to be the highest scoring. Interestingly, aside from the New York-Detroit tilt, the other four games don't have a sizeable favorite.
The Red Wings have lost nine consecutive games and scored just four goals through their past five outings. A road game against the Islanders sets up poorly, so expect Semyon Varlamov ($8,200) to be a popular target Monday. New York has surrendered just 2.25 goals per hour on home ice, and the Russian netminder stopped all 30 shots he faced in relief during Saturday's win.
The Blackhawks have been held to 13 goals through their past six outings and sit in the middle of the pack offensively at five-on-five with 2.43 goals per 60 minutes, so it should prove to be a favorable matchup for Jordan Binnington ($8,000) Monday. He's held opponents to three goals or fewer in each of his past 11 starts and gone 8-2-1 with a .938 save percentage and 1.89 GAA during the stretch, too.
John Gibson ($8,400) is the highest priced goaltender for good reason. The Kings haven't won a road game since Oct. 22, and they've scored a measly 1.24 goals per hour during the winless stretch. Just note, Gibson hasn't been sharp in consecutive losses and stopped just 42 of 48 shots.
You'll have to pay the piper to load up Jack Eichel ($8,200), but in an underwhelming center pool, it's not out of the question. He's marked the scoresheet in each of his past nine outings for eight tallies, eight helpers and 38 shots, and the Devils have surrendered 3.51 goals per hour on the road this season.
Anze Kopitar ($6,000) is two outings removed from a strong 13-game stretch that consisted of six tallies, 10 helpers and five power-play points. Interestingly, his salary has dipped into profit territory, too. The Ducks aren't a daunting opponent, either. Anaheim has allowed the third most goals per hour in the league through its past 12 games.
A pair of Ranger wingers check out as viable value leans, as Kaapo Kakko ($4,100) and Brendan Lemieux ($3,300) have produced respectable numbers of late. Kakko picked up an assist Saturday and is projected to skate on the No. 1 power-play unit, in addition to an intriguing even-strength line with Ryan Strome ($5,200) and Artemi Panarin ($7,900). Lemieux, on the other hand, is penciled in atop the depth chart at five-on-five and recorded a respectable three goals, five assists, 28 shots and 17 blocks through his past 14 outings. Vegas is a mediocre 6-6-1 with 3.07 expected goals against per game on the road this season, too.
Pavel Buchnevich ($3,900) is another Ranger to take a look at. He's struggled of late with just two goals through his past six contests, but that's also drove his price down. Buchnevich is also projected to skate with Mika Zibanejad ($7,100), and the duo have clicked for a respectable 4.07 goals per hour this season.
In mid-November, Kirby Dach ($3,500) recorded four goals and three assists during a five-game point streak, but he hasn't found the scoresheet through his past five outings. The 18-year-old center will likely continue have offensive peaks and valleys throughout the season, which makes him a low-priced flier to consider because of his upside. Monday, he's more of a contrarian candidate based on the tough matchup against St. Louis.
The Red Wings continue to deploy Filip Zadina ($2,500) in favorable situations. He's started 65.4 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone and projects to remain the triggerman on the No. 1 power-play unit. The rookie picked up an assist with the man advantage last time out and owns a sniper's shooting arsenal and mentality, so at minimum price, Zadina offers more than just cap relief.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
As noted, a date with the Red Wings sets up as a great opportunity for the New York offense to heat back up after scoring just four goals through its past four outings. Mathew Barzal ($6,900), Anders Lee ($5,400) and Josh Bailey ($4,300) are projected to skate atop the depth chart at even strength, and the trio is spread across the two Islander power-play units. The trio has clicked for a respectable 4.63 goals and an impressive 20.53 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes over the past two years.
Vegas' second line has scored a respectable 4.35 goals per hour and driven possession with a 58.4 Corsi For percentage dating back to last season, and Paul Stastny ($4,800) helps mitigate the higher salaries of Max Pacioretty ($7,500) and Mark Stone ($7,000). With the Rangers allowing the most expected goals per hour in the league, the Golden Knights should have opportunities to capitalize on.
Ryan Getzlaf ($5,600) and Rickard Rakell ($5,900) have shared the ice for 1792:36 over the past three years and combined for 3.88 goals and 14.86 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes. Troy Terry ($2,700) projects to join the duo at five-on-five and drives down the trio's combined cap hit. The Kings' road struggles have already been highlighted, but they've been particularly bad defensively with 4.14 goals against per hour.
Adam Fox's ($3,900) salary will eventually catch up to his recent production, but until it happens, he's a nightly consideration. The rookie has posted 12 points – four goals – through his past 14 games while averaging 3:04 of power-play time, after all.
Shea Theodore ($5,100) is two outings removed from a strong stretch consisting of two goals, four assists, 23 shots and eight blocks over an eight-game stretch. The 24-year-old defenseman has also averaged 4:16 of power-play time through the past three games and is beginning 58.6 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone.
As highlighted, the Kings have had a lot of trouble away from the Staples Center, so Cam Fowler ($4,400) warrants a look. He quarterbacks the No. 1 power-play unit and has recorded five points through his past four games while averaging 24:13 of ice time.
Brandon Montour ($4,000) is playing well with five points – two goals – through his past seven contests, and he's projected to be promoted to the No. 1 power-play unit. With New Jersey owning a 21st-ranked, 77.1 penalty-kill percentage, it's also a target-worthy matchup.
Veterans Drew Doughty ($5,500) and Alex Pietrangelo ($6,700) are higher-priced defensemen to consider. Both log huge minutes in all situations and offer a cross-category profile. They're also capable of meeting the shot and blocks bonuses, in addition to marking the scoresheet.