This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
We have a light night ahead of us with just three games scheduled. All six squads are rested, though Columbus, Detroit and Washington are each playing in the first half of a back-to-back.
The Sharks being by far the worst offense this campaign isn't something that would have shocked many going into the season, but perhaps some would have been surprised to learn Washington would rank 31st with just 2.33 goals per game as we approach December. The Capitals did show life from Nov. 10-22, winning five straight games while scoring 19 markers over that span, but they've fallen back down, losing their last two contests while scoring just one goal. Things won't get any easier for the Capitals tonight when they face LA, which ranks first defensively with 2.37 goals per contest.
Cam Talbot, LA vs. WAS ($8,500): Based on what was noted above, the recommendation of Talbot shouldn't come as a surprise. Not only is Washington one of the worst teams offensively and particularly cold currently, but Talbot is also having an amazing campaign with a 10-3-1 record, 2.02 GAA and .931 save percentage through 14 appearances.
Elvis Merzlikins, CLM vs. MON ($7,400): This is mostly a lack of options recommendation. Under other circumstances, I might have considered Igor Shesterkin, but he has a 3.03 GAA over his last four starts and is up against Detroit's high-powered offense tonight. Merzlikins' not great, posting a 5-7-3 record, 3.11 GAA and .907 save percentage in 16 contests, but he's facing Montreal, which ranks 27th offensively with 2.71 goals per game. Critically, Merzlikins is also cheap compared to a goaltender like Shesterkin, who would cost you $8,200.
David Perron, DET at NYR ($5,000): Perron's done alright this campaign with seven goals and 11 points in 20 contests, including six points with the man advantage. He's on a roll too, with three goals over his last two games and two of those markers have come on the power play.
Johnny Gaudreau, CLM vs. MON ($4,600): With three goals and 11 points through 23 games, Gaudreau is on pace to have one of the worst campaigns of his career. That said, he's still on the top line and first power-play unit, putting him in an ideal position to bounce back. We're already seeing signs of him rebounding too -- he's supplied a goal and four points over his last four outings.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Rangers vs. Red Wings
Another reason I didn't want to recommend Shesterkin: Detroit's top line is red hot.
Raymond will enter the contest on a six-game scoring streak, providing four goals and six points over that stretch. He's been great all campaign with eight goals and 16 points through 20 contests.
Compher is excelling too with two goals and 11 points over his last nine outings. He's been held off the scoresheet just once during that stretch.
DeBrincat didn't factor into Detroit's 4-1 win over Minnesota on Sunday, but before that he enjoyed a five-game scoring streak in which he recorded three goals and six points. Through 20 games this campaign, the 25-year-old has 12 goals and 20 points.
Kings vs. Capitals
Moore has been the highlight of the Kings' second line recently, scoring four goals and six points over his last three games. With 11 goals (along with eight assists) in 19 contests, he's already approaching his career high of 17 markers set in 2021-22. His 20.8 shooting percentage doesn't seem sustainable -- he finished at just 6.1 last year -- but may as well take advantage of his success while he's hot.
Fiala has six goals and 20 points in 19 contests and, unlikely Moore, that's an offensive pace he's likely to maintain as he seeks to surpass the 70-point milestone for the third straight campaign. Fiala has been a consistent presence, recording at least a point in 14 of those 19 games. He's also been productive recently with four goals and six points over his last five outings.
As the cheapest member of the line, Danault is unsurprisingly the least impressive with four goals and 13 points through 19 games. He has done well recently, though, supplying a goal and five points over his last five appearances.
Adam Fox, NYR vs. DET ($7,000): Fox hasn't played since Nov. 2 due to a lower-body injury, but he'll return tonight without any restrictions to his playing time, which makes him the best offensive defenseman available tonight. The 25-year-old has three goals and 11 points in 10 outings this season.
Drew Doughty, LAK vs. WAS ($5,300): Doughty has four goals and 10 points through 19 contests, which isn't great, but is fine for his price point. I'm recommending him because he's on a bit of a hot streak with four helpers over his last five appearances.