This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's NHL slate includes five games after 7:00 p.m. EST. Below, you'll find a breakdown of the action and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
This is the lightest slate we've seen in the past few days, but there are still plenty of enticing options to choose from. The Maple Leafs (vs. Anaheim) and Capitals (vs. San Jose) are the two largest favorites, though the Avalanche (vs. Boston) and Flames (in Columbus) aren't too far behind. The latest iteration of the Blackhawks-Red Wings rivalry rounds out the action Wednesday. Ducks-Leafs, Flames-Jackets and Bruins-Avs are all tied for a slate-high over/under of 6.0 goals.
Jack Campbell, TOR vs. ANH ($8,300): Campbell's in a bit of a rut, having allowed 18 goals in his last four starts, though those struggles came on the road against a tough set of opponents in the Avalanche, Golden Knights, Blues and Rangers. A home matchup against a Ducks team that's scoring only 2.89 goals per game should help Campbell regain the strong form that's helped him post a 19-6-3 record, 2.24 GAA and .927 save percentage this season. Anaheim has won two straight but notched only two wins in the 11 games before that.
Alex Nedeljkovic, DET vs. CHI ($7,800): Detroit's netminder of choice will get to face the least threatening offense in action Wednesday. Chicago easily brings up the rear in this slate and ranks third-worst league-wide with just 2.29 goals per game. Nedeljkovic has put forth consecutive shaky performances with sub-.900 save percentages, but he finished with single-game marks no lower than .923 in his previous six outings.
Jacob Markstrom, CGY at CLS ($7,900): Markstrom has been inconsistent recently after getting off to a blazing start, but his 14-9-5 record, 2.21 GAA and .924 save percentage overall are still excellent numbers. He'll have a nice opportunity to improve those stats against a Blue Jackets team that's 3-7-0 in its last 10 games.
Elvis Merzlikins, CLS vs. CGY ($7,500): Across from Markstrom, Merzlikins has plenty of upside despite his team's recent struggles. The Latvian netminder has been outstanding on home ice this season, going 10-3-1 with a 2.38 GAA and .929 save percentage.
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY at CLS ($6,200): A quick glance at Gaudreau's 16-32-48 line through 37 games suggests he's been excellent throughout the season, but Johnny Hockey has been especially effective lately. He has 19 points in his last 10 games and a pair of four-point performances in his last three, so Gaudreau is as hot as anybody in the league at the moment.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI at DET ($5,000): It's not every day that you can find a potential 50-goal scorer available for just $5,000. A lack of scoring depth has sunk the Blackhawks this season, but DeBrincat's on pace to pot 47 goals with 24 in 42 games. Detroit's one of 10 teams that allows more goals per game than DeBrincat's own Chicago squad (3.29 to 3.24), so the Red Wings will likely struggle to keep the sniper off the scoresheet.
Dylan Larkin, DET vs. CHI ($6,600): Larkin has done a bit of everything on offense recently, with a two-goal game, a two-assist game and an eight-shot performance over his last five contests. Detroit's captain boasts a 19-18-37 line through 37 games, and a Blackhawks defense that's prone to lapses in coverage will have trouble accounting for his elite speed.
Taylor Hall, BOS at COL ($4,600): Boston will need to score to keep pace with Colorado's league-best offense, and Hall's a strong source of offense at an affordable valuation. He has heated up after a slow start, averaging a point per game in his last 13 with a 4-9-13 line. For all their offensive accolades, the Avs are just average defensively, allowing 2.95 goals per game.
Alexander Barabanov, SJ at WAS ($3,100): Barabanov's prominent role and recent production make him a nice value play at just $3,100. The Russian winger plays in all situations, which includes a top-line even strength deployment alongside Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl. He has made the most of his prominent role, racking up a respectable 3-8-11 line in his last 15 games.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Maple Leafs vs. Ducks
The beauty of Toronto's top line is that it provides a pair of affordable wingers to help you clear cap space for the pricey and productive Matthews, who is averaging a goal per game over his last 18. Bunting has added a 9-15-24 line in 38 contests while being held without a point only once in his last six games. Kase will likely be ready to return from COVID protocols for this one, having cleared them this past Friday, and he was in excellent form prior to missing time with a 3-6-9 line and 28 shots over his last eight games.
Capitals vs. Sharks
Washington's top line also surrounds an elite superstar with a pair of affordable linemates, though that description undersells Backstrom's ability. The Swedish playmaker has eight points in 10 games this season and is a near-guarantee to flirt with a point per game year in and year out. Ovechkin has earned his place as this slate's second-priciest player, ranking second league-wide in both goals (29) and points (58), behind Chris Kreider and Leon Draisaitl, respectively. Sheary has a decent 10-9-19 line in 33 games, and he's worth taking a flier on at just $2,900 as long as he's being deployed on the top line.
Avalanche vs. Bruins
Committing the cap space necessary to lock in Colorado's top line will be an against-the-grain strategy against a Bruins team that's allowing only 2.72 goals per game, but this trio is capable of carrying your lineup to victory on any given night. MacKinnon has a 9-34-43 line in just 30 appearances, and he's totaled at least six shots on goal in seven of his last 11 games. Rantanen has a 22-27-49 line in 37 contests, and Landeskog's at 15-24-39 in 32.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. ANH ($5,700): Rielly has 19 points in his last 15 games, and he's showing no signs of slowing down, with a pair of multi-point performances in his last three. His ability to transition Toronto from defense to offense should continue to lead to success given the forwards' finishing ability, and Rielly has proven capable of sustaining an elite scoring pace for a full season with a 20-52-72 line in 2018-19.
Moritz Seider, DET vs. CHI ($4,800): Seider's been overlooked in the standout rookie discussion because he plays defense for Detroit, but he's been excellent throughout the year and is enjoying a strong stretch. While his four assists in the past seven games don't jump off the page, Seider's supplemented that production with a robust 24 shots and 14 blocked shots. On the season, he has 26 points in 42 games, giving him a chance to hit the 50-point mark in his first year.
Rasmus Andersson, CGY at CLS ($4,500): Andersson has a three-game point streak going, and he's chipped in eight shots and four blocked shots over that span as well. His strong recent play should carry over into this favorable matchup with a Blue Jackets team that allows the most fantasy points in the league to defensemen.
Kevin Shattenkirk, ANH at TOR ($3,300): Shattenkirk's been quite the stat sheet stuffer lately, with a 1-2-3 line, 15 shots and 16 blocked shots in his last six games. He has scored at least 9.5 fantasy points in five of those contests while averaging 16.1 in the last three. The veteran blueliner's a nice bargain pick at just $3,300 considering he's capable of accruing value in so many ways.