DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

If you want to try and play a slate that includes the afternoon Saturday, I understand. The Sabres, Flyers and Senators all play in the earlier hours to kick off the weekend. Those happen to be the three teams with the highest GAAs in the NHL. If you play an afternoon slate I recommend looking toward the Canadiens, Capitals, and Penguins, the three teams facing off with the NHL's most-porous defenses. Plus, none of them are on the second leg of a back-to-back either. From this point on, I'm focusing on seven NHL games starting at 7:00 p.m. ET or later.

GOALIES

Anton Khudobin, DAL vs. CLM ($7,900): Khudobin may only have a .913 save percentage, but when your defense only allows 27.3 shots on net per game you can still have a 2.34 GAA. Columbus has been punchless on offense this season, as it has managed a mere 2.47 goals per game. The Jackets' moves at the trade deadline also certainly feel like a team looking ahead to next season (and perhaps the end of the John Tortorella era).

Kevin Lankinen, CHI at DET ($8,000): Lankinen has slowed down after exploding onto the scene as a rookie, but he still has a 2.65 GAA and .915 save percentage in his last 11 games. Those are perfectly commendable numbers. While Lankinen allowed three goals on 27 shots to the Wings on Thursday, the Wings have still only averaged 2.27 goals per contest, leaving them fighting with the Ducks at the bottom of the rankings.

Petr Mrazek, CAR vs. NAS ($8,100): With how well Alex Nedeljkovic has played this year (1.98 GAA, .928 save percentage), Mrazek was going to have to look really good after his lengthy injury absence to earn playing time. Well so far he has a 1.72 GAA and .938 save percentage in four starts. The Predators have scored 2.56 goals per game, surprisingly poor, and right now they are missing their leading scorer Filip Forsberg.

VALUE PLAYS/ONE-OFFS

Kyle Connor, WPG vs. EDM ($7,700): You want a ringer or two on your DFS roster, and Connor can be that for you. He's tallied over 30 goals in every season of his career and has 21 goals in 44 games this season. He also has 13 points in his last 11 contests with 36 shots on net. Mike Smith still has a 2.47 GAA and .918 save percentage on the season due to his unexpected hot start, but he's looked more mundane recently. Over his last 15 games he has a 2.79 GAA and .907 save percentage.

Martin Necas, CAR vs. NAS ($5,300): Necas is building off a rookie season where he notched 36 points in 64 games. The 22-year-old has 33 points in 39 contests, and he's also averaged 17:27 in ice time, a major uptick. While Juuse Saros has been outstanding for the Predators, the Preds still have a bottom-five penalty kill. Necas has averaged 1:59 per game with the extra man and tallied 10 power-play points, so there's some upside there.

Jakub Vrana, DET vs. CHI ($3,700): Yes, it was only one game, but the Wings started their new forward in the offensive zone 75 percent of the time in his debut. That probably helped him score a goal against this very Blackhawks team. They also let the former Capital played 1:01 on the power play, and the Blackhawks have the league's second-worst penalty kill.

Pius Suter, CHI at DET ($4,100): The Blackhawks like themselves an older rookie, and the 24-year-old Suter has 11 goals this season. He's also started 59.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest among Blackhawks forwards. While the Wings are better defensively than there were last season, they still have a 3.11 GAA and have allowed 31.1 shots on net per game.

LINE STACKS

Stars vs. Blue Jackets

Roope Hintz (C - $6,400), Joe Pavelski (W - $6,800), Jason Robertson (W - $5,700)

Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov had years lost to injury, but there is still talent at the top of the Dallas roster. I mentioned earlier the Jackets seem to be in "white flag" territory, and they have a 3.24 GAA. This could also be a big day for Pavelski and Hintz if the Stars get a lot of power-play time. Pavelski has 19 points with the extra man, including 11 goals. The former Shark also has goals in back-to-back games. Hintz, meanwhile, has 16 power-play points himself and has been on absolute fire. He has 18 points in his last 13 games and has only been held pointless twice in that time. Then there's the rookie Robertson, who has started 66.0 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, most on the Stars. That's helped him tally 30 points in 37 contests.

Wild vs. Sharks

Victor Rask (C - $2,500), Kirill Kaprizov (W - $6,600), Mats Zuccarello (W - $4,200)

This is the second game of a back-to-back for both the Sharks and the Wild. However, Minnesota gets to be at host for both games. Plus, only one of these teams is in the bottom five in GAA, and that's San Jose. The Sharks started Martin Jones on Friday and have traded Devan Dubnyk. That likely means Josef Korenar in goal for San Jose. In his first NHL start he allowed four goals to Anaheim's meager offense. Rask has admittedly not produced much, but he's recently moved to being the top-line center for the Wild. That gives him two wings to work with to help boost his fantasy potential. Kaprisov is going to win the Calder on the strength of numbers like 16 goals and 19 assists through 42 games. That includes six goals in his last 11 contests. Zuccarello has missed time this season, but he still has 25 points in 29 games. He's also potted three goals over his last two outings and scored one Friday night.

DEFENSE

Jared Spurgeon, MIN vs. SAN ($4,900): Going back to the well of this matchup with my first defensive recommendation. In addition to being in the bottom five in GAA, the Sharks are also in the bottom six in shots on goal allowed per contest. Spurgeon has put 72 shots on net in 41 games, the most of any Wild defenseman, and the likely presence of Korenar in net helps as well.

Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. NAS ($7,400): Hamilton is pretty close to matchup proof, and Nashville's poor penalty kill makes this a matchup I don't mind at all. The defenseman has notched 18 points with the extra man. I also just love how active he is offensively. Hamilton has put 139 shots on goal in 42 games to lead the Hurricanes. He's something of the heir apparent to Brent Burns in terms of active defensemen.

Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. CLM ($5,100): Heiskanen hasn't taken quite the step forward I expected this year, but let's not overlook the steps he has taken. The Finn has averaged 25:05 in ice time, including 2:54 on the power play. He's also tallied six points in his last 10 contests, including three goals. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets have two goals who have GAAs over 3.00 over their last eight respective starts.

Filip Hronek, DET vs. CHI ($4,000): The Blackhawks have allowed 33.1 shots on net per contest, second highest in the NHL. Hronek has tallied 90 shots on goal in 45 games. Chicago also ranks 30th in penalty-kill percentage. Hronek has averaged 2:39 per game with the extra man and has nine power-play points. That all bodes well for the Czech defenseman.

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. Chris Morgan plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: cmorgan3, DraftKings: cmorgan3.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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