This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
When the NFL goes away, the other sports leagues finally feel comfortable staking claim to Sunday afternoons. The NHL is no different, with three hockey games scheduled during that time frame. The first one is at 12:30 PM ET, so you'll have to get your lineup in early to play a full slate. If you wait for the evening state, you'll only have three games worth of players to choose from. This way, you get six. Here are my recommendations.
Cam Ward, CHI vs. DAL ($8,400): I'm as surprised as you are about this, but hear me out. Ward's numbers aren't good, but this is quite the matchup. The Stars are on the road for the second game of a back-to-back. They have only managed 2.03 goals per game on the road, which is tied for last in the NHL. On top of that, Dallas is 11-16-3 on the road, while Chicago has impressed by going 7-3-0 in its last 10 games. Thus, Ward is worth a shot.
Nicklas Backstrom, WAS vs. NYR ($6,000): Backstrom is having another fine season, especially as a playmaker. He's notched 43 assists in 61 games, and seems primed to hit the 50-assist mark for the sixth-straight season. Both the Capitals and Rangers are on the second day of a back-to-back, but the Rangers have looked really poor on the road with a 3.93 GAA in away games.
Mikael Backlund, CGY at OTT ($5,500): Backlund is riding a four-game point streak in which he has tallied six points, and it wouldn't be a surprise for that run to continue against the Senators. Though the Blackhawks have surpassed the Sens for the league's highest GAA, the Sens still sit at 3.70 and have allowed 36.4 shots on net per contest.
Gustav Nyquist, DET vs. SAN ($5,800): Nyquist could be making his final trade pitch to prospective suitors. He's picked a fine time to have his best season in a while, with 48 points in 61 games. As for the Sharks, they've really struggled on the road with a 3.50 GAA in away games. Also, they enter on the second day of a back-to-back.
Timo Meier, SAN at DET ($5,500): Meier impressed in his first full season by scoring 21 goals on 210 shots, but he's taken his game to a whole new level this year. He has repeated the 21 goals, but he's only played in 59 games, and also has chipped in with 30 assists. The Wings, on the other hand, have struggled to a 3.26 GAA, and have also fittingly given up 32.6 shots on net per contest.
Pavel Buchnevich, NYR at WAS ($4,600): With two assists Saturday, Buchnevich has racked up seven points over his last six games. And now that Mats Zuccarello has been traded, there will be room for more minutes for the young Russian. The Capitals are on the second day of a back-to-back, and Pheonix Copley will likely be in net. Over his last seven games, Copley has disappointed with a 3.86 GAA and .875 save percentage.
John Klingberg, DAL at CHI ($5,700): Yes, I suggested Ward in net, but I still feel like Klingberg is too good a value at this price. After all, he struck for 67 points last season, including 23 on the power play, He's registered 29 points in 43 games to go with 109 shots, with 14 of his points with the extra man. Recommendations aside, the Blackhawks do own the league's worst penalty kill.
T.J. Brodie, CGY at OTT ($4,400): Brodie was recently moved off Calgary's top pairing with Mark Giordano, but then he went out and tallied a goal and an assist in his last game. Whoever he pairs with Sunday, he'll still be skating against the Senators. And as I previously mentioned, they come in with a 3.70 GAA and have allowed 36.4 shots on net per contest.