This article is part of our FantasyDraft NHL series.
Sunday's NHL games are skewing early. Not only does no game start later than 8:00 p.m. ET, but the first game of the daily fantasy slate is at 5:00. Get your lineups in early, and consider these players for inclusion.
Carolina Hurricanes, CAR vs. NJD ($15,600): The Hurricanes have allowed only 28.9 shots on net per contest, the fewest in the NHL. That's partially why Cam Ward has a 2.58 GAA. Carolina also has a good chance of picking up the win. The Devils are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, and with Cory Schneider (groin) hurt, their goaltending situation is murky.
Sidney Crosby, PIT at CLM ($14,400): Crosby is a great player, obviously, with 66 points in 60 games. Most germane to this matchup, though, he's averaged 3:50 per game with the extra man and tallied 30 power-play points. The Blue Jackets have the 27th-ranked penalty kill, which is a big part of what makes Sid the Kid more enticing than usual here.
Tyler Bozak, TOR at DET ($7,800): Thanks to two points Saturday, Bozak has 30 points this season. That's despite his 7.4 shooting percentage, by far the worst of his career. The veteran has also started 59.4 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, the second most among Toronto forwards. The Red Wings have a 3.02 team GAA, and they are also on the second night of a back-to-back.
Sebastian Aho, CAR vs. NJD ($13,100): Aho has nine points and 24 shots on goal through his last 10 contests. Overall, he's notched 21 goals and 46 points through 55 games, both of which are close to eclipsing his rookie totals. Keith Kinkaid (3.24 GAA, .893 save percentage) is likely to be in net for the Devils, who are on the road for their second game in as many days.
Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG vs. FLA ($12,400): Ehlers has averaged 14.09 fantasy points per game, and in his last six outings, he has three goals on 20 shots. The Panthers have allowed 34.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, the second most on the NHL, so Ehlers should be able to put a few more pucks on net. Florida is also on the second night of a back-to-back, and James Reimer (3.10 GAA, .909 save percentage) will likely be tending goal.
Artemi Panarin, CLM vs. PIT ($11,700): Panarin has started 66.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, ranking second on the Blue Jackets. He's averaged a career-high 20:28 per game, and the Russian has scored 15 goals despite having the worst shooting percentage of his career. The Penguins are yet another team on the second day of a back-to-back and have a 3.67 team GAA with zero days of rest.
Kris Letang, PIT at CLM ($11,500): Letang has eight points in his last nine games, which gives him 36 on the season. He's also tallied 172 shots on net and 16 power-play points. As noted earlier, the Blue Jackets have the 27th-ranked penalty kill. Columbus is going to be hard-pressed to stand up to Letang and Pittsburgh's top-ranked power play.
Morgan Rielly, TOR at DET ($9,100): Detroit will either be giving Petr Mrazek his second start in as many days or installing Jimmy Howard, who has a 3.70 GAA and an .884 save percentage in his last eight games. Rielly has averaged 11.72 fantasy points per game. If you want a player that has averaged more, you will have to spend at least $10,400.