DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown
DraftKings NHL: Saturday Breakdown

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

There are three afternoon games in the NHL on Saturday, but it's only the 11 evening matchups included in DraftKings featured contests. The action begins at 7 p.m. EST.


Here's a quick-hit primer to highlight everything you need to know about Saturday's schedule.

Notable Favorites from DraftKings Sportsbook:
Bruins (-220)
Maple Leafs (-195)
Hurricanes (-205)

Teams playing for the second consecutive night:
Blue Jackets

Potential High-Scoring Contests:
Maple Leafs-Red Wings

Injury Watch:
Lawson Crouse, Coyotes (upper body)
Calvin de Haan, Blackhawks (shoulder)
J.T. Compher, Avalanche (lower body)
Filip Hronek, Red Wings (undisclosed)
Nick Cousins, Canadiens (lower body)
Robert Thomas, Blues (upper body)


The Penguins have multiple players out of the lineup, so a road game in Minnesota could prove to be a tough task even though they squeaked by the Ducks on Thursday. Devan Dubnyk ($7,400) owns a rock-solid .919 save percentage and 2.37 GAA through 66 home games the past three seasons, and there's added incentive to stand tall to avoid an 0-4 start.

With the sample of elite play growing by the game, it's becoming more and more difficult to overlook how dominant Jordan Binnington ($7,700) has been. He's sporting a 26-5-2 record, .927 save percentage and 1.92 GAA since taking over the St. Louis crease last season, and the Blues have surrendered just 2.12 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five to kick off the campaign.  

The way Carolina is playing, James Reimer ($7,800) warrants attention. The veteran has won consecutive games to start the season and boasts a .940 save percentage and 2.42 GAA. The Blue Jackets don't appear to be a tough opponent, as they've lost three of four and scored two goals or fewer in the three losses.  

It's worth mentioning the high-priced netminders backstopping teams with the highest odds to win. Because there are so many options in the goaltender pool, there's potential for one of them to fly under the radar and carry a low ownership percentage. Tuukka Rask ($8,400), Philipp Grubauer ($8,300) and Frederik Andersen ($8,200) should also be on your radar.


Dylan Strome ($4,400) is coming off a two-point showing and is projected to continue skating with the No. 1 power-play unit. He owns a manageable cap hit, and the Jets still have significant concerns on the blue line and with their team defense. Winnipeg's 3.0 expected goals per 60 minutes rank fifth worst in the league.

Slotted into a top-line role and on the top man-advantage, Kevin Hayes ($4,300) represents another center to keep in mind. He scored a power-play goal against New Jersey on Wednesday, and the first-year Flyer also lands in a potentially soft matchup against Vancouver.

Appearing to be on the brink of breaking out the past two seasons, Kevin Fiala ($3,200) has gone three games without finding the scoresheet to start 2019-20. He continues to receive top offensive minutes and has attempted a team-high 18.8 shots per 60 minutes. That shot volume will translate to points sooner than later.  

The Maple Leafs are being gashed by opposing offenses again this season and have allowed three goals or more in four of five games, including surrendering seven to Tampa Bay on Thursday. As a result, it's hard to overlook Taro Hirose ($2,800) at his discounted salary. He's recorded a respectable nine points and 16 shots through 14 career games and is slotted in to skate with the second line and on the No. 1 power-play unit Saturday.  

Here are a number of veterans with proven track records landing in the value range:
Phil Kessel ($5,200) - Too talented not to begin frequenting the scoresheet.
Joe Pavelski ($4,500) - Being part of Dallas's No. 1 power-play unit provides upside.
Tomas Tatar ($4,300) - 63 points - including 26 goals - through 84 games with Montreal.


You have to pay the piper for Boston's top line, but it's impossible to overlook the upside. Dating back to the 2017-18 campaign, Patrice Bergeron ($6,600), Brad Marchand ($7,100) and David Pastrnak ($7,200) have clicked for 5.49 goals per 60 minutes while driving possession with a 58.7 Corsi For percentage. The Devils have dropped four straight to open the season and allowed 11 goals through their two road contests. Also, this just happens to be the Bruins' home opener.  

It's not out of the question to keep Sebastian Aho ($5,900), Nino Niederreiter ($4,200) and Teuvo Teravainen ($5,700) in mind as long as they remain a line at five-on-five. They scored twice, generated five high-danger scoring chances and recorded a dominant 67.9 Corsi For percentage at even strength against the Islanders on Friday. They also provide exposure to both of Carolina's power-play units. The Blue Jackets are also likely to start Elvis Merzlikins ($6,800), and the rookie allowed seven goals to the Penguins in his NHL debut.  

A sneaky, low-priced option is Cody Glass ($4,000), Brandon Pirri ($3,400) and Valentin Zykov ($2,800). Both Pirri and Glass receive power-play time, and the trio should also see soft on-ice matchups at home with Calgary forced to contain Vegas' top two lines. This is a new-look line for Vegas, as the three have played just 1:57 together, but they provide upside and cap relief. All three Golden Knights are talented and have a track record offensive production.


Over the past three years, Torey Krug ($4,600) leads all defensemen in points per 60 minutes with a 2.28 mark, so he's close to an automatic play at this salary. Just note, he'll likely be a popular target.

The RotoWire NHL Lineup Optimizer loves Mathew Dumba ($5,200) against the Penguins. As noted, Pittsburgh is missing a number of key pieces, so it should prove to be a solid matchup. Additionally, Dumba is moving the needle across all categories while averaging 25:33 of ice time per contest - including 2:58 with the man advantage.

There's a case to be made that Dougie Hamilton ($6,800) is overpriced, but there's potential his high salary could keep his ownership low. And he just keeps scoring, so he deserves to be mentioned. With a goal and an assist during Friday's win, Hamilton has now found the scoresheet in four of five games for three tallies, four helpers, three power-play points, 14 shots and eight blocks.  

While Shayne Gostisbehere ($4,200) has yet to find the scoresheet, he's been on the ice for 15.9 high-danger scoring chances and 3.4 expected goals per 60 minutes through two games. The offense is coming for the power-play quarterback, and his price is down because of his slow start.  

Here are a few more quick-hit options to consider on the blue line:
Dennis Cholowski ($3,400) - Skating with No. 1 power-play unit in soft matchup against Toronto.
Shea Theodore ($4,800) - Sports a three-game point streak with five shots and three blocks.
Morgan Rielly ($6,600) - Set for a bounce-back showing after current two-game point drought.
John Klingberg ($5,500) - Statistical correction ahead of his lone assist through five contests.
Jake Gardiner ($3,500) - Combination of price and usage keep Gardiner in play.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Neil Parker plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: naparker77, DraftKings: naparker77.
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Neil Parker
A loyal Cubs, Cowboys and Maple Leafs fan for decades, Neil has contributed to RotoWire since 2014. He previously worked for USA Today Fantasy Sports.
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