This article is part of our FantasyDraft NHL series.
Let's kick the weekend off with five NHL games. If you want, you can add to that hockey action with some daily fantasy. Should you decide to go down that route, here are a handful of players I recommend choosing for your lineup.
Carolina Hurricanes, CAR at BUF ($14,100): Yes, the Hurricanes are the second-cheapest goalie option available for a reason, but there is potential for real value here. The Sabres are on the second night of a back-to-back, and their offense has been the worst in the league so far this season. On zero days of rest they have been even worse, as they've averaged 1.71 goals per contest. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes have only allowed 28.9 shots on net per tilt. Don't be surprised if Carolina ends up being a steal.
Henrik Zetterberg, DET vs. TOR ($10,100): Perhaps owing to his age, Zetterberg has started 59.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, third-most among Detroit's regular forwards. He's also three points in his last four games, and six in his last 10. The Maple Leafs will be on the second night of a back-to-back, which means they will be starting Curtis McElhinney. He's had a good season in limited action, but in his career he has a 2.93 GAA and a .906 save percentage.
Tomas Hertl, SAN at VAN ($9,300): Hertl didn't register a point Thursday, but he had four points in the three games prior, and overall he has 18 points in 30 games (including six on the power play). Vancouver has had a rough December, as they have a team GAA of 3.50 this month, and it has given up 33.2 shots on net per contest as well. Jacob Markstrom also has a .904 save percentage in his last 12 contests.
Tyler Toffoli, LOS at NYR ($13,000): The Rangers have a team GAA of 2.90, and they've also allowed 32.9 shots on goal per tilt. That latter number is notable, as Toffoli has put 108 pucks on net through 32 games. He's also potted 14 goals, putting him on pace to break the 30-goal mark for the second time in three seasons.
Jeff Skinner, CAR at BUF ($12,200): Skinner has scored 11 goals on 116 shots in 30 games, and he's started a whopping 69.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. The Sabres have been terrible offensively, but they've been almost as bad defensively as well. They had a team GAA of 3.32 before Thursday's contest and likely started Chad Johnson has a 3.64 GAA and a .883 save percentage.
James van Riemsdyk, TOR at DET ($12,100): The Maple Leafs may have gotten blanked on Thursday, but they should have better luck against the Red Wings. Detroit has a team GAA of 3.26, and Jimmy Howard has a 3.98 GAA and a .863 save percentage in his last 11 outings. Van Riemsdyk has 15 goals and seven assists through 32 games, and he's also notched nine points on the power play.
John Klingberg, DAL at NJD ($11,700): New Jersey is another team that played on Thursday night, and the Devils have allowed 33.4 shots on net per contest. Since Cory Schneider started against the Canadiens, there's a good chance Keith Kinkaid (3.48 GAA, .893 save percentage) will be in net for Jersey. Klingberg has 27 points, including a whopping 23 assists, even though he has a career-low 5.4 shooting percentage. With a little more puck luck, the 25-year-old Swede will be putting up even better numbers.
Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF vs. CAR ($9,900): Ristolainen doesn't have any goals yet, but he has 63 shots on net in 23 tilts, so eventually he'll light the lamp. He's also averaged 3:46 per game on the power play, which is particularly favorable heading into this matchup. The Hurricanes have the 28th-ranked penalty kill, so Ristolainen could find some success with the extra man in this one.