This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
After the earliest NHL game I can recall ever happening (8 a.m. ET!) we have four games in the evening. In this instance, though, "evening" starts at 5:30 p.m. ET. It's Sunday, so hopefully you can get your lineups in a bit earlier than usual. Here are my DFS recommendations.
If Sunday is a day for rest, don't tell the NHL that. Only two of these teams, Anaheim and Buffalo, are not on the second leg of a back-to-back. That means we have two games between teams that are both in such a circumstance, the Penguins hosting the Golden Knights and the Flyers hosting the Blue Jackets.
Devon Levi, BUF at CHI ($8,200): The Sabres have a murky goaltending situation, especially with Eric Comrie back. Buffalo is one of the team rocking three goalies. This is not about any of them, Levi included, but about the matchup. The Blackhawks are in the bottom five in goals and shots on net per game, and they are finishing a back-to-back against a rested Sabres team. If nothing else, if Levi is in net he should get the win.
John Gibson, ANA vs. STL ($7,900): The Ducks' plan was to rotate veteran netminder Gibson and inexperienced goalie Lukas Dostal in net, but then something happened. Dostal struggled, no surprise there, but Gibson has thrived. The American has a 2.18 GAA and .929 save percentage, having taken the role as a true number-one goalie. Will this continue? Probably not, but Gibson has been great, and the Blues are in the bottom 10 in goals per game, while also playing on the road for the second day of a back-to-back.
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. CLM ($4,600): The Flyers have a couple things to their advantage in this battle of teams on the second day of a back-to-back. One, the Flyers get to be at home for both games, while the Blue Jackets will play both games on the road. Also, Philly played at 1 p.m. ET Saturday, giving it a little more time to rest. Oh, also the Blue Jackets are bad defensively, in the bottom eight in GAA and shots on goal allowed per game. Couturier has played well after missing all of last season with an injury, and he has five points in his last four outings.
Ryan Strome, ANA vs. STL ($4,200): Strome has been skating on the wing for Anaheim's second line, next to Mason McTavish and Frank Vatrano. That's actually a sneakily-good spot to be in. Strome has 14 points in 16 games, but with a 6.7 shooting percentage that should improve. The Ducks should catch Joel Hofer on Sunday, and the young goalie has a 3.19 GAA and .902 save percentage this year.
FORWARD LINE STACK TO CONSIDER
Sabres at Blackhawks
Tage Thompson's injury is a blow to the Sabres, to be sure, but Cozens is no slouch, and he's stepped into the first-line center role. Chicago is in the bottom five in shots on goal allowed per game, and Petr Mrazek is expected in net. Yes, he has a .919 save percentage, but a 2.86 GAA. Plus, we're talking about a 31-year-old veteran with a career .908 save percentage. I don't think he can keep up this pace, especially against so many shots.
Cozens started hot before slowing down, but he has eight points in 15 games, and also an 8.6 shooting percentage. Last year he had 31 goals and 37 assists, so I expect improvement. Centering the top line should help. Skinner tallied over 240 shots on target in each of his prior two campaigns. That helped him notch over 30 goals in each of his last two seasons, and he has seven goals this year. Speaking of guys who know how to put pucks on goal, Tuch was on fire before missing three games with an injury, but in his return he potted another goal. He has five goals in 14 games, but has also put 33 shots on net after notching 218 last year.
Zach Werenski, CLM at PHI ($5,800): Werenski got injured early, but since then he has 11 points and 38 shots on net across 15 games. Catching the Flyers on the second leg of a back-to-back is going to benefit the Blue Jackets in terms of matchup. Samuel Ersson will likely be in net since Carter Hart started Saturday, and Ersson has a career .886 save percentage.
Owen Power, BUF at CHI ($3,700): For the same reasons I'm stacking a Sabres line, I'm going with a Sabres defenseman. Rasmus Dahlin is the top guy, but Power is no slouch. Like his teammate, he was a first-overall pick, and he produces at a complementary level. Power has nine points in 17 games. He's also put at least two shots on net in each of his last four outings, encouraging heading into a matchup against a team in the bottom five in shots on goal allowed per contest.