This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Hey, maybe we lose an hour at the end of Saturday, but we get a day packed to the gills with NHL action. There are 11 NHL games in the evening, which is to say starting at 7 p.m. ET or later. Looking for a few names for your lineups? Let's spring forward to the recommendations!
All this NHL action, but the league's worst defense isn't on the ice in the Ducks. They are one of only two teams not playing Saturday, though obviously there are a few afternoon games not in the mix here. There are two teams on the second leg of a back-to-back, the Panthers and the Blackhawks, and they both have goaltending situations worth targeting.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. CHI ($8,700): If there is a goalie I'd absolutely want in my lineup Saturday, it's Vasilevskiy. A recent skid aside, who is more reliable than the Russian netminder? Even with a few off games, Vasilevskiy still has a 2.69 GAA and .914 save percentage. The Blackhawks are fighting the Ducks to try to avoid finishing last in goals per game — no other team is in contention — and they're on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back.
Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. WAS ($7,900): Sorokin has posted a 2.35 GAA and .925 save percentage, but what else is new? In his career, the Russian has a nearly identical 2.34 GAA and .924 save percentage. Washington has averaged 3.06 goals per game, just below average, but was a seller at the deadline.
Jordan Binnington, STL at CLM ($6,900): This is a total gamble entirely about the matchup, if you are more of a matchup seeker than somebody who bets on talent. Binnington has a .907 save percentage over his last 10 starts, which is an improvement for him. The Blue Jackets rank 29th in goals per game and GAA, so Binnington can hopefully handle this one well enough to pick up a win.
Jordan Kyrou, STL at CLM ($7,800): Kyrou has been a little cold on the point front, with three points in his last nine games. Having said that, he has 35 shots on net in that time, so he has been quite active. Oh, and he has 57 points in 61 contests on the season, so he's been quite good. The Blue Jackets have a 3.72 GAA and has allowed 35.3 shots on net per contest. If nothing else, Kyrou should be shooting a ton again.
Blake Wheeler, WPG at FLA ($6,000): Wheeler has picked up 31 assists in 56 games and added 15 goals as well. Florida is on a back-to-back, and it will likely have to start Alex Lyon. The 30-year-old journeyman has a career .893 save percentage. Wheeler also has 13 power-play points, and the Panthers have the 28th-ranked penalty kill.
Nick Paul, TAM vs. CHI ($4,200): Paul has five points over his last 10 games. On the season, he has 17 goals in 63 contests. The Blackhawks are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, but they are also dealing with an illness for Alex Stalock. That could mean an AHL call-up in net, or Petr Mrazek pulling double duty. No matter how you slice it, things are looking bleak for the Blackhawks in net.
LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER
Wild at Sharks
Joel Eriksson Ek (C - $6,700), Matthew Boldy (W - $5,900), Marcus Johansson (W - $3,700)
The Sharks have the sixth-ranked penalty kill, which is unexpectedly good. And yet, they have a 3.73 GAA, third-highest in the NHL. Maybe a player like, say, Minnesota's Calen Addison, a defenseman who is entirely reliant on the power play, could be in for a rough day. All in all, though, this remains a favorable matchup. Minnesota's second line should get plenty of time at even strength, especially given that Kaapo Kahkonen has an .879 save percentage.
Eriksson has 49 points in 65 games, already tying his career high. He also has put 204 shots on net. Boldy has seen no sophomore slump, notching 17 goals on 203 shots on goal and adding 25 assists. His 8.4 shooting percentage is a drop down from his 13.3 shooting percentage as a rookie, and that number is a little low for a forward. There could be some improvement coming. Johansson was dealt from the Capitals to the Wild, and he has an assist and nine shots on goal through four games. He had 28 points in 60 games with the Caps, though.
Senators at Canucks
Shane Pinto (C - $4,600), Alex DeBrincat (W - $7,100), Drake Batherson (W - $6,200)
The Canucks have the league's worst penalty kill, and they are effectively locked into that position. They also rank 31st in GAA. Now, Thatcher Demko is back, and he has a .932 save percentage since returning. That means on the season he has an .894 save percentage to go with a 3.56 GAA. He has a career .910 save percentage, and last year the Canucks had the league's worst penalty kill even with a healthy Demko. Two of these guys have a key role on the power play for the Senators, so I like this stack.
Pinto is not as involved on the power play, posting seven points with the extra man on the year. However, playing between these two wings he still has eight points in his last 14 outings. DeBrincat has at least one point in six of his last seven games. Speaking of the power play, he's averaged a whopping 4:07 per contest with the extra man and has 25 power-play points. Batherson has 51 points and 190 shots on net through 64 games, including seven points and 38 shots on net in his last 11 contests. Also, 12 of his goals and 12 of his assists have come on the power play.
Dougie Hamilton, NJD at MON ($7,500): The Devils don't really have a secondary defenseman worth rostering, but Hamilton tends to live up to his lofty salary. He's racked up 61 points in 64 games, including 18 goals on a whopping 219 shots on net. For a defenseman, that's robust. The Canadiens have allowed 33.7 shots on goal per contest, and they have the 29th-ranked penalty kill. Hamilton has tallied 25 points with the extra man or good measure.
Mikhail Sergachev, TAM vs. CHI ($6,600): Sergachev has 10 points in his last 10 games, including notching two assists in each of his last two outings. On top of that, he's tallied 21 points with the extra man this year. The Blackhawks are in the bottom eight in GAA and shots on net allowed per contest, and they are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back as well.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. EDM ($5,300): Rielly has notched 11 points in his last 14 games, including five with the extra man. He's averaged 3:01 per contest on the power play and has 13 power-play points in 49 games. The Oilers have the 24th-ranked penalty kill, and even if Stuart Skinner is in net he has a 2.83 GAA and .913 save percentage. Better than Jack Campbell, but not exactly good.