This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
I'll be skipping over the afternoon games to focus solely on the games that start at 7 p.m. EST or later Sunday, a decision that was made easier when the 6 p.m. EST game between the Islanders and Rangers was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Islanders. Hopefully that is all resolved quickly. Time for the recommendations…
There are four games on the docket today. None of the teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back, so that doesn't have to figure into the equation. Of course, oftentimes those are the matchups worth targeting, so that does change the circumstances a bit, especially since no team in the bottom five in GAA is in action, though two in the bottom 10 are.
Linus Ullmark, BOS vs. VAN ($8,200): Ullmark has a .908 save percentage this season, but his two off nights on the year were against Edmonton and a road game in Toronto, both of which are understandable. If he could put up a .916 save percentage over the last two years in Buffalo, he can do better than this. Vancouver has put 33.4 shots on net per game but only scored 2.29 goals per contest. Given that the Bruins only allowed 28.5 shots on goal per game I think the Canucks may be less prolific than usual.
James Reimer, SAN at CHI ($7,600): Reimer's last couple of starts may be a sign that regression is coming, but he still has a 2.25 GAA and .927 save percentage. Plus, this matchup doesn't provide too much to be concerned about. The Blackhawks have only managed 2.20 goals and 28.0 shots on net per game.
Timo Meier, SAN at CHI ($6,300): With Marc-Andre Fleury playing better, Chicago's 3.25 GAA may be a bit misleading. However, goaltending doesn't have much impact on the fact the Blackhawks have allowed 32.4 shots on net per contest. Meier has been firing on net constantly this season. He's put 66 shots on net in only 15 games, so at the very least he should be giving himself plenty of opportunity Sunday.
Cam Atkinson, PHI at NJD ($4,000): In his first season with the Flyers, Atkinson has seven goals and four assists in 19 games. He's also started 57.9 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone (most among Flyers forwards) and averaged 2:32 per game with the extra man. New Jersey is middling in terms of GAA and below average on the penalty kill, so with only eight teams in action that's enough to get me eyeing Atkinson in this one.
LINE STACK TO CONSIDER
My primary interest here is in the fact the Canucks have the league's worst penalty kill. All three members of Boston's top line (Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak) play on the top power-play unit. They also all command high salaries that can make it hard to build a lineup around them. As such, I decided to go with the second line. They all get power-play time, and one of them is on the current top unit as well. Coyle's play has picked up recently, as he has five points in his last five games. He's also averaged 2:34 per game with the extra man in those contests. Hall hasn't been as hot as he was after his trade last season, but he has five goals and five assists in 10 games. He's also gotten more active recently as he's notched 20 shots on goal in his last five outings. Foligno hasn't scored as much as his linemates, but he's the one currently slotted onto the top unit. Since returning to the lineup he's played 2:35 per game on the power play over seven contests.
Charlie McAvoy, BOS vs. VAN ($6,000): Let's stick with that first power-play unit for the Bruins against the league's worst penalty kill. McAvoy has seen his power-play minutes – and production – improve quite a bit this year. He's averaged 2:55 with the extra man and already has seven power-play points. Sure, last season he set a new personal best with eight, but he's on pace to average more than two minutes per game on the power play for the first time ever. That makes a big difference.
P.K. Subban, NJD vs. PHI ($4,900): I mentioned earlier that the Blackhawks have allowed 32.4 shots on net per game. While the Flyers have give up 34.8. Dougie Hamilton is the obvious choice to take advantage of that, but the drop in salary to Subban makes him a bit more palatable to me. He's put 36 shots on net in 18 games, and he's tallied nine points. Also of note is the fact six of those points have come in the last eight games.