This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
You can enjoy some NHL hockey Saturday afternoon, though those games aren't included for the purposes of this article. Instead, I'm focused on the main contests for Saturday, which consists of nine games starting at 7:00 p.m. EDT or later.
Jake Oettinger, DAL at DET ($8,400): The Stars are coming off a disastrous game where they allowed seven goals to the Wings, though one was an empty netter. Anton Khudobin got the start, and got yanked, so I think Oettinger may get a chance Saturday. Oettinger struggled against the Wings too, but he has an 1.98 GAA and .930 save percentage over his last seven games. I don't think Jakub Vrana is going to score four goals again, and Dylan Larkin is now out for the season.
Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR at FLA ($7,700): This is more about the goalie than the matchup, as the Panthers have scored 3.19 goals per game. However, that kind of scoring is rare against Nedeljkovic. The Ohio-born netminder has an 1.87 GAA and .933 save percentage. His team has only allowed 28.4 shots on net per game as well, making things easier for Nedeljkovic.
Darcy Kuemper, ARI at LOS ($7,500): Kuemper hasn't looked great since returning from action, but he has a 2.40 GAA on the season. He's also getting a Kings team on the second leg of a back-to-back. Jonathan Quick will likely be in net for Los Angeles, and given that Quick has an .890 save percentage the chances of Kuemper picking up a win are increased.
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG vs. TOR ($7,100): This is solely a play on saving salary with a goalie who usually wouldn't be available at a salary like this. After all, we're talking about a Vezina winner with a 2.57 GAA and .917 save percentage. The American goalie also has a 2.19 GAA and .927 save percentage over his last 15 games. Yes, it's a tough matchup, but if you want to bet on talent and save a few hundred bucks to allocate elsewhere, it's a worthy role of the dice.
Brady Tkachuk, OTT at VAN ($7,400): Since he first stepped on an NHL rink, Tkachuk has been a prolific shooter. He notched over 200 shots on net in each of his first two seasons, and he has 189 shots on goal in 47 games this season. The Canucks have allowed 33.8 shots on net per contest this season, highest in the NHL, so expect Brady to be busy Saturday.
Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG vs. TOR ($7,100): In the past, Ehlers has been on the outside looking in when it comes to the Jets' power play. This year, though, he has 13 points with the extra man, tied for the most in his career. The Maple Leafs have a lot of strong points as a squad, but they have a bottom-five penalty kill. Not that Ehlers needs power-play time to excel, though. Overall, he has 45 points in 46 games.
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY vs. MON ($4,900): It's been something of a bounce-back season for Gaudreau, who has 34 points in 46 games. That includes 16 points with the extra man. The Flames are hosting the Canadiens for a second night in a row, and with Carey Price out things are sketchy in net for the Canadiens. Will they use Jake Allen on back-to-back nights? Or will Cayden Primeau perhaps get his first NHL start? No matter what, I'm down to have a piece of that action.
Nick Schmaltz, ARI at LOS ($4,200): I knocked the Arizona offense to open this article, but this is not a matchup without any upside. After all, the Kings are on a back-to-back, and Quick does have that .890 save percentage. Schmaltz has started 64.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, which is tops on the Coyotes. He's also notched 10 points in his last 14 contests.
LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER
No need to complicate this. The Senators have a 3.51 GAA, highest in the NHL. They have allowed 32.3 shots on net per contest. Vancouver at home against Ottawa? I will stack their top line with aplomb! Horvat had three points in the Canucks' first game back from their pause, and overall he has 30 points in 40 contests. Boeser has bounced back from having a 9.5 shooting percentage last season, and that has helped him tally 16 goals in 40 games, including six on the power play. Pearson's numbers aren't on the same level, but he scored 21 goals in 69 games last season. He's on the most-talented line the Canucks have, and he currently has a spot on the top power-play unite as well.
Sure, John Gibson has a .921 save percentage in his last six games. Over that same time he also has a 2.83 GAA, because the Ducks are giving up a ton of shots. On the year he has a 2.98 GAA and .903 save percentage, so how long can he keep standing on his head really? His last two starts have come against this Vegas team, who have peppered him with 79 shots and scored eight goals. Stephenson is getting the benefit of centering the top line between these two talented wings, and he's also the center on the first power-play unit. He's tied his career high with 26 points, but this time he's done it in only 41 games. Pacioretty has been absolutely on fire, as he's tallied 13 points in his last 10 games. Plus, since we're talking about all the shots the Ducks have allowed, Pacioretty has notched 165 shots on goal in 44 contests. Stone is on a six-game point streak, and in five of those six games he's tallied two points. He's also tallied a point with the extra man in three-straight contests.
Brent Burns, SAN vs. MIN ($5,900): I haven't mentioned it yet, but the Sharks are at home Saturday against a Wild team that played in Los Angeles on Friday. Cam Talbot started Friday, which likely means Kaapo Kahkonen in net. Kahkonen got off to a strong start to the season, but the rookie now has a .910 save percentage on the season. He's effectively made four starts in the last month, and he has an .857 save percentage in those starts. That brings me to Burns, who has eight points in his last 12 games.
John Klingberg, DAL at DET ($5,700): The Wings have graduated from horrendous defensively last season to just run-of-the-mill bad, but that still means a 3.14 GAA. Klingberg has notched a point in six of his last seven outings, giving him 32 points in 45 contests. The Swede has also averaged 3:14 per game with the extra man and notched 16 power-play points.
Quinn Hughes, VAN vs. OTT ($5,200): Hughes wowed as a rookie with 53 points in 68 games, including 25 on the power play. He's a real weapon with the extra man again, as he's averaged 3:51 per contest in power-play time. It's worth mentioning a second time that the Senators have a 3.51 GAA, highest in the NHL.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI at LOS ($3,400): This is an opportunity to save a little salary over, say, Jakob Chychrun ($6,700), so I'm recommending Ekman-Larsson. His shooting percentage has fallen to 3.2, which is some bad puck luck, but he's still getting his minutes. The Swede has averaged 20:47 with the extra man, including 2:23 with the extra man. He also has seven points in his last 14 contests. Throw in Quick likely starting with Cal Petersen having started Friday and it's looking promising for Ekman-Larsson.