There are seven games in the NHL on Friday, and only the Islanders and Blue Jackets are on the second leg of a back-to-back set. The Washington-Arizona and St. Louis-Colorado matchups stand out as mismatches, so don't be surprised if Capitals and Blues carry high ownership percentages. With that in mind, here are a handful of recommendations to considering while assembling your DraftKings lineups.
Jaroslav Halak, NYI vs. NJD ($7,800): With Jake Allen ($8,300) and Braden Holtby ($8,500) the clear top goaltending options, Halak checks out as a contrarian flier with a cheaper price. While it's been a miserable season for the 31-year-old Czech (.905 save percentage and 3.17 GAA over 23 games), the Devils are struggling along a 2-12-4 stretch with an average of just 2.22 goals per game while generating a league-low 8.23 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes during than span. The Islanders aren't mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, so expect a bounce-back showing to snap their three-game losing skid.
Nick Backstrom, WAS at ARI ($7,200): Held off the scoresheet in a soft matchup against Colorado on Wednesday, Backstrom is unlikely to post another letdown showing against the Coyotes. Arizona’s allowed the most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (13.11) in the league, and the Coyotes have lost seven of their past eight outings while surrendering 3.38 goals per game. With 21 multi-point games this season, Backstrom's ceiling is high.
Nathan MacKinnon, COL vs. STL ($5,300): There’s likely some negative regression ahead for the Blues, and the 21-year-old pivot just posted a goal, an assist and six shots on net against Washington on Wednesday. Since Mike Yeo took over as coach, St. Louis has allowed a league-low 1.69 goals per 60 minutes despite owning a 21st-ranked 48.74 Corsi For percentage. Taking a mid-priced flier on a high-end talent in a tough matchup could pay off. There’s also positive regression ahead for MacKinnon, who has a 5.7 shooting percentage and four goals through his past 27 games.
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL at COL ($7,900): The sniper has heated back up of late with eight goals, 13 points and 54 shots through his past 12 games. It's also encouraging that Tarasenko has registered six shots in each of his past two games. Colorado is mired in a seven-game losing streak, allowing 35 goals during that span, so this is a favorable matchup. Tarasenko's cap hit isn't that prohibitive, either.
Mats Zuccarello, NYR vs. PIT ($5,500): Pittsburgh is riddled with injuries and has allowed the fourth-most high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes (12.31) in the league over the past 25 games. With this solid matchup, Zuccarello's mid-range price presents solid value. He's found the scoresheet in eight of the past nine games for three goals, 10 points, 13 shots and 10 blocked shots. Being deployed in a top-line role and with the No. 1 power-play unit also helps the 29-year-old Norwegian.
Anders Lee, NYI vs. NJD ($5,100): The winger has missed the scoresheet in three consecutive games and is coming off a seven-hit outing that saw him drop the gloves. Look for Lee to parlay Thursday's rambunctiousness into offensive results Friday. His 1.42 goals per 60 minutes rank 15th among all skaters with at least 500 minutes this season, and he’s skating with John Tavares in all situations again, which is a substantial bonus.
Alex Pietrangelo, STL at COL ($5,900): Still underpriced, Pietrangelo has piled up three goals, 11 points, 37 shots and 27 blocked shots with an average of 26:22 of ice time (2:47 on the power play) over his past 13 games. He's excelled as the clear-cut No. 1 defenseman in all situations for the Blues, and as noted, Colorado's a cushy matchup.
Kevin Shattenkirk, WAS at ARI ($5,500): It took a small adjustment period for Shattenkirk to thrive with the Capitals, but with seven assists through his past five games, it appears the defenseman has settled in. Additionally, he's shown both a high floor and a high ceiling during that five-game stretch, totaling 16 shots, 10 blocked shots and three multi-point showings. With a ripe matchup and manageable salary, the only downside is that Shattenkirk is likely to be a popular target.