This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
After a busy Saturday, the NHL takes a breather with just two games today starting with Capitals at Penguins (3:00 p.m. EST) and then Avalanche at Golden Knights (7:00 p.m.).
The Pens have not won in regulation since Jan. 24 against the Rangers and they needed a goal from Jake Guentzel with less than two minutes left to clinch. This starts a key four-game homestand for Pittsburgh with their first two games against the rival Caps before they face the Isles. They've hired new management while also looking inconsistent and sporting a glaring goalie weakness.
The Avs return to action after nearly two weeks off, so they may need to shake off some rust. But the good news is both Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews may be back in the lineup. That means MacKinnon only missed one game instead of four while giving the Avs a chance to reclaim top spot in the division, sitting just three points behind St. Louis but with three games in hand.
Philipp Grubauer, COL at VGK ($8,500): MacKinnon and Toews coming back will change everything for this matchup. The Avs should be well-rested and Grubauer should be the better value play. Marc-Andre Fleury ($8,800) was 0-2 with a 7.13 GAA and .828 Sv% against the Avs last season with MacKinnon tallying four points.
Casey DeSmith, PIT vs. WSH ($7,300): Just a hunch, but I think the Pens will continue to roll with DeSmith. He won his last start and has gone 2-0 against the Caps this season, though his save percentage hasn't been very good. Their past two meetings needed extra time, and it should be a tight match yet again. That makes DeSmith the slightly better value play over Ilya Samsonov ($7,500), who seems like a risky pick because he's allowed seven goals in two games and has not played since Jan. 17.
Reilly Smith, VGK vs. COL ($4,500): Smith has only scored two points over his past eight games, but logged a solid game against the Sharks yesterday with five shots. Alex Tuch ($4,400) is the one with the hot hand and could be the better play, but in general Smith has been more reliable in generating shots. Both Smith and Tuch feature on PP2.
Kasperi Kapanen, PIT vs. WSH ($4,400): I think Kapanen's speed and rugged style of play makes him well-suited for this historic rivalry. He previously notched an assist against the Caps, but that was his first game of the season and his ice time has since increased significantly. Kapanen produced an assist and eight shots in his last two contest and will play alongside Evgeni Malkin.
Jakub Vrana, WSH at PIT ($4,300): Vrana's been frustratingly inconsistent this season but may get back on track now that the Caps are almost back to full strength. He's only provided two assists in his past five games and the Pens' weak goaltending presents a favorable matchup for the second line.
Cody Glass, VGK vs. COL ($3,600): Glass is on the third line at even strength but his skill is evident, which is why he also centers PP1. He's managed four helpers over his past four outings and seems very comfortable being a distributor for Vegas's top wingers in Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone.
Avalanche vs. Golden Knights
Saad (five points in five games) was playing well and along with Donskoi occasionally see time on PP2, while Kadri gives this line some exposure to PP1. Vegas's defense may be shorthanded again with Shea Theodore, and the logic is they don't have the requisite depth to stop the Avs' second line.
Alec Martinez, VGK vs. COL ($4,300): Martinez has been excellent of late and notched two assists against the Sharks. He offers the ability to stuff the score sheet even when he doesn't score because he gets shots on net and also blocks quite a few of them. Martinez ranks second in the league with 9.31 BkS/60 among defensemen with a minimum of 10 games played.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph, PIT vs. WSH ($3,800): I continue to be impressed by Joseph, and he should continue to be a top-four defenseman going forward even though his ice time has dipped with the Pens' blue line returning to health. Because Joseph's production and playing time can be unpredictable, consider him more of a high-upside value play.