This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Monday is a light day for the NHL. There are only three contests taking place. Which, hey, some hockey is better than none. Here are my recommendations for your lineup. Let's kick the tradition work week off right.
The weekend was crammed with hockey, and with teams playing two games. After that, there are zero teams on the second leg of a back-to-back Monday. Two teams are on the first leg, but who starts in net for the Canadiens doesn't really matter, and I assume Jake Oettinger gets the start against Seattle, a potential playoff team, saving "the other" Matt Murray to start against the Canucks.
Alexandar Georgiev, COL at MON ($8,400): There is exactly one goalie I would consider for my lineup Monday, and you are looking at him. Anything else is getting too cute. Georgiev has a 2.62 GAA and .918 save percentage, and over his last eight outings he has a 2.12 GAA and .922 save percentage. Meanwhile, Montreal is in the bottom five in goals and shots on net per game and has lost several key contributors like Cole Caufield to injury.
Dylan Cozens, BUF at TOR ($5,400): Cozens is breaking through in a major way, with 55 points in 64 games. Additionally, over his last 15 outings he has 12 points and 43 shots on net. The fact the Maple Leafs have announced Matt Murray (the original one, not the Dallas one) will start in goal definitely changes the landscape. Murray has made two starts since returning from injury and allowed four goals both times. On the year, he has a .905 save percentage.
Michael Bunting, TOR vs. BUF ($3,900): It would be nice if Bunting played more on the power play, given that the Sabres have the 31st-ranked penalty kill. However, the Sabres have a 3.62 GAA and have allowed 33.4 shots on net per contest, and that isn't all about killing penalties. Bunting is a solid secondary option for Toronto, tallying 20 goals for the second-straight season. He also has 10 points over his last 15 games.
FORWARD LINE STACK
Avalanche at Canadiens
J.T. Compher (C - $5,000), Valeri Nichushkin (W - $6,400), Artturi Lehkonen (W - $5,100)
The Canadiens are a bottom-eight team in GAA, shots on net allowed per game, and penalty-kill percentage. Jake Allen has a .903 save percentage in three seasons with the Canadiens. Sam Montembeault has a career .896 save percentage. Montreal is not built for success in the present, but Colorado certainly is. This is the current second line and, frankly, I think it is one of the stronger second lines you are going to find these days.
Compher is on a cold streak, but if you expand out he has 12 points in his last 14 games. He's also averaged 2:22 per contest with the extra man and is actually on the top power-play unit right now. Nichushkin's issue has been staying healthy, a common trope in his career. He has 32 points, but he's done that in 35 games. That includes 14 points in his last 12 outings. Lehkonen also has 12 points in his last 14 games. On the year, he has 19 power-play points, and the Habs have a bottom-five penalty kill.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. BUF ($5,000): Here's your chance to get after the Buffalo penalty kill. Rielly has averaged 3:03 per contest with the extra man and has 13 power-play points on the year. Over his last 14 games he's notched five points on the power play. He's primed to take advantage of the Sabres' 31st-ranked penalty kill.
Samuel Girard, COL at MON ($4,400): Girard is, arguably, the fourth defenseman you think of for the Avalanche, but that's because this blue line is truly stacked. In fact, Girard has 12 points in his last 14 outings. The Canadiens have a 3.55 GAA and have allowed 33.8 shots on net per contest, both of which look good for Girard, who flies under the radar.