DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

The featured contests at DraftKings are comprised of Saturday's nine evening games. It's a deep player pool with a number of lopsided matchups. Here's a quick-hit primer to help navigate the landscape and assist with your lineup assembly. 

Notable favorites from DraftKings Sportsbook:
Penguins
Lightning
Hurricanes
Predators
Flames

Potential high-scoring games:
Sharks-Lightning
Blue Jackets-Panthers
Devils-Predators
Avalanche-Bruins
Penguins-Red Wings

Teams playing for the second consecutive night:
Penguins
Devils
Kings

GOALIES

Considering how poorly the Kings have played on the road, David Rittich's ($8,200) salary probably isn't prohibitive enough. He's also gone 4-0-1 with a .935 save percentage and 2.14 GAA through his past five starts.

Similarly, Pekka Rinne ($8,400) draws a layup against New Jersey. Not only are the Devils playing their second game in back-to-back nights, but they've also scored the second fewest five-on-five goals in the league on the road this season. Just note that Rinne has only won one of his past six starts and posted an atrocious .850 save percentage and 4.54 GAA during the skid.

A trip through the Central Division halted a dominant stretch from Dallas, and the Stars have scored just seven goals through their past five outings. Semyon Varlamov ($7,800) has been solid all season with a 9-3-2 record, .923 save percentage and 2.35 GAA, and the Islanders have allowed the fourth fewest goals per hour on the road in the league. Thomas Greiss's ($7,800) numbers are even better at 10-3, .931, 2.18 if he receives the starting nod.

Even with the Pens playing on consecutive nights, it's hard to ignore their strong commitment to defense. The club enters Saturday's game with an active 8-3-3 record and have allowed the second fewest expected goals per 60 minutes during this stretch. Matt Murray ($8,000) has disappointed over this span with a 2-2-3 record, .866 save percentage and 3.54 GAA, so hopefully a meeting with the Red Wings proves to be an opportunity to right the ship. After all, Detroit has lost 10 consecutive games. 

The Maple Leafs are up against it, so a road date with the defending champs doesn't project as a favorable matchup. St. Louis has surrendered just 2.32 goals per home game this season, and Jordan Binnington ($7,900) owns a 22-4-3 record, .927 save percentage and 2.03 GAA at the Enterprise Center over the past two seasons. 

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

The Sharks have dropped consecutive games and now face the Lightning on the road. Nikita Kucherov ($8,000) has been scorching hot with four tallies, nine helpers and 27 shots during his seven-game point streak, and San Jose has struggled defensively on the road with 3.21 expected goals against per hour - which ranks them fifth-worst in the league.

It's been three games since Evgeni Malkin's ($7,000) last multi-point showing, and he's only recorded a goal and an assist during the mini lull. However, he's still scored six times and added 16 helpers through his past 15 contests, and the Red Wings represent the league's worst team by a wide margin - especially on the defensive end. Malkin's salary also doesn't break the bank. 

The Blue Jackets are 3-5-3 and allowed 3.64 goals per game on the road this season, so Vincent Trocheck's ($4,800) salary stands out as a value in the solid matchup. He's receiving consistent power-play minutes and beginning 60.2 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone, and the 26-year-old center has also scored three goals and added five assists through his past nine games.

Josh Bailey's ($3,400) salary seems low considering he is skating on the top line, receiving consistent power-play looks and sports a four-game assist streak. The veteran is more of a floor target because he's a low-volume shooter who's never hit the 20-goal mark, but there's no questioning his playmaking abilities. And as noted, Dallas is struggling of late.

As long as Filip Zadina ($2,500) is at - or close to - minimum price, he provides a serviceable source of cap relief. The rookie has notched a power-play assist in consecutive games while averaging 4:29 of ice time with the man advantage. The Pens are notable favorites Saturday, but are also playing for the second straight night, and Matt Murray's ($8,000) struggles have been highlighted.

Also at the bottom of the salary list is Pontus Aberg ($2,500), and the 26-year-old winger is projected to skate on Toronto's top line with Auston Matthews ($7,200) and William Nylander ($5,500). Matthews and Nylander have generated 15.12 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes this year, and Aberg has an impressive 24 points - including 10 goals - through 22 AHL games.

FORWARD LINE STACKS

Nashville has a new-look top line with Ryan Johansen ($4,500), Filip Forsberg ($7,000) and Calle Jarnkrok ($4,300) skating together at five-on-five. The cap hit is manageable, and Johansen and Forsberg have clicked for a respectable 4.47 goals per hour over the past three seasons. New Jersey is obviously a doormat opponent with the third most goals allowed per 60 minutes on the road and also playing on consecutive nights. 

With Los Angeles in the noted vulnerable schedule spot and owning a poor penalty-kill percentage, turning to Calgary's top power-play unit is definitely in play. Additionally, with the Flames' forward lines in a blender, there's also a lot of potential at five-on-five. The Kings have also surrendered 3.98 goals per hour on the road, which is the second most in the league. Don't shy away from Sean Monahan ($5,700), Johnny Gaudreau ($6,100), Matthew Tkachuk ($5,900) and Elias Lindholm ($5,200), even if you go with a mini-stack combo.

Interestingly, Boston drops an overtime game to Chicago on Thursday and proceeds to shake up its lineup. Jake DeBrusk ($4,800) has been promoted to the top unit alongside David Krejci ($6,800) and David Pastrnak ($8,300). And while the trio have only spent 43:55 of ice time together at five-on-five, they've still clicked for 4.1 goals per hour. Colorado could also be due for a letdown road showing considering they enter with an active 10-3 record following five consecutive victories. 

Sticking with the Boston-Colorado bout, and while not a "forward stack", Nathan MacKinnon ($7,900) and Cale Makar ($5,800) have combined for 6.56 goals and 15.75 high-danger scoring chances per hour this season. It's a mini stack to keep in mind until proven otherwise, and the duo have also proven to be matchup-proof.

Warren Foegele ($2,600) collected a pair of assists last time out and combined with linemates Jordan Staal ($4,000) and Andrei Svechnikov ($5,800) to generate four high-danger scoring chances at five-on-five. The Wild are also ripe for a letdown showing after rolling off five consecutive wins, and this is also the final contest of a three-game road trip - a potentially tricky schedule spot. Carolina's new-look line is also priced to reward as a secondary stack.

DEFENSEMEN

Through 13 contests since returning from a lower-body injury, Victor Hedman ($6,300) has collected four goals, 11 assists, 10 power-play points, 39 shots and 17 blocks while averaging 3:55 of ice time with the man advantage. It's elite production, and the price tag doesn't quite match his results. The Sharks defensive road woes have also been highlighted.

Seth Jones ($5,900) scored and registered seven shots last time out, as his offensive role will likely continue to grow with Zach Werenski ($5,500) out of action. The Panthers are also a vulnerable opponent with 3.41 goals against per hour, which puts them third-highest in the league.

Taking a stroll down narrative street, P.K. Subban ($4,600) returns to Nashville for the first time Saturday, and the veteran defenseman is struggling along a 16-game point drought. He's still capable of moving the offensive needle, so perhaps a return to Smashville will help his puck luck. Still, Subban is nothing more than a contrarian flier.

John Marino ($3,400) has played well for Pittsburgh this season with a 53.5 Corsi For percentage. And while he doesn't receive consistent power-play time, the rookie has landed on the top pairing alongside Kris Letang ($6,700). Marino is a price-point fit in the noted strong matchup, whereas Letang is worth a look because of his role quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit.

With just a single assist through his past 10 games and only four power-play points on the season, a date with the Kings might be exactly what Mark Giordano ($6,000) needs to rediscover his offensive form. He's a strong candidate to add to a Calgary stack, and his secondary statistics - 23 shots and 23 blocks during noted slump - have buoyed his fantasy value.

Jake Gardiner ($2,500) scored last time out and continues to receive regular power-play time while beginning 57.1 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the offensive zone. It's surprising to see him at minimum price, so Gardiner definitely counts as a cap-relief candidate considering his offensive track record. 

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.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NHL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NHL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
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.
FanDuel NHL: Sunday Targets
FanDuel NHL: Sunday Targets
Odds and Ends: Leftover Stats From Week 16
Odds and Ends: Leftover Stats From Week 16
DraftKings NHL: Sunday Picks
DraftKings NHL: Sunday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Sunday Picks
Yahoo DFS Hockey: Sunday Picks
Frozen Fantasy: Raise or Fold?
Frozen Fantasy: Raise or Fold?
DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown