This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
We have six NHL games on the docket Monday. Also, the first pucks drop at 7:30 p.m. ET, meaning you have a little extra time to get your lineups in, should you get caught up late at work or something. When you are primed to set your lineups, here are a handful of recommendations to help you get the work week off to a good start.
Monday features zero teams on the second leg of a back-to-back. Three of them are on the first leg, but none of those teams have goaltending situations where it really matter. Who starts for the Sharks or the Sabres? Who cares! The matchups don't really change on that front.
Cam Talbot, OTT at CHI ($8,500): Talbot has played at the same level as he did before his injury, which isn't great, though he has a win in each of his last three starts. I think the odds are high he gets a fourth consecutive win if he's tending the goal. The Blackhawks are last in goals per game and 31st in shots on net per contest. With all the talent dealt away at the deadline, I expect Chicago to get even worse offensively.
Thatcher Demko, VAN vs. NAS ($7,600): This is a bit of a gamble. Demko was playing terribly prior to his lengthy injury absence, but his last two starts have gone well. Maybe his health is key to a turnaround? Demko did have a .915 save percentage in each of his previous two campaigns. The Predators have averaged 2.87 goals per game, bottom 10 in the NHL, and they dealt away as much talent as any team before the deadline.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM at BUF ($6,600): He may not be the biggest star in Edmonton, but Nugent-Hopkins has put up some staggering numbers on the power play. He's racked up a whopping 42 points with the extra man. Ah, the benefits of playing with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Well, the Sabres have the 31st-ranked penalty kill. This is an ideal matchup for RNH.
Alex DeBrincat, OTT at CHI ($6,300): DeBrincat visits his former stomping (or skating, as it were) grounds Monday on a five-game point streak. He's put 201 shots on net through 62 contests as well. Chicago has allowed 33.7 shots on goal per game, so DeBrincat should have plenty of chances to put pucks on goal against either Petr Mrazek or Alex Stalock.
FORWARD LINE STACK
Sabres vs. Oilers
Dylan Cozens (C - $5,400), Casey Mittelstadt (W - $3,200), Vinnie Hinostroza (W - $2,700)
The Oilers are excellent offensively, but defensively they are less stout. Edmonton has a 3.31 GAA, which is below average. Stuart Skinner has a 2.88 GAA and .912 save percentage, but in the new year he has a 3.09 GAA and .809 save percentage in 13 appearances. The Oilers have the 25th-ranked penalty kill as well, and two of the members of Buffalo's second line get time with the extra man.
Cozens has 53 points in 60 games, and 10 in his last 11 outings. He has 15 power-play points this year as well, and while he's slowed down on that front, he's back on the top unit and has averaged 3:31 per game on the power play in his last four contests. Mittelstadt has 11 points in his last 11 games, which pairs well with Cozens' performance. The 24-year-old also has 13 points with the extra man. Hinostroza has three points in four games since his most-recent injury, and injuries have been a problem for him. Right now he's healthy, though, and his 6.1 shooting percentage should improve.
Thomas Chabot, OTT at CHI ($6,100): Chabot has 35 points in 59 games, including six in his last 10 games. He's averaged 3:59 per contest with the extra man as well, and he's notched 18 power-play points. The Blackhawks have a bottom-10 penalty kill, and they are a team that is likely to perform worse down the stretch.
Rasmus Sandin, WAS at LOS ($3,300): Sandin has only played one game with the Capitals. However, he's already a top-pair defenseman and on the first power-play unit. He picked up three assists, including one with the extra man. The Kings have a penalty kill on the fringes of the bottom 10, and Pheonix Copley has an .899 save percentage.