This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The first Saturday of December is a robust one for the NHL. We've got 12 games taking place in the evening slate. Unfortunately, the matinee game between the Wild and the Ducks is not included on the DFS front. That would be a nice matchup to pull from, but fortunately I had no issues coming up with recommendations anyway.
The Ducks and Blue Jackets have separated themselves, in a bad way, defensively, but neither of them in on the slate. There are still some dubious defenses out there, though. We have two teams on the second leg of a back-to-back, but they are both at home. The teams in question are the Rangers and Senators.
Vitek Vanecek, NJD at PHI ($8,300): Let's see, we have a defense that is second in shots on net allowed per game in New Jersey. Said defense has helped Vanecek manage a 2.24 GAA with his .918 save percentage. On the other end of the ice, we have a Flyers team tied for last in goals per game. Yeah, this one is an easy call.
Spencer Martin, VAN vs. ARI ($8,200): This is a gamble, but while Martin has a .900 save percentage in 10 appearances this year, he had a .950 save percentage in six appearance last season. The Coyotes are 28th in goals per game, but last in shots in net per contest at a paltry 24.1. I'd consider taking a shot on Martin.
Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. STL ($8,100): The Blues offense has found itself, and the team is now up to 2.87 goals per game. However, Jarry has found himself as well. Over his last five starts he has an 1.56 GAA and .953 save percentage.
Clayton Keller, ARI at VAN ($5,100): Hey, just because I think the Coyotes on the whole may not challenge Martin too much, that doesn't mean an individual can't stand out. Keller is often the sole standout for the 'Yotes, and this year he has 21 points in 21 games. That includes seven points on the power play, and the Canucks have the 31st-ranked penalty kill.
Max Domi, CHI at NYR ($4,400): Domi has gotten aggressive recently on the offensive end, putting 28 shots on goal over his last 10 games. In that time he's also tallied nine points. The Rangers will be turning to veteran netminder Jaroslav Halak to close out their back-to-back, but Halak has a .902 save percentage over the last three seasons.
Kevin Labanc, SAN at OTT ($3,700): The classic "other guy" recommendation, as Labanc is on the top line for the Sharks with Tomas Hertl and Timo Meier. Additionally, 11 of his 13 points have come in San Jose's last 13 games. As I noted, the Senators are on the second leg of a back-to-back, and Anton Forsberg has a 3.43 GAA and .904 save percentage.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Penguins vs. Blues
The Blues have ebbed and flowed with Jordan Binnington's play, but with a 3.11 GAA and .899 save percentage, he hasn't really helped out. Of course, Binnington is not fully to blame for the Blues' 30th-ranked penalty kill, or the fact they've allowed 33.0 shots on net per game. The Penguins' second line featured two ice-cold wings, so I have to go with the first line.
Crosby has passed the torch as the NHL's best player, but he's still one of the five or so top forwards out there. He's got 32 points in 24 games, and he's on a four-game point streak. Guentzel is on a three-game point streak, including two points in each of his last two contests. After having 40 goals and 44 assists last season he has 12 goals and 11 helpers this year. Rakell is putting a lot of pucks on net, with 75 shots on goal in 24 games. They have yielded 10 goals.
Devils at Flyers
The Flyers have allowed 32.4 shots on net per game. At first, Carter Hart was saving the day. However, over his last nine starts, Hart has a 3.60 GAA and .876 save percentage. A slumping goalie meets a Devils offense that is revved up and ready to attack, including a second line that is getting into gear.
Hughes has been in gear all year, to be fair, with 28 points in 24 games. He's also already put 101 shots on target. Mercer was a pleasant surprise as a rookie, with 42 points. After a slow start, Mercer has six points in his last six games, and he's recently returned to the top power-play unit, which helps. Haula is the king of bad puck luck, with a 1.8 shooting percentage on 55 shots on net. However, he has four assists over his last four games.
Dougie Hamilton, NJD at PHI ($6,600): Everything about the Flyers and Hart remains true. Hamilton has 16 points, and while his scoring has slowed down, his production and activity has not. The defenseman has 84 shots on goal in 24 games, so pucks will be put on the net.
Evan Bouchard, EDM vs. MON ($3,700): A cold start to the season seems to be behind Bouchard. He has three goals and three assists in his last six games. He broke through with 43 points last year, so we know what he's capable of. We know what Jake Allen is capable of as well, which is a .904 save percentage in his time as a Canadien.
Brett Pesce, CAR at LOS ($3,500): Here's hoping to catch Pesce while he's on his game. He has four points in his last four contests. The Kings are stuck relying on Jonathan Quick, who has a 3.28 GAA and .889 save percentage.