This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The NHL returns to action following the All-Star break with six games. The matchup between Toronto and Nashville projects to be a high-scoring game, and two of the worst defensive teams in the league will also faceoff with New Jersey visiting Ottawa. Dallas and St. Louis will look to slow down the Lightning and Canucks, respectively, in projected close contests. With the slate being bookended by games between Washington and Montreal, and Anaheim and San Jose.
Even with the Stars underdogs as hosts to Tampa Bay, Ben Bishop's ($7,200) price and success on home ice are intriguing. The veteran has posted a 28-13-4 record with an elite .937 save percentage and 1.91 GAA at American Airlines Arena over the past two years. Additionally, Dallas has surrendered a league-low 1.52 goals per hour at five-on-five at home this season. Just keep in mind that Tampa Bay went into the break with an active 12-2 record while scoring 4.0 goals per game.
There's potential for St. Louis to show some rust Monday considering the Blues have been off since Jan. 18 and travel to face the Canucks. Vancouver has also won seven consecutive road games, and Jacob Markstrom ($7,700) is 10-5-2 with a .926 save percentage and 2.46 GAA at Rogers Arena this year.
The Sharks are notable favorites against Anaheim on Monday, and Aaron Dell ($8,200) has been solid in net of late with a .924 save percentage and 2.43 GAA over this past seven outings, which includes allowing eight goals over his most recent two outings. The Ducks have scored the fourth fewest goals per hour (just 2.24) on the road this season and have won just 10 of their past 33 contests.
A date with the Canadiens could prove to be a bounce-back spot for Braden Holtby ($8,300). The veteran has allowed three goals or more in each of his past seven appearances for a disappointing .830 save percentage and 4.53 GAA. However, the Capitals are sizeable favorites, and Montreal has scored an underwhelming 2.75 goals per game since Dec. 1.
Mired in a four-game point drought, Evgeny Kuznetsov's ($5,400) salary has bottomed out. However, his 3.15 points per hour over the past three seasons is a high-end mark, and the 27-year-old center remains in an offensive role for the Capitals. The Canadiens have surrendered a healthy 3.08 goals per 60 minutes this season, too.
Another center in the midst of a scoring funk is Tomas Hertl ($5,300), as he's collected just a single goal and four assists through his past 12 contests. His 2.78 points per hour through the previous 34 games is a rock-solid mark, though, and the Ducks have surrendered 3.44 goals per game through their past nine outings.
With Nashville allowing 3.16 goals per 60 minutes this season (ninth most in the league), Auston Matthews ($8,400) is worth considering. He's registered 16 shots and attempted 20 through the past two games without recording a point, so look for statistical correction from the high-volume shooter. It's also worth noting, the Preds own a 29th-ranked, 73.6 penalty-kill percentage.
Another potential standalone option is Elias Pettersson ($6,500). He's recorded seven tallies and nine helpers through his past 14 outings to improve to an impressive 3.35 points per 60 minutes for the campaign. The Blues are a daunting opponent with just 2.64 goals per hour allowed this season (seventh fewest in the league), but that could also keep Pettersson's ownership percentage in check.
Before missing four games with a foot injury, Kyle Palmieri ($5,100) recorded five goals and seven assists through his previous 13 outings. He lands in a soft matchup against Ottawa on Monday, too. The Senators have surrendered the third most goals per 60 minutes in the league, after all. Nikita Gusev ($4,400) is another Devil to consider. He's recorded 14 points – three goals – and 38 shots through his past 16 contests dating back to mid-December.
On the flip side of the Ottawa-New Jersey matchup, there are Senators to keep in mind at reasonable prices. Anthony Duclair ($5,500) hasn't scored a goal in 10 games, so there could be statistical correction ahead of his shooting percentage. Additionally, it will be worth keeping an eye on Ottawa's line combinations. Drake Batherson ($2,500) was recalled from Belleville Sunday after recording a goal and four assists during a four-game stint in the AHL over the break. Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($5,500) is also set to return to action Monday, and he's in the midst of a career year with a respectable 2.11 points per 60 minutes.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
This is a manageable combined cap hit for Toronto's second line of John Tavares ($7,600), William Nylander ($6,600) and Alex Kerfoot ($3,600). The trio have generated an impressive 15.04 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five this season and provide coverage to both of Toronto's power-play units. Nashville's defensive shortcomings this season have also already been mentioned.
With Alex Ovechkin ($8,300) out of action Monday, Washington has moved Jakub Vrana ($5,700) to the top line alongside Nicklas Backstrom ($6,700) and Tom Wilson ($5,000). The trio check out as a cost-effective stack, and Vrana in particular has been dominant of late with seven tallies and two helpers during an active eight-game point streak. Backstrom has also marked the scoresheet in 10 of his last 11 outings.
It's no secret the Maple Leafs have been a mess defensively for much of the season, and heading to Nashville out of the All-Star break could prove to be a tough test. Matt Duchene ($5,100), Filip Forsberg ($6,100) and Mikael Granlund ($4,300) have combined for an impressive 4.29 goals and 16.18 high-danger scoring chances per hour while dominating possession with a 61.3 Corsi For percentage at even strength. The trio doesn't break the bank, either.
While the price is steep, Roman Josi ($7,800) has been a go-to contributor for well over a month with seven goals, 15 assists, 57 shots and 28 blocks through his past 16 outings. He's also only dipped below double-digit DraftKings points in two of those 14 contests. Toronto also checks out as a favorable matchup with 3.24 goals against per hour for the season, in addition to 30 through the past six games.
Victor Hedman ($5,700) lands in the noted tough matchup against Dallas, but his salary reflects it alongside his recent offensive decline. The veteran has just four assists through his past 11 contests, so considering his elite production over the past three years (fourth-ranked 2.03 points per hour among regular defensemen), he's a candidate to return to form.
This is a reasonable price for Erik Karlsson ($5,300). He's slotted atop the depth chart in all offensive situations and has recorded eight points, 17 shots and nine blocks while logging 24:14 with 3:07 on the man advantage through the past eight games. As noted, there's nothing scary about a date with the Ducks, and Anaheim also owns a target-worthy, 77.8 penalty-kill percentage.
The RotoWire Lineup Optimizer is bullish on Jake Muzzin ($3,300) in his return to action for the Maple Leafs. He projects to receive big minutes at five-on-five and while shorthanded, which makes him a strong candidate to reach the three-point blocks bonus – something the veteran did in five of six games before sustaining a broken foot. Just note, Muzzin is likely best viewed as more of a high-floor target.