This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The NHL kicks off a two-game Sunday slate with a matchup between the Capitals and Penguins at 12 p.m. EST. That longstanding rivalry will be followed up in the evening by the Blackhawks facing off against their old coach, Joel Quenneville, and the Panthers at 7 p.m. ET.
The Panthers and the Penguins are favorites in Sunday's short slate, and both games could be high-scoring affairs. Especially the Penguins and Capitals, which features the always epic battle between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. Each superstar can be a slatebreaker, but we'll preview some other options to round out your lineups Sunday.
Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. WAS ($7,900): Jarry got the early hook Friday after letting up three goals on six shots, but that was more of an indictment on the skaters in front of him. The Penguins should are considered a sound defensive team, and the issues in their own zone shouldn't linger. Remember, Jarry posted a .921 SV% and a 20-12-1 record last season; he could bounce back in a big way against the familiar foe.
Chris Driedger, FLA vs. CHI ($8,100): Driedger outplayed Sergei Bobrovsky last season, recording a .938 SV% and a 2.05 GAA to complement a 7-2-1 record. Bobrovskiy will be unavailable to start the season, so Driedger will get the nod Sunday. The Blackhawks have major firepower on the sidelines with Jonathan Toews (illness) and Kirby Dach (wrist) out, and they scored three combined goals over their first two games.
Jakub Vrana, WAS at PIT ($5,100): Coming off back-to-back seasons with at least 24 goals, Vrana picked up where he left off with a tally in each of the first two games. He fired six shots on net in the process. While I'm expecting Jarry to bounce back, Vrana has a ton of upside but flies under the radar because of the wealth of offensive talent in Washington. He's an intriguing option for those hedging against the Penguins.
Pius Suter, CHI at FLA ($3,300): Suter has been decent through his first two NHL games, firing eight shots on net and recording a minus-4 rating. What's exciting about the rookie is that he's currently centering the top line with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat. Those two snipers increase Suter's value, and he's still relatively unknown, making him a contrarian option.
Owen Tippett, FLA vs. CHI ($2,500): Tippett is going to get every chance to succeed this season. The 2017 first-round pick hasn't played since his draft year, but he was outstanding with AHL Springfield last season, accruing 40 points over 46 games. The 20-year-old will start on the third line and the second power-play unit against the putrid Blackhawks defense. The opportunity and talent are evident. It's worth rolling the dice.
Penguins vs. Capitals
This line accounted for one combined point through the first two games, while the Crosby-Guentzel line enjoyed modest success in that stretch. However, there aren't many cloudy days for Malkin, and linemates like Rust and Zucker make it easy to bounce back. Rust rang up 27 goals and 29 helpers last year, while Zucker posted 12 points over 15 games in Pittsburgh. It's only a matter of time before they collectively break through.
Panthers vs. Blackhawks
Huberdeau welcomes a pair of newcomers to the Panthers' second line. This setup could work for the trio, as Huberdeau was phenomenal for the team over the past two seasons with 170 points over 151 games. Meanwhile, Hornqvist has experience playing alongside top players such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and Wennberg is looking for a reboot, as he's four years removed from a 59-point campaign. Head coach Joel Quenneville will see if it sticks, and it's undoubtedly an intriguing contrarian play Sunday.
John Carlson, WAS at PIT ($6,500): Whenever Ovechkin starts piling up goals, Carlson collects assists. The 31-year-old has immediately impressed this year with seven shots on net and two points through the first two games. He feeds Ovechkin on the power play, and he can release a cannon if defenders start cheating. Anyone playing Ovechkin needs to stack him with Carlson.
Aaron Ekblad, FLA vs. CHI ($5,000): There's no telling what Quenneville will do with Keith Yandle. But we know that Ekblad is in line for significant minutes this year regardless. He's been quarterbacking the top power play in training camp. While the 2014 first overall pick blocks shots and shoots at modest rates, he registered a career-high 41 points during the 2019-20 campaign. The opening matchup against Chicago shouldn't compel any fear from fantasy players, either.