This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The featured contests at DraftKings feature the four evening games beginning at 5 p.m. ET with the Buffalo-Detroit matchup. Tampa Bay is the largest favorite on the docket visiting New Jersey, whereas the games between Pittsburgh and Arizona, and Toronto and Florida are projected to be close according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Sabres, Lightning and Devils are also all playing the second leg of a back-to-back set.
With a soft matchup against New Jersey on deck, look for Curtis McElhinney ($8,000) to turn in another strong showing. He's won two of his past three starts and owns a .927 save percentage during the stretch. Of course, the Lightning have also won 10 straight games, and New Jersey has scored just 1.81 goals per game at five-on-five.
The Pittsburgh starter is definitely in play considering the Penguins' excellent team defense - and the potential return of Sidney Crosby ($6,800). The Pens have only surrendered 2.23 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season - seventh fewest in the league - and both Tristan Jarry ($7,700) and Matt Murray ($7,700) have played well of late.
A pair of American centers warrant a long look Sunday. Auston Matthews ($7,900) has exploded for 12 tallies, eight helpers and 45 shots through his past 11 outings, whereas Jack Eichel ($7,600) has been on a two-month scorcher with 39 points - including 19 goals - through 26 games. Both land in favorable matchups, as Detroit and Florida rank last and 26th in goals against per hour this season, respectively.
Filip Zadina ($4,500) is becoming more comfortable at the highest level, and his shot volume is on the rise. The rookie has scored five times and added six assists through his past 17 games, which includes three consecutive outings with four shots. Buffalo is also playing in the noted back-to-back spot and has allowed 11 goals over its past two games.
Jimmy Vesey ($3,400) has been skating on Buffalo's No. 1 line of late. So with Detroit ranking last in the league in goals against, the 26-year-old winger comes in as an affordable target. He's recorded double-digit goals in each of his first three seasons in the league, and the first-year Sabre's 8.2 shooting percentage is well below the 12.3 mark he posted over the previous three years.
Close to minimum price and facing a favorable opponent, Jason Spezza ($2,600) represents a low-priced flier who provides cap relief. The veteran has recorded a respectable two tallies and three helpers through his past eight games.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Tampa Bay loaded up its top line Saturday against the Flyers with Brayden Point ($6,200), Nikita Kucherov ($7,500) and Steven Stamkos ($7,200) skating together in all situations. With New Jersey surrendering 3.37 goals per hour this season, the matchup is right for the three leading scorers for the Lightning to strike.
Sticking in the Sunshine State, Aleksander Barkov ($6,600), Jonathan Huberdeau ($6,700) and Evgenii Dadonov ($5,800) have combined for an elite 6.77 goals and 16.14 high-danger scoring chances per hour while driving possession with a 55.7 Corsi For percentage at even strength over the past two years. Toronto has also allowed 3.5 goals per game through its past eight contests.
Dylan Larkin ($6,400) has collected three goals and four assists through his past seven games, and he's also clicked with linemates Robby Fabbri ($5,500) and Tyler Bertuzzi ($6,100) for 4.94 goals this season. It could prove to be a favorable matchup with the Sabres' recent defensive woes already noted.
It's been a bit of a down stretch for Victor Hedman ($6,400) going pointless in five of his past seven games, so a date with the defensively weak Devils is an opportunity for statistical correction. His 2.2 points per 60 minutes over the past two seasons rank third in the league, after all.
Expect the Toronto-Florida game to be fast paced and include a lot of scoring opportunities, so both Tyson Barrie ($5,500) and Keith Yandle ($4,700) are in play. Barrie has collected eight points, 25 shots and eight blocks through his past eight outings, and Yandle has recorded an assist and four shots in consecutive games. Both power-play quarterbacks also own a top-10 rank in points per hour over the past three seasons among regular defensemen.
Filip Hronek ($5,000) is quickly developing into a go-to fantasy option with two tallies, nine assists, 26 shots and 18 blocks over this past 13 games. He's also averaged a whopping 24:46 of ice time per game - with 3:09 with the man advantage - during the stretch.
Those looking for lower-priced options could target Toronto's second pairing. Travis Dermott ($2,900) is receiving more minutes of late, and Justin Holl ($2,600) has provided a modest 13 points this season. In a potential high-scoring game, both are decent gambles to chip in while also allowing you to spend up elsewhere.