This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
There are five games in the NHL on Monday. The Blues are a sizeable home favorite against the Panthers, whereas the Capitals and Avs are receiving notable road chalk against the Sabres and Kings, respectively. Winnipeg and Edmonton are also slight favorites against respective visiting opponents Arizona and Vegas. The Blues, Golden Knights and Avalanche are the three teams playing the second leg of a back-to-back set. This player pool is particularly loaded with high-end talent, so considering a stars-and-scrubs approach is definitely in play.
With Connor Hellebuyck ($8,000) continuing to play at an elite level, he remains a go-to option against most opponents. He's leading the league in goals saved above average and is coming off an impressive 29-save shutout over the Golden Knights on Friday. It's also a soft matchup with Arizona scoring the sixth fewest goals per hour on the road this season.
Braden Holtby ($7,800) and Ilya Samsonov ($7,800) are in good position against the Sabres. Buffalo has lost six straight and scored just 10 goals during the stretch, after all. Just note, Washington has surrendered the most goals per 60 minutes in the league since Feb. 1, so there is risk. Still, Holtby is coming off an impressive win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, and Samsonov is ripe for a bounce-back performance after dropping each of his past five starts and posting an .869 save percentage through his past six appearances.
It was another multi-point outing for Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500) on Sunday, and the Hart Trophy candidate has now registered double-digit DraftKings points in 15 of his past 16 outings. His high-floor, high-ceiling profile are an attractive starting point for lineups, but it's definitely worth considering how stingy the Kings have been of late before locking MacKinnon in. Los Angels has only allowed six goals during its five-game winning streak.
Jakub Vrana ($5,600) has only scored twice through his past 18 games, and his shooting percentage is an unsustainably low 4.7 during the stretch. Buffalo's allowing 3.24 goals per 60 minutes since the All-Star break, so with Vrana's scoring role and spot on the No. 1 power-play unit, this is a good spot for puck luck to turn in his favor.
On the flip side of the Colorado-Los Angeles bout, Anze Kopitar ($5,300) is in the midst of his best stretch of the season with four assists and 11 helpers through his past 11 outings. The Avs are on the second league of a back-to-back set and playing their third road game in four nights, so there's potential for Kopitar to reward – and potentially with a low ownership percentage. Colorado has also surrendered 10 goals through its past three outings and will likely start Michael Hutchinson ($7,900), and he owns an underwhelming .888 save percentage this season.
At minimum price, Nicolas Roy ($2,500) is a low-priced flier to consider. He's registered nine shots while averaging 16:37 of ice time through the past two games. The 23-year-old winger has been positioned for success skating on the second line with William Karlsson ($5,400) and Max Pacioretty ($7,800), as well.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
While Connor McDavid ($8,000) and Leon Draisaitl ($8,400) aren't consistently playing together at five-on-five, they still skate together on the No. 1 power-play unit and provide coverage to both of Edmonton's top lines. It's an unconventional stack, but could also provide a contrarian angle to differentiate lineups. Vegas is playing its third road game in four nights, and likely starter Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,700) has allowed four goals in consecutive outings. The Golden Knights also own a 28th-ranked 76.6 penalty-kill percentage.
J.T. Compher ($3,600), Tyler Jost ($3,000) and Joonas Donskoi ($4,400) are a cost-effective stack that should see soft on-ice matchups with the Kings looking to slow down Colorado's top line. The trio have clicked for a respectable 3.73 goals and 14.94 high-danger scoring chances per hour this season and also provide coverage to both of Colorado's power-play units.
The Coyotes typically play stout defense and have allowed just 2.79 goals against per hour through their past 24 contests. However, it's hard to ignore the production of Winnipeg's top line. Mark Scheifele ($6,400), Kyle Connor ($7,200) and Blake Wheeler ($6,300) have totalled 15 tallies and 19 helpers through the past nine outings to improve to a high-end 6.87 goals and 19.2 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this year.
St. Louis' top line is under-priced on home ice against the struggling Panthers. Florida has gone 6-10-3 with 3.28 goals against per hour – fifth most in the league – since the All-Star break and might also be without No. 1 goalie Sergei Bobrovsky ($7,100). Ryan O'Reilly ($4,800), Jaden Schwartz ($5,000) and Brayden Schenn ($5,200) have clicked for 10 tallies and 19 helpers through the past nine games and have recorded a high-end 7.49 goals per hour for the campaign.
Considering the noted soft matchup against the Sabres, which includes their league-low 74.5 penalty-kill percentage, John Carlson's ($6,600) salary seems short. His career year continues to churn along with 13 points, 37 shots and 24 blocks through his past 15 contests, and he continues to pace all regular defensemen in points per 60 minutes.
Oscar Klefbom ($6,200) returned to the lineup and logged 22:11 of ice time Saturday to prove his health. He received looks with the No. 1 power-play unit and is a worthwhile addition to an Edmonton stack. Klefbom's willingness to block shots is a huge boost to his fantasy floor, as he's reached the bonus in 32 games this season.
During Los Angeles' five-game winning streak, Drew Doughty ($5,000) has averaged 25:48 of ice time (2:25 on the power play) and recorded three assists. With huge a significant role in all situations, Doughty offers against-the-grain value with Colorado in a potentially vulnerable schedule spot and likely starting backup Michael Hutchinson ($7,900)
As noted, Washington has struggled defensively, and no team has been shorthanded more times than the Capitals this season. As a result, Rasmus Dahlin ($4,000) checks out as a potential contrarian target at his price. He's quarterbacking Buffalo's No. 1 power-play unit and needs the soft matchup to snap out of his current offensive funk (just one assist through the past seven games). Dahlin had a six-game point streak before his current lull, too.
Leading into the All-Star break, Dmitry Orlov ($3,900) recorded a respectable 1.22 points per hour, but he's cooled off considerably since and missed the scoresheet in 16 of 19 games for a disappointing 0.56 mark. This is a spot for a bounce-back showing for Orlov, as the Russian defenseman is locked into a significant role (22:07 of ice time per game) and facing an inferior opponent.