This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
The race for the division title is going to be very interesting as every one basically has three teams vying for the top, which highlights Friday's Round 2 matchup between the Maple Leafs and Jets (8 p.m. ET). A little lower on the list – but not much lower – is the Battle of Alberta with the Oilers hosting the Flames (9 p.m.).
Philipp Grubauer, COL vs. STL ($8,500): Grubauer will continue to start for the Avs because it doesn't seem like they have much faith in their backups. This will be his fifth consecutive appearance and his league-leading 30th start of the season. He's seven away from his career high and at some point you wonder if fatigue will set in. The good news is the Avs provide plenty of goal support and the Blues' offense has been horrendous lately as they've lost four in a row, including two straight to the Ducks.
Vitek Vanecek, WSH at NJ ($8,400): Vanecek should get the start despite appearing in relief in Thursday's 8-4 loss. Last night marked the Caps' biggest defeat of the season both by goal differential and total goals allowed, and also the first time they've lost two in a row since their four-game streak in mid-February. They're 6-0 against the Devils so far and should still have the advantage.
Mike Smith, EDM vs. CGY ($7,400): I like the goal support the Oilers can provide and the Flames have been shaky in net, which negates their solid defense. Smith is statistically having his best year since he finished fourth in Vezina voting in 2013 and he's defied the odds all season.
Cal Petersen, LA vs. SJ ($7,300): Petersen was brilliant in his last start and frankly has been one of the league's most underrated and overlooked top goalies because he plays on a non-playoff team. He's 1-1-1 against the Sharks this season and - at worst - should provide DFS managers with a lot of saves and a high save percentage.
Andrew Copp, WPG vs. TOR ($4,000): Just a hunch, but if Blake Wheeler misses this game, Copp seems like the most likely candidate to get promoted. He played 21 minutes last contest. And while he failed to register a point, he did get two shots on goal. Barring a move to the wing from one of their centers, the other candidate to get moved up is Mason Appleton - although his role has generally been smaller than Copp's.
Nick Schmaltz, ARI at ANH ($3,700): Forget for a second Schmaltz is playing on the "fourth" line – he remains their most talented center and has notched three points in three games while averaging over 16 minutes. Head coach Rick Tocchet sometimes makes some baffling decisions, but at least Schmaltz remains on PP1.
Alex Galchenyuk, TOR at WPG ($3,200): The Leafs seem pretty convinced they can make Galchenyuk work and his ice time crept up to a season-high 15 minutes against the Jets Wednesday where he finished with three shots. It's encouraging and he has plenty of talent to play with in John Tavares and William Nylander.
Capitals at Devils
Assuming this unit stays together, Kuznetsov, Ovechkin and Oshie rank first, second and fifth among Caps' forwards in scoring against the Devils. Ovechkin's five goals against Jersey (and the Flyers) are the most he's scored against any team this season.
Oilers vs. Flames
McDavid has torched the Flames with six goals and 14 points over six meetings - and that includes three after the Flames made a coaching change. Not having Leon Draisaitl on this line is a bit of a downer, but they can still be stacked for power-play exposure while Nugent-Hopkins (six points in six) and Puljujarvi (five in six) have also fared well against their provincial rivals this season.
Avalanche vs. Blues
We shouldn't pump the breaks on this line just yet even though they're outperforming expectations. Donskoi rarely shoots, yet recorded a hat trick last contest and his shooting percentage is all the way up to 30 percent. The Blues seem like a favorable matchup and may not have the defensive depth to handle the Avs' hot third line.
John Carlson, WSH at NJ ($6,700): Carlson has scored six points in six games against the Devils this year and is the only elite option available other than perhaps Cale Makar ($5,600). According to Natural Stat Trick, Carlson leads all Caps defensemen with a 2.37 iXG and no one else comes close.
Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. CGY ($5,900): Nurse provides a bit of everything - especially shots and blocked shots - but the biggest surprise this season has been his goal scoring with 12 to lead all defenders and four in his last six contests. He faces a vulnerable opponent in Calgary, whose starter is struggling at the moment.
Samuel Girard, COL vs. STL ($4,800): It's very plausible the Blues get blown out amidst their losing streak, especially after watching the Avs dismantle the Coyotes. Even worse, the Blues' PK ranks 26th and that just seems like a recipe for disaster. Girard has racked up six helpers over his past five and plays with Devon Toews ($4,600) on the top pairing and PP2.