This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Sunday marks the second day of the NHL's return to play, and it will feature five games after 2 p.m. EDT. This slate includes three Game 1s from the qualifying round, as well as a pair of round robin contests between top seeds jostling for seeding.
Defense is king in this slate, as six of the seven stingiest regular season teams in terms of goals allowed per game will be in action. That leaves you with four teams to attack: the Wild, Canucks, Predators and Maple Leafs. The first two are playing each other, while the Blue Jackets are the team that will benefit from facing Toronto's defense, and the Coyotes draw Nashville.
Juuse Saros , NSH vs. ARI ($8,500): The league's nine lowest-scoring offenses include six teams that are no longer playing, along with the Blue Jackets (2.57 goals per game), Coyotes (2.71) and idle Stars (2.58). Saros was the first goalie Nashville used in its exhibition game, suggesting he's likely to start over Pekka Rinne ($8,000) against Arizona's subpar offense.
Frederik Andersen, TOR vs. COL ($8,400): The Maple Leafs defense has been questionable in front of Anderson, but he still posted a very respectable 29-13-7 record, 2.85 GAA and .909 save percentage and gets a juicy matchup against Columbus.
Jaroslav Halak, BOS vs. PHI ($8,500): Halak split time with Tuukka Rask ($9,000) in Boston's net during the regular season, and he should start against Philadelphia after Rask missed practice Saturday. The Slovak netminder was instrumental to the Bruins finishing atop the league standings, going 18-6-6 with a 2.39 GAA and .919 save percentage.
Kevin Fiala, MIN vs. VAN ($6,600): Fiala was as hot as any player in the league prior to the pause, with a 7-7-14 line in his last eight games and a 14-12-26 line in his last 18. If the Wild winger picks up where he left off against a Canucks team that allowed 3.10 goals per game, he'll likely outperform his $6,600 valuation.
Phil Kessel, PHO vs. NSH ($6,100): Kessel brings plenty of playoff experience from his Penguins days, and while the veteran sniper didn't live up to expectations in his first season with the Coyotes, he has a chance to make amends where it really counts. The six-time 30-goal scorer still managed to lead his team in both power-play goals (nine) and power-play points (17), making Kessel an enticing option against a Predators team that had the league's third-worst penalty kill (76.1 percent) and gave up 3.10 goals per game overall.
Ilya Mikheyev, TOR vs. COL ($3,800): Mikheyev is the cheapest member of Toronto's highly skilled top-six forward group. The Russian rookie managed an 8-15-23 line over 39 appearances (a 48-point full season pace) and offers nice value given his deployment and affordability.
Bo Horvat, VAN vs. MIN ($6,100): Horvat is the trigger man on the Canucks' power play, as evidenced by his team-high 12 goals with the extra man. The Wild ranked seventh-worst on the penalty kill this season at 77.2 percent, so Minnesota will have a hard time keeping Horvat contained on Vancouver's man advantage.
Patrice Bergeron, BOS vs. PHI ($7,600): Bergeron is the cheapest and healthiest member of Boston's dynamic top line, and he'll look to pick up right where he left off after posting a 31-25-56 line over 61 games in the regular season. With Brad Marchand ($7,900) playing through a lower-body injury and David Pastrnak ($8,600) coming off a mysterious ailment that kept him out of Phase 3 training camp, Bergeron's the safe choice from the Bruins.
Canucks vs. Wild
Pettersson and Miller were Vancouver's top forwards all season. They tied for the team lead in goals with 27 apiece, and Miller led the team with 72 points in 69 games while Pettersson ranked second with 66 in 68. They're joined on this line by Toffoli, who posted a 6-4-10 line in 10 games after coming over from the Kings at the trade deadline. Look for this productive trio to pick up where it left off against a Wild team that gave up 3.14 goals per game — second-most among teams in this slate.
Blue Jackets at Maple Leafs
Toronto's 3.17 goals allowed per game were the most among any team in action here, and Columbus' top line will look to capitalize on this favorable matchup. Dubois' 18-31-49 line was good for the team lead in points, while Bjorkstrand topped Columbus with 21 goals in just 49 games. Foligno chipped in a 10-21-31 line in 67 appearances. While these guys probably won't singlehandedly carry your lineup, they're a nice budget core that doesn't kneecap your ability to spend big elsewhere.
Avalanche vs. Blues
Stacking against the reigning champs isn't usually a good idea, but there's enough talent on this line to succeed in any matchup. MacKinnon was deservedly voted a Hart Trophy finalist after a dominant season that saw him post a 35-58-93 line in 68 games despite playing with a revolving door of linemates due to Colorado's slew of injuries. Rantanen came up just short of a point per game with a 19-22-41 line in 42 appearances after topping 80 points in each of the previous two seasons. Burakovsky missed practice Friday but is expected to suit up here. His top-line role alongside two offensive stars makes Burakovsky a tremendous value, and he's coming off the best season of his career (20-25-45 in 58 games).
Torey Krug, BOS vs. PHI ($5,800): Krug was playing his best hockey of the season when things shut down, as he had mustered 10 points in his last nine games before suffering a shoulder injury that cost him Boston's final regular season contest. Now healthy and raring to go, the diminutive blueliner should pick up where he left off.
Quinn Hughes, VAN vs. MIN ($5,400): Hughes' 25 power-play points tied him with Miller for the team lead, and the rookie defenseman racked up 54 points in 68 games overall. He should continue to produce offense in this series against the Wild. For those looking for a higher floor on defense, teammate Alexander Edler ($4,300) is a great value given his well-rounded production and top-pairing role.
Ryan Suter, MIN vs. VAN ($5,300): Suter ranked second on the Wild with 48 points this season, as only Fiala (54) had more. There's likely to be more open ice in the Wild-Canucks game than in any other matchup Sunday, and Suter should capitalize.
Jakob Chychrun, PHO vs. NSH ($3,700): Chychrun led all Coyotes defensemen with five power-play goals this season, and he's also the cheapest blueliner in this slate who averaged over 10.0 fantasy points this season. He'd be a nice value against any opponent, but especially so considering Nashville's poor penalty kill.