This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The first of May is the busiest day we've seen so far for the NHL, as 30 teams are in action. Enjoy your rest, the Winnipeg Jets! As you can surmise, there were be a handful of teams on the second leg of a back-to-back. The Sharks, Avalanche, Golden Knights, Coyotes, Kings, and Ducks are all doing the back-to-backs in the same home arena thing. Only the Canadiens are playing a different opponent, the Ottawa Senators. Additionally, two of the games are in the afternoon, which means there are "only" 13 games worth of players to choose from for your evening DFS contests.
Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR vs. CLM ($8,500): Petr Mrazek is still banged up, and there is no need to rush him back to face the Blue Jackets, especially with Nedeljkovic available. Heck, even if they decide to give James Reimer a second start in the row I would like him in this matchup. Columbus' offense has completely ground to a halt, as it only managed 1.93 goals per game in April.
Jack Campbell, TOR vs. VAN ($8,400): Campbell was given a rest Thursday against these same Canucks, but he's seemingly totally healthy. He's also having an excellent season, as he's posted a 2.14 GAA and .925 save percentage. I certainly did not expect the Canucks to struggle so much offensively this year. Sure, Elias Pettersson has missed a lot of time, but it's still a surprise that the Canucks have only managed 2.61 goals per contest.
Cal Petersen, LOS at ANA ($7,800): The Kings are getting to face the lowest-scoring team in the NHL two nights in a row. Even at home, Anaheim's offense runs the risk of being on tired legs playing its second game in as many days. I would have been happy to take either Kings goalie in this one, but Jonathan Quick got the start Friday and that works for me because Petersen has been the decidedly better of the two goalies anyway.
Jake Oettinger, DAL at NAS ($7,500): It can be a little hard to parse who will start for the Stars, but Oettinger has decidedly outplayed Anton Khudobin this year. The rookie has a .916 save percentage, but that is paired with a 2.25 GAA. Why are so few goals getting past Oettinger? Perhaps because the Stars have allowed a mere 26.9 shots on net per game, second lowest in the NHL.
Kevin Fiala, MIN vs. STL ($6,700): Fiala got off to something of a slow start, but thanks in part to nine points in his last six games he has 35 points in 45 contests, including 18 goals. The Swiss forward has also averaged a career-high 3:07 on the power play, notching 13 points with the extra man. While the Blues having a middling 3.08 GAA, they actually rank 28th on the penalty kill.
Drake Batherson, OTT at MON ($4,900): Like I said, the Senators are the sole team who didn't play Friday but is taking on a team that did. On top of that, with Carey Price out and Jake Allen having started Friday, we will likely see Cayden Primeau in net for the Habs. That bodes well for Ottawa's young forward, as Batherson has 32 points in 50 games. This includes seven points in his last six games, one of those a three-point outing against Montreal.
Frank Vatrano, FLA at CHI ($4,700): The Panthers take as many shots on goal as any team (34.7) and the Blackhawks allow a ton (33.1), and that combination could lead to this game being something akin to target practice for the team from the Sunshine State. Vatrano has quietly been racking up shots, having put 152 shots on net in 52 games. While he doesn't have many assists, the 27-year-old does have 18 goals.
Travis Konecny, PHI vs. NJD ($4,600): Konecny has started 56.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, which is highest among Philly forwards. He's also tallied 10 points on the power play in 44 games after having a whopping 23 in only 66 contests last year. That power-play success is what intrigues me most in this matchup, as the Devils have the league's worst penalty kill.
LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER
The Canucks have a 3.20 GAA and have allowed 33.3 shots on net per contest. They also have dealt with more disarray than any team in the NHL due to unfortunate COVID-19 issues. Thatcher Demko has barely played since the return, as Braden Holtby (3.29 GAA) has handled five of the seven starts in April. I decided to go with Toronto's second line because Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will take up a big chunk of your salary. Tavares is no slouch, though, as he had 17 points in 14 games in April. He also put 46 shots on net in those games. Nylander missed a portion of April himself, but since returning he has seven points in six contests. Galchenyuk has never really lived up to his draft position, and he's mostly here because he happens to be on the second-line wing right now. However, he's also been getting time on the first power-play unit as well.
Not the biggest-name line, sure, but this is as good of a matchup as you are going to find. The Flyers have a 3.56 GAA, highest in the NHL. Yes, higher than the Senators' GAA. Philly has an .882 save percentage as a team, which is lowest in the NHL as well. Hughes has the reputation that comes with being a first-overall pick, and he's also started 64.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest on the Devils. He's also definitely improved offensively, having tallied 27 points in 50 games, including 11 points in April. Sharangovich has really benefited from being on Hughes' wing, as he has five goals and four assists in his last eight outings. That includes two power-play goals in his last game, which was against these same Flyers. Then there's Kuokkanen, another Devil in his early 20s still growing as a player. He has an assist in each of his last two games, giving him 17 assists in 44 contests.
Dougie Hamilton, CAR vs. CLM ($7,200): When it comes to defensemen who put pucks on goal, few are in Hamilton's class. He's notched 152 shots on net in 50 contests. Imagine if his 4.9 shooting percentage was more in line with his career shooting percentage of 6.3? Maybe there will be some puck luck against the Blue Jackets. Columbus has allowed 32.1 shots on net per game and also has a 3.27 GAA, sixth highest in the league.
Ivan Provorov, PHI vs. NJD ($6,200): The Devils have the league's worst penalty kill, and Provorov has 10 power-play points. However, there's more to like here than just the time when Provorov is out there with the man advantage. New Jersey actually had the highest GAA in the NHL in April at 4.38. Even when the teams are at even strength, there's a lot to like about the Russian defenseman.
Samuel Girard, COL vs. SAN ($4,200): The Avalanche are hosting the Sharks for the second leg of a back-to-back, the Sharks decidedly have questions in goal. They have a bottom-five GAA in the NHL, and they also no longer have Devan Dubnyk since the trade deadline. Josef Korenar will be in net for San Jose in this one, and the rookie has an .893 save percentage in seven career appearances. All of that bodes well, and I didn't even get to the face Girard has 31 points in 46 games yet.
Will Butcher, NJD at PHI ($3,600): I had to get another Devil in here, given that the Flyers have the worst defense and worst goaltending in the NHL. Butcher has been limited to 17 games this season, but when he's played he's started 59.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. That's the most of any Jersey defenseman. He's also looked far from rusty or off his game recently despite the relative lack of action, as he has six points in his last six contests.