This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The three evening games are included in the featured contests at DraftKings on Sunday. The Rangers come in as sizeable home favorites against Los Angeles, whereas two Central Division showdowns project to be close contests with the Blackhawks visiting the Jets and the Wild hosting the Avalanche. The Kings, Jets and Avalanche are all playing the second leg of a back-to-back set.
As noted, this is a tough schedule spot for Los Angeles. The Kings are playing the final leg of a four-game road trip and third contest in four nights. Additionally, Los Angeles enters with an active 2-11-1 record with just 18 five-on-five goals during the skid. Rookie Igor Shesterkin ($8,000) has also been rock solid for the Blueshirts by winning four of five starts with a .922 save percentage. This salary isn't prohibitive enough.
Minnesota is inconsistent, and Pavel Francouz ($7,600) is a road favorite Sunday. Colorado represents a superior team and has surrendered just 1.9 five-on-five goals per 60 minutes since Jan. 1, and Francouz boasts a 12-4-2 record, .924 save percentage and 2.45 GAA for the campaign. Just note, the Wild have won six of their past eight with 3.63 goals per game, so it's not a slam dunk.
While Artemi Panarin ($8,000) has cooled off slightly with just a single goal and three helpers through his past five games, he's still registered 20 shots and boasts a fourth-ranked 4.1 points per 60 minutes among NHL regulars this season. Los Angeles is also allowing a healthy 3.4 goals per hour on the road, including 12 through the first three contests of its current road trip.
Patrick Kane ($7,400) carries a manageable salary considering he's turning in another dominant offensive season with a high-end 3.45 points per hour. It should also prove to be a soft matchup, as Winnipeg played a spirited and physical game Saturday against Ottawa and the Jets own a 28th-ranked 74.3 penalty-kill percentage while allowing 3.1 goals per 60 minutes through 16 games since the beginning of January.
Pavel Buchnevich ($4,700) has been productive in 2020 with five tallies, five helpers and 36 shots through 14 contests. He's also locked into a top-six role and receiving power-play time. Additionally, it's a cushy matchup against the reeling Kings.
It's been a good run for sophomore Luke Kunin ($4,000). He's recorded 10 points - including three goals - through 13 games since the beginning of January and the 2016 first-round selection has padded his DraftKings' point total with seven blocks through his latest three outings. Kunin has also been receiving more consistent power-play time the past two games, so the fantasy arrow is pointing up.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
The Blackhawks rank fourth in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes, and Winnipeg's top line combined for four goals and three assists Saturday. Mark Scheifele ($6,600), Patrik Laine ($6,800) and Kyle Connor ($6,600) have combined for a rock-solid 4.78 goals per hour and 13.77 high-danger scoring chances per hour over 727:51 of shared ice time this season, and the trio all skate on the No. 1 power-play unit.
There's a large enough sample to take Colorado's new-look second line seriously. Nazem Kadri ($5,700), Andre Burakovsky ($5,400) and Valeri Nichushkin ($3,900) have clicked for 7.33 goals per hour while driving possession with a 57.2 Corsi For percentage at even strength, and they provide coverage to both power-play units without breaking the bank. There's nothing scary about Minnesota's .895 team save percentage either.
Cale Makar ($5,900) has marked the scoresheet in six of the past seven games for three tallies, five helpers, 15 shots and six blocks while logging a hefty 3:16 of power-play time. The rookie ranks second in points per hour this season, and he's locked into an offensive role beginning 64.1 percent of his five-on-five shifts in the opponent's end of the rink.
With 12 points, 26 shots and 16 blocks through his past 12 games, Anthony DeAngelo ($5,100) is developing into a high-floor, high-ceiling contributor. His 2.44 points per 60 minutes rank third among all regular defensemen this season, and the Kings own a 27th-ranked 74.7 penalty-kill percentage.
At this price, Ryan Suter ($4,900) represents a potential high-floor target for contrarian lineups. The veteran has recorded 14 points, 37 shots and 20 blocks while averaging 23:59 of ice time - with 2:34 on the power play - through his past 16 outings. Unfortunately, he'll likely line up against Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500), Gabriel Landeskog ($6,900) and Mikko Rantanen ($7,000) most of the night, so that slightly caps his upside.
Coming off a huge performance Saturday of 34.8 DraftKings points, Neal Pionk ($4,500) is positioned to have another solid showing against Chicago. The first-year Jet is in the midst of a breakout campaign with 20 power-play points while averaging a hefty 23:29 of ice time - including 2:54 with the man advantage. He's a cost-effective addition to a Winnipeg stack.