This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The MLB playoffs are going strong and the NFL season is chugging along, so perhaps it makes sense there are only two NHL games Sunday night. However, that doesn't mean you can't play daily fantasy hockey. It's not a great slate of options, and three of the teams are on the second day of a back-to-back, but I have recommendations for your lineup.
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. CAR ($8,300): The second-most-expensive starting goalie for Sunday is Chad Johnson, who struggled with an .891 save percentage last year. That should tell you all you need to know. Hellebuyck posted a .924 save percentage last season and is hosting a Hurricanes team that played in Minnesota on Saturday, which place the odds very much in his favor.
Ryan Kesler, ANA at STL ($5,100): Kesler is back, and the veteran center is hoping he still has something left in the tank. He's looked promising so far and notched 58 points two seasons ago, including 20 on the power play. The Blues are starting Chad Johnson, who had the aforementioned .891 save percentage last year.
Sam Steel, ANA at STL ($3,700): If you want a cheap option at center, Steel is intriguing. The 20-year-old rookie just picked up his first career point, but what really intrigues me is him averaging more than two minutes per game on the power play. St. Louis ranked 18th on the penalty kill last year, and with Johnson in net on the second night of a back-to-back the PK might not even be to that standard.
Patrik Laine, WPG vs.CAR ($6,100): Laine only has one goal to start the year, but obviously that's going to change. His 6.7 shooting percentage sits well below his career average, and we're talking about a guy who has never potted fewer than 36 goals in a season. Since Curtis McElhinney started Saturday for the Canes, they will likely be starting Petr Mrazek. The Czech goalie comes in with a .910 career save percentage, and he's struggled mightily in his two starts with Carolina.
David Perron, STL vs. ANA ($5,000): Perron's return to the Blues has gone swimmingly so far, with four goals in as many games. That's a small sample size, but he tallied 66 points in 70 games last year as one of the more successful misfits on the Golden Knights. The Ducks allowed 36.1 shots on net in games on zero days of rest last season, while both John Gibson and Ryan Miller had to play Saturday.
Maxime Comtois, ANA at STL ($4,300): Comtois is actually an even more intriguing Ducks rookie, and is also off to a hot start. The 19-year-old has notched four points in his first five games, is currently skating on Anaheim's top line, and also earns decent power-play time. Now he gets to face the Blues and Chad Johnson, whose struggles last year have already been documented.
Alex Pietrangelo, STL vs. ANA ($4,900): Pietrangelo is going to score. He struck for 15 goals and 54 points last year, and has never racked up fewer than 43 points in a full season. The 28-year-old has also never averaged less than 2:18 per game with the extra man. Last year in away games, the Ducks allowed 33.1 shots on goal per contest. And on top of being on the road, they are playing their second game in as many days.
Jacob Trouba, WPG vs. CAR ($4,600): Trouba isn't the point producer Dustin Byfgulien is, but he did have 24 points in only 55 games last year. In truth, staying healthy has been the biggest issue for the big defenseman in his career. He's healthy right now and he'll be rested heading into a game with a Hurricanes team on the second day of a back-to-back. The Hurricanes sported a road 3.22 GAA last season. Even though Petr Mrazek wasn't on the team then, he doesn't qualify as an upgrade between the pipes.