This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
We've got eight games on the slate for Leap Day. This includes three teams on the second leg of a back-to-back. Also, interestingly, the three worst penalty kills in the NHL are all taking the ice Saturday. That bodes well for DFS players, at least if they can find guys who do damage on the power play. Oh, and the Wings are playing. That tends to be a source of fantasy gold.
Darcy Kuemper is back, but the Coyotes want to ease him into action, which is why Antti Raanta ($8,100) is in line to start Saturday. Well, that and because Raanta more than held his own while Kuemper was recuperating with a 2.65 GAA and .921 save percentage. Meanwhile, the Sabres have only managed 29.3 shots on net per game - that's the fewest in the NHL. Could be a light night for Raanta.
I'm recommending Marcus Hogberg ($8,000) solely because he's at home against the Red Wings. Detroit has averaged 1.91 goals and 26.8 shots on net per game on the road. Those numbers aren't typos. I was at the Wings' game against the Devils on Tuesday. I've never seen an NHL team look so checked out. There is no better matchup a goalie could dream of.
If you want to try and save money, I'd consider Anton Khudobin ($7,100). This situation is the flipside of the Hogberg one. The matchup isn't great, as St. Louis has scored 3.20 goals per game. However, Khudobin has posted a 2.21 GAA and .931 save percentage and has performed like one of the league's best netminders. If you can get a goalie with these numbers at this price, it's usually worth it.
VALUE PLAYS/ONE OFFS
Ottawa doesn't have a single line worth stacking, especially after the trade deadline, but this is a matchup of which you're going to want a piece. The Red Wings have struggled with a 4.09 road GAA. Ottawa actually sits second-worst by that measure with a 3.67 GAA. Connor Brown ($4,300) has recorded a career-high 40 points in 65 games, and he's looked good of late with four goals on 26 shots over his last eight games.
Recently, Conor Garland ($4,600) racked up two goals and two assists against the Lightning. He's accumulated 22 goals this year - which leads the Coyotes, and his 14.3 shooting percentage is totally sustainable for a forward. Buffalo owns a 3.39 road GAA, and is on the road for the second straight night. Maybe Garland won't have four points again, but I expect to see him on the scoresheet.
Tyler Toffoli ($6,300) seems to be enjoying leaving Los Angeles for Vancouver. He's found himself plopped down on a line with Elias Pettersson and has tallied four goals and two assists in a mere four games. Is that a sustainable pace? No, but the Maple Leafs have posted a poor 3.26 GAA. And since returning from injury, Frederik Andersen has looked shaky with a 3.61 GAA and .879 save percentage.
Avalanche vs. Predators
This line is pretty pricey, even with Mikko Rantanen out and replaced by Burakovsky for the time being. However, I can see it being worth it. The Predators enter with a 3.14 GAA, but I'm more focused on the fact they maintain the 30th-ranked penalty kill. All three of these players are on Colorado's top power-play unit, so this lines up well for this trio.
MacKinnon is an incredible player who's fully earned such a lofty price point based on 85 points in 63 games - including 29 points with the extra man. Landeskog has endured an injury-riddled season, but February has seen the Swede turn it around with 11 points in 14 games. Burakovsky has been served well by his move from Washington to Colorado and has hit the 20-goal mark for the first time in his career - including five this month.
Canadiens vs. Hurricanes
The Hurricanes aren't normally a team to target, but the circumstances are unusual Saturday. For starters, the Hurricanes will travel for the second game of a back-to-back. Secondly, the team is without their top-two goalies due to injury. Anton Forsberg got the start Friday and is starting again Saturday. Goalies basically never start both games on consecutive days, and a third stringer doing that raises red flags.
Danault is the weak link here, but he's not expensive and does have an assist in three of his last four games. Gallagher is one of the most prolific shooters in the NHL having fired 213 pucks on net over 55 games while registering 302 last season. Can you imagine him pummeling Forsberg for 60 minutes? Then there's the underrated gem in Tatar, who has impressed with 58 points in 66 games - including 15 points in his last 16 contests.
I'm going to start with Thomas Chabot ($5,800) because, again, the Senators are hosting the Red Wings. Detroit comes in with a 4.09 road GAA and the 29th-ranked penalty kill. Chabot's shooting percentage of 3.6 has held him back this year, but he still has 35 points in 65 games - including 11 on the power play.
I was surprised to see Cale Makar ($5,300) at this price, so I had to jump on this recommendation. His power-play production has cooled down, but he's averaged 3:39 per game with the extra man and tallied 17 power-play points in 55 games. Meanwhile, Nashville owns the 30th-ranked penalty kill. That adds up for me.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($4,400) has had a down year by his standards, but the talent is still there somewhere. He has scored seven goals on 125 shots along with seven power-play points. The Sabres have the league's worst penalty kill and are on the road for the second game of the back-to-back. This could be a throwback performance for the Swede, and it could pay off for DFS players.