This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's modest NHL slate features three games and begins at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Below, you'll find an overview of the matchups and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
A heavyweight battle between the Bruins and Capitals pits a pair of top-five offenses against each other, but Boston also has one of the five stingiest defenses. An underwhelming Senators team will visit a Canadiens club that's finishing up a back-to-back set in the battle of this slate's two most generous defenses, while the high-powered Avalanche will host the Flyers.
Whether Philipp Grubauer ($8,000) returns after missing one game with a hamstring injury or Pavel Francouz ($7,800) gets another look while Grubauer heals up, Colorado's goalie of choice should be a popular pick against a Flyers team that's averaging 3.10 goals per game — second-fewest among teams in this slate.
Cayden Primeau ($7,600) will likely get the second leg of Montreal's back-to-back here. He'll look to improve on last Thursday's NHL debut, in which Primeau gave up three goals on 35 shots to Colorado's league-best offenses. This matchup is much more favorable, as Ottawa brings up the rear among teams in this slate with just 2.71 goals per game.
If the Bruins opt to start Tuukka Rask ($7,600), he has the skills to come up big despite the tough matchup in Washington. Rask has been noticeably better than any other goalie available in this slate, with a 2.19 GAA and .927 save percentage.
Those looking to save money in net should consider Ottawa's Anders Nilsson ($7,000). The Canadiens appears to have turned a corner recently, but they've still dropped nine of their last 12 games.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($5,500) leads the Senators in both goals (16) and points (23) through 31 games, edging out Anthony Duclair by one in each category. Ottawa's No. 1 center gets a nice opportunity to add to his success against a tired Canadiens team that ranks in the bottom five defensively and is easily the most generous in this slate.
Being bumped off the top line hasn't slowed down Joonas Donskoi ($5,100), who has improved his season line to 13-14-27 through 30 games with multi-point efforts in each of his past two games. Colorado's shrewd offseason acquisition should keep rolling at home despite a tricky matchup with a Flyers team that boasts a top-10 defense.
Brendan Gallagher ($6,200) leads the Canadiens in goals (14) and shots (119), while trailing Tomas Tatar by two points for the team lead with 25. He has a four-game goal streak going and 19 shots over that span, and Gallagher should keep rolling at home against the Senators, who are allowing 3.10 goals per game.
Nicklas Backstrom ($5,200) returned in style Monday after missing eight games due to an upper-body injury, logging a goal and an assist. That performance gives Backstrom points in each of his past four games played, so his price should only climb from here as the Swede takes aim at a seventh consecutive season with 70-plus points. Backstrom's an intriguing against-the-grain play here.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Avalanche vs. Flyers
MacKinnon's 19-28-47 line through 30 games has him third league-wide in points. Both Rantanen and Landeskog have been limited to 14 appearances by injuries, but each topped a point-per-game pace last season. Rantanen has a 6-12-18 line, while Landeskog's at 5-4-9 in 2019-20, making this a good time go buy low on the latter. The visiting Flyers are an impressive 10-2-4 in Philadelphia but a pedestrian 7-6-1 on the road.
Bruins at Capitals
This line has been nearly unstoppable. Bergeron just returned from a lower-body injury in Boston's last game and looked no worse for the wear with a goal on six shots. He ranks third on the Bruins in both goals (nine) and points (25) despite only playing 22 of a possible 31 games thus far, but Bergeron's production pales in comparison to Marchand's 18-28-46 line and Pastrnak's 25-20-45 line. Both wingers rank top-five league-wide in points, with Pastrnak leading in goals. Even with the Bruins facing the lone team ahead of them in the standings, the backbone of most fantasy lineups will either be this line or the aforementioned Avalanche trio.
Senators at Canadiens
Ottawa will likely get to face backup goalie Cayden Primeau in his second NHL start after Carey Price got the nod for Montreal on Tuesday, and the Canadiens haven't been good defensively regardless of who's in net. This line led the charge in Ottawa's 5-2 win over Boston on Monday, combining for three goals and eight points. That was Duclair's second consecutive two-goal game, and he has a 5-2-7 line over an active four-game point streak. Tierney has five points in his last three games, while Namestnikov has four points in his last three.
Only two of the teams in this slate have below-average penalty kills — Montreal and Colorado. Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov ($5,200) is primed to take advantage of the Avalanche's weakness, as he leads his team in both goals (four) and points (10) with the extra man.
Shea Weber ($6,500) is tied for second on the team with Gallagher at 25 points apiece, and he's third on the Canadiens in both goals (10) and shots (93). Plus, the all-around blueliner raises his floor with blocks, ranking in the top 20 league-wide with 60.
Ryan Graves ($4,100) is on a nice run for Colorado, with a 3-3-6 line over his past seven games. With Cale Makar (upper body) unavailable, Colorado will likely encourage Graves to keep involving himself offensively.