This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
It's a busier Monday night than usual in the NHL with 18 teams in action. Tampa Bay is the lone large favorite on the docket with Buffalo playing its second road game in consecutive nights.
For what it's worth, the RotoWire Lineup Optimizer is bullish on David Rittich ($7,000), and his price presents tremendous value while also offering lineup flexibility. He pulled off a 36-save win in Philadelphia on Saturday, and even with Pittsburgh continuing to win, the Pens are missing a number of key cogs. The risk is built into Rittch's salary.
While Thomas Greiss ($7,700) enters with an eight-game winning streak and .936 save percentage during the surge, he's surrendered three goals in consecutive games, and the Isles lost Saturday in San Jose. Still, with New York allowing just 1.91 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five (second fewest in the league), Greiss remains an option against the middle-of-the-road Anaheim offensive attack.
The Senator's smoke-and-mirrors act has them sporting an active 7-2 record with 3.0 goals per game, and Anders Nilsson ($7,800) is 6-1 with a .935 save percentage and 2.13 GAA in November. So, with the Blue Jackets a mediocre road team (3-4-3 record), Ottawa's positioned to win its fourth consecutive game.
San Jose has righted the ship to the tune of an active 8-1 record, and Martin Jones ($7,900) has seven wins during the stretch. His .892 save percentage is nothing to write home about, but he did hold the Islanders to a single goal last time out, and Los Angeles isn't an intimidating opponent. The Kings have scored just 1.74 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five in November, too.
Through 10 games since returning from injured reserve, Evgeni Malkin ($7,500) has recorded double-digit DraftKings points with three goals, 10 assists and 42 shots during the stretch. The Flames have surrendered 26 goals through their past seven contests with just a single win during the stretch, too.
With 11 goals, 10 assists and 51 shots through 24 contests, Brayden Schenn's ($5,500) price doesn't match his production. He also lands in a soft matchup against Nashville with the Preds surrendering a league-high 4.1 goals per game through their past 10 contests.
Sticking with the St. Louis-Nashville clash, Matt Duchene ($4,800) is in the midst of a mini slump and could be a potential breakout candidate after posting just 1.84 points per 60 minutes through Nashville's last 12 contests. The veteran center entered the season with a 2.69 mark over the previous two years, after all.
This is a manageable price for Gustav Nyquist ($4,500). The Swede produced at a point-per-game pace – two goals and five assists – through his past seven outings and continues to skate with the No. 1 power-play unit. Even with Ottawa's recent success in the wins column, the Sens still rank third last in expected goals against per hour.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
The Kings have surrendered the fourth most goals per hour in the league this season, so with San Jose's top line adding up to a manageable cap hit, Logan Couture ($6,000), Evander Kane ($7,200) and Kevin Labanc ($4,800) are in play Monday. The trio have clicked for 6.06 goals per 60 minutes this season and also skate together on the No. 1 power-play unit.
Over the past three years, Brayden Point ($7,000) and Nikita Kucherov ($8,300) have connected for 5.61 goals per hour through 1700:40 of shared ice time. They're projected to skate with Ondrej Palat ($5,000) at five-on-five, whereas Alex Killorn ($4,200) and Tyler Johnson ($4,200) join the duo on the No. 1 power-play unit. It's also not out of the question to just roll out Point and Kucherov, either.
A low-priced trio to consider is Minnesota's second line. Mikko Koivu ($4,000), Zach Parise ($5,000) and Kevin Fiala ($3,500) have clicked for a respectable 3.63 goals and 15.14 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes and skate together with the man advantage. The Rangers have also surrendered the second most goals per hour in the league, including 23 through their past five outings.
The Flyers' new-look top line has impressed with 4.38 goals and 14.62 high-danger scoring chances per hour through the past three games. Morgan Frost ($5,300), Claude Giroux ($6,500) and Travis Konecny ($5,400) are also affordable and draw a decent matchup. Vancouver enters with a 3-5-2 record and 3.45 goals against per hour through its past 10 outings, after all.
Another Shark to keep in mind, Brent Burns' ($6,900) 2.34 points per hour dating back to last season rank third among all regular defensemen, and he's also a prime candidate to reach the shot and blocks bonus, as he's already done so six times this year. As noted, Los Angeles isn't a daunting opponent, either.
With six assists through his past four contests, Quinn Hughes ($4,600) is up to a ninth-ranked 2.31 points per hour among regular defensemen this season. He's been especially proficient with the man advantage with 13 power-play points, and the Flyers own the eighth worst team save percentage while shorthanded.
Zach Werenski ($5,600) is affordable and playing his best hockey of the year of late with three tallies, five helpers and 20 shots through his past six contests. He's returned to quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit, and Ottawa is probably punching above its weight class during its recent run of success.
With an assist through 23:42 of ice time (3:47 with the man advantage) Saturday, John Klingberg ($4,200) proved his health following a six-game absence. His salary is still lagging behind his talent and offensive track record, and while the Golden Knights are a solid opponent, they've still allowed the seventh most expected goals per 60 minutes on the road this season.
Adam Fox ($4,100) continues to produce and is up to a rock-solid two tallies, six helpers, 22 shots and 12 blocks through his past 10 games. The rookie is locked into a power-play role, and Minnesota has struggled on the road with a 4-10-1 record and 3.59 goals allowed per hour.