This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Sports fans are focused on college basketball right now, but hockey diehards never miss the NHL. That goes double when it comes to daily fantasy opportunity. There are seven games starting at 7 p.m. EDT making up the primary slate of Saturday's DFS contests. Here are my lineup recommendations.
The Leafs are in Ottawa on the second leg of a back-to-back. Matt Murray will be starting for Toronto, and he's allowed four goals in each of three starts since returning from injury. The only first-leg situation I'm wondering about is Tampa Bay. Could they save Andrei Vasilevskiy for Sunday against New Jersey with Saturday's matchup with Montreal decidedly easier on paper?
Ilya Sorokin, NYI at SAN ($8,300): Since I'm worried about a Brian Elliott start for the Bolts, I'll go with Sorokin. The matchup is almost as easy, even on the road, as the Sharks rank 25th in goals and 24th in shots. They also traded Timo Meier to Jersey. Sorokin has been the best goalie among those in line to start Saturday with a 2.40 GAA and .923 save percentage.
Alex Stalock, CHI at ARI ($7,600): I don't believe in Stalock's .922 save percentage over 19 appearances. He's a 35-year-old journeyman with a career .910 mark. That being said, Stalock may suffice for this matchup. The Coyotes have averaged 2.78 goals per game, but also a paltry 25.8 shots. They're also last on the latter, and no longer have two key defensemen while having Nick Schmaltz out. Chicago's D isn't great, but it can probably be solid enough to keep Stalock from facing more than 25 shots.
Claude Giroux, OTT vs. TOR ($7,500): Giroux has gone cold on the power play, and yet he still has 17 points in his last 15 games. He's also notched 21 points with the extra man this year. I mentioned it earlier, but the Leafs are the lone club on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back Saturday and projected starter Matt Murray hasn't done particularly well since coming back.
Viktor Arvidsson, LOS vs. VAN ($6,000): Arvidsson has directed 42 shots on net over his last eight games. Somehow, that's only led to one goal – and a 2.4 shooting percentage – but he does have four assists during that stretch. The Canucks have allowed an average number of shots, but still list a 3.78 GAA thanks in large part to the league's worst penalty kill. And Arvidsson also happens to have 17 points on the power play this season.
LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER
Lightning vs. Canadiens
Steven Stamkos (C - $7,800), Nick Paul (W - $4,100), Ross Colton (W - $4,000)
This is a "time to get back on track" line. The Lightning had been using Stamkos on the first line as a winger, but have returned to him as the second-line center. His two wings have been struggling, but the hope is that playing alongside Stamkos will give them a boost. It also helps to be playing the Habs with their 3.70 GAA, 34.0 shot average against, and the 30th-ranked penalty kill.
Stamkos actually fell out of the groove by his standards, but returned Thursday to pick up two goals and an assist after sitting Tuesday. He's posted 29 goals on 212 shots to go with 40 assists. The Lightning legend also has 28 points on the power play. In his first full season with Tampa Bay, Paul's tallied 17 goals and 14 assists. That comes after 16 and 16 last season. Colton has occasionally contributed some goals with five in his last 14 games, including one in his last outing.
Rangers vs. Penguins
Vincent Trocheck (C - $6,300), Patrick Kane (W - $7,000), Chris Kreider (W - $6,200),
You make a couple of trades, and suddenly you can have a second line that looks like this. The Penguins have been a little defensively dicey this year having allowed an average of 33.5 shots. And the goaltending has also been concerning with Tristan Jarry struggling with a 3.91 GAA and .870 save percentage in 10 appearances since returning from injury.
Trocheck has picked up five assists in his last three games, but he's more than someone dishing the puck to his goal-scoring wingers since he's also managed 197 shots. Kane watched his shooting percentage dip with the Blackhawks, but he remained productive out of sheer quantity. He's produced 23 shots in seven games with the Rangers, but already has three goals - including two on the power play. When you have more talent around you on the power play, it tends to be easier to produce. Kreider has regressed from last year, but also recorded the second 30-goal season of his career. He's also notched 200 shots and 15 PPPs.
Mikhail Sergachev, TAM vs. MON ($6,600): Sergachev has enjoyed productive seasons on the power play, but nothing quite like this with 22 PPPs already. The Canadiens have the 30th-ranked penalty kill, and that bodes well for Sergachev.
Sebastian Aho, NYI at SAN ($4,200): The "other" Sebastian Aho has been providing some nice secondary scoring from the blueline with eight points from his last 15 outings, including four in six. None of that offense has come on the power play, which is in his favor since the Sharks boast a top-seven penalty kill.