This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
You have a day before the World Series starts, so why not make Monday all about the NHL? I have some recommendations for your DFS lineups, which you can find below…
There are seven games going down Monday, with six of them starting at 7 p.m. ET. Only one game starts later than that, and it's at 8 p.m. ET, so don't expect to get to play some late slate if you miss the main contest block. No teams are playing the second game of a back-to-back. Also, isn't it a little odd how quickly we got used to Canadian and non-Canadian teams playing one another again? If there is any matchup that catches my eye, it's the Lightning against the Sabres, even if the Lightning are on the road.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM at BUF ($8,300): I have no concerns about Vasilevskiy's slow start to the season. He's a Vezina winner who has not had a save percentage lower than .917 in the last five campaigns. There has been no goalie more reliable than the Russian. The Sabres have scored 2.60 goals per game this year, but last year they scored 2.39 with arguably a better lineup.
Vitek Vanecek, WAS at OTT ($8,100): Even though his last start didn't go well, Vanecek still has a 2.05 GAA and .920 save percentage this year. Ottawa has not been making goalies work too hard the last couple of years. The Senators averaged 29.7 shots on net per game last year, and this year that number is down to 28.6.
Elvis Merzlikins, CLM vs. DAL ($7,500): Merzlikins has been standing on his head, as he has a 1.63 GAA and .947 save percentage in three starts, all wins. Conversely, the Stars are off to a concerning start offensively. Dallas has only managed 2.00 goals per game.
David Perron, STL vs. LOS ($5,900): Perron has seven points in four games, with four of them coming in his last outing. That was against this same Kings team. He of his points came on the power play. As such, Perron is almost personally responsible for the Kings having the 31st-ranked penalty kill.
Anthony Mantha, WAS at OTT ($5,500): Mantha has started the season with two goals on 10 shots on net, plus an assist, in five games. He's also averaged 3:37 per contest with the extra man. Matt Murray was playing well for the Senators, but he's unfortunately hurt now. That leaves Anton Forsberg, a 28-year-old who has played more than eight game in a season only once, as the top goalie. He has a 3.44 GAA.
Alex Iafallo, LOS at STL ($3,800): Iafallo has three points in five games, which is solid. However, he also has a 6.7 shooting percentage, which is very likely to improve. I'm also intrigued by the fact Iafallo has started a whopping 68.6 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. Jordan Binnington's GAA has risen every season, and this year it is currently at 2.75.
LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER
Last year the Sabres had a 3.50 GAA and allowed 33.7 shots on net per game. Those were both bottom two in the NHL. Craig Anderson is the new top goalie for the Sabres, but he's 40 and in his last full season he had a .902 save percentage. I don't think he's going to keep up his strong play very long.
Point has a goal in each of his last two games, and we're used to him scoring. In addition to his playoff goal streak from last year, he had 23 points in 56 regular-season contests. Stamkos has been as hot as any player to start the season, as he's already tallied four goals and five assists in five games. Last year Palat had 46 points in 55 games, including 20 on the power play.
A lot of people had the Coyotes pegged as the worst team in the NHL. So far, that tracks. Arizona has a 4.80 GAA and has the worst penalty kill in the league. The 'Yotes are all the way across the country in Florida to face the Panthers, and I don't expect it to go well. Because this matchup is so favorable, I'm going with the second line. You can save some salary that way.
This is Bennett's first full season with the Panthers, and he has four goals and an assist in five games. He's also put 18 shots on net. Huberdeau has at least one point in four of five outings, and last year he had 61 points in 55 games. Tippett has been considered a good prospect for a few years, and now the Panthers are asking him to live up to it. I'm encouraged by the fact he got 4:27 in power-play time in Florida's last game.
John Carlson, WAS at OTT ($6,200): I was a little surprised to see Carlson with his salary so relatively low. Sure, he's not contributing like he usually does, but this is one of the most-reliable offensive defenseman in the NHL for years. Plus, he's still averaged 23:13 in ice time, including 4:23 on the power play. The points will come, quite possibly against the Senators, who are missing their top goalie.
MacKenzie Weegar, FLA vs. ARI ($5,300): Weegar doesn't score like Aaron Ekblad, but Ekblad has the highest salary of any defenseman Monday. His top-pairing partner is no slouch, though, as he had 36 points in 54 games last year. Weegar also contributes on the defensive side of the ice, as he's blocked 11 shots in five outings.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL at CLM ($4,800): Heiskanen has been quite active to start the year. He has six points and leads the Stars with 15 shots on goal in five games. While Merzlikins has played well in net, he's had to. The Blue Jackets have allowed 34.4 shots on net per contest after allowing 32.4 last season.