DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

It's a slower Saturday evening in the NHL with only eight games included in the feature contests at DraftKings. The Red Wings are also the only team playing on consecutive nights, and there are also a lot of lopsided matchups projected. Here's a quick-hit primer to guide your lineup assembly.

Notable Favorites from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Maple Leafs
Flyers
Panthers
Blue Jackets
Predators

Projected High-Scoring Games:

Blackhawks-Maple Leafs
Panthers-Red Wings

GOALIES

There might be upset potential for Linus Ullmark ($7,300) and the Sabres on Saturday. Nashville is just 3-6-1 with a minus-8 goal differential in its last 10 games, and Buffalo has won Ullmark's last three starts. He also boasts a .948 save percentage during the stretch. The price mitigates some of the risk, too.

New Jersey has scored just 2.43 goals per 60 minutes on the road this season, so look for the Columbus starter to have a solid showing, and especially since the Blue Jackets allow the third-fewest expected goals per 60 minutes on home ice in the league. This is the front end of a back-to-back set, though, so Elvis Merzlikins ($8,200) might not start. He's been dominant lately, going 7-2 with a .949 save percentage and 1.68 GAA. Matiss Kivlenieks ($8,000) has never made an NHL start, so he obviously carries more risk, albeit in what should be a soft matchup.

Another inexperienced netminder to consider is Samuel Montembeault ($7,800) against Detroit. The Red Wings have scored the fewest goals per game in the league and are playing their second game in consecutive nights. The 23-year-old netminder has 19 NHL games under his belt, so even with the favorable matchup, he's a flier. 

This is the final leg of a five-game road trip for the Kings, so look for a strong showing from Brian Elliott ($8,100) and the Flyers. Philadelphia is a dominant 15-4-4 on home ice with just 2.09 goals against per hour, whereas Los Angeles is 7-16-4 with only 2.34 goals per hour on the road. Elliott is also coming off an upset win in St. Louis last time out.

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

The last three times Auston Matthews ($8,400) has been held off the scoresheet he's bounced back with a multi-goal showing. He attempted nine shots in Thursday's loss to increase his double-digit DraftKings points streak to nine games, so he offers a high floor through his shot volume. Chicago also allows the second-most expected goals per 60 minutes this season.

After recording five goals and nine assists in a 13-game stretch, Pierre-Luc Dubois ($5,100) has missed the scoresheet in consecutive outings. A favorable matchup against New Jersey is a perfect spot for the third-year center to return to form. The Devils have allowed the second-most goals per game and own the second-lowest team save percentage in the league, after all. There also mini-stack potential with linemate Emil Bemstrom ($2,900), as the rookie has marked the scoresheet in three consecutive games.

Paul Stastny ($4,600) is returning to a familiar line between Max Pacioretty ($7,300) and Mark Stone ($7,000), and the veteran center receives a notable upgrade in value as a result. Dating  to last season, the trio have driven possession with a 61.0 Corsi For percentage at even strength while generating an impressive 16.76 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes in all situations. 

Craig Smith ($4,100) skated atop the depth chart at even strength last time out and combined with linemates Ryan Johansen ($4,800) and Calle Jarnkrok ($4,400) for 17 shot attempts. The veteran winger registered five shots himself and is positioned for statistical correction, as Smith has missed the scoresheet in five consecutive games.

FORWARD LINE STACKS

Aleksander Barkov ($7,600), Jonathan Huberdeau ($7,500) and Evgenii Dadonov ($6,800) have combined for an elite 6.27 goals per hour this season, and Detroit has allowed a league-high 3.81. It also helps Florida's top line that Detroit has the worst penalty-kill percentage in the league and is playing its second game in consecutive nights.

Sporting a nine-game point streak consisting of four tallies and seven helpers, Jack Eichel ($7,500) is priced for profit. He's up to an elite 3.59 points per hour for the campaign after all. With linemates Sam Reinhart ($5,300) and Jimmy Vesey ($2,700) both affordable, this is a cost-effect stack, and the trio has dominated possession with a 60.2 Corsi For percentage while posting a 7.9 shooting percentage — a mark eyeing improvement. The Preds have also allowed a healthy 3.2 goals per hour this season and own a 30th-ranked, 73.1 penalty-kill percentage.

Pierre Engvall ($3,100) is projected to skate with John Tavares ($7,900) and William Nylander ($6,500) at five-on-five again Saturday, and the trio has clicked twice in just 13:37 of ice time the last two games. As noted, it's a soft matchup for Toronto, and Tavares and Nylander also provide coverage to the No. 1 power-play unit. Engvall is proving dangerous while shorthanded, too.

The Sharks have allowed 10 goals in their last two road games, and a date with the Canucks in Vancouver could prove to be another tough test. Elias Pettersson ($6,700) and J.T. Miller ($5,700) have combined for an impressive 5.44 goals per 60 minutes, and they've recently been joined by Jake Virtanen ($3,700) at five-on-five, which drives down the line's cap hit.

DEFENSEMEN

Additions to the noted forward stacks are Keith Yandle ($5,200), Rasmus Dahlin ($3,800), Tyson Barrie ($5,700) and Quinn Hughes ($4,700). All four quarterback their respective No. 1 power-play units, and they're all affordable and land in the noted soft matchups.

Sporting a four-game point drought, a date with the lowly Devils is the perfect spot for Zach Werenski ($5,900) to return to the scoresheet. He's recorded a rock-solid 1.75 points per hour this season and is locked in as the quarterback of the No. 1 power-play unit. 

Ivan Provorov ($5,300) is an affordable target who logs big minutes and draws a soft matchup against Los Angeles. He's received a career-high 24:56 of ice time per game with 2:58 on the power play, and the Kings have surrendered 3.37 goals per hour on the road this season, including seven in their latest two outings. Even cheaper, teammate Philippe Myers ($2,700) has recorded 1.78 points per hour since Dec. 1, which ranks 16th among regular defensemen.

With the Chicago-Toronto game likely to be high scoring, there are a number of cheap defensemen to consider. For the Blackhawks, Adam Boqvist ($3,300) is projected to quarterback the No. 1 power-play unit, whereas Slater Koekkoek ($2,500) has collected an assist in consecutive games. On the other bench, Travis Dermott ($3,100) and Justin Holl ($2,600) have taken on a larger role with Toronto's blueline injuries and offer modest upside in addition to cap relief. Rasmus Sandin ($3,500) is also worth noting because of his two-assist showing and role on the No. 2 power-play unit, though his minutes could also be limited.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Neil Parker plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: naparker77, DraftKings: naparker77.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Parker
A loyal Cubs, Cowboys and Maple Leafs fan for decades, Neil has contributed to RotoWire since 2014. He previously worked for USA Today Fantasy Sports.
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