This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
There are six games in the NHL on Friday. The Rangers and Red Wings are the largest underdogs on the slate with both clubs are playing their second road game in consecutive nights. There's high-scoring potential in the Colorado-Florida and Detroit-Edmonton matchups, whereas the Carolina-Anaheim bout could be just the opposite. The Hurricanes and Ducks both allowed fewer than 2.0 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five.
While the price is steep, Mike Smith ($8,400) has allowed two goals or fewer in three of his four starts and draws the Red Wings following their 5-1 loss to Calgary on Thursday. The veteran warrants mention, but it'll be tough to load up star skaters.
Petr Mrazek ($7,600) is 4-0 to start the season with a .919 save percentage, 1.94 GAA and a shutout. Additionally, even though this is a road game, Carolina owns a fourth-ranked 54.3 Corsi For percentage while allowing just 2.0 expected goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five. The Hurricanes will also be looking to atone for their 5-2 loss to San Jose on Wednesday.
It's been an awful start for Dallas, and Ben Bishop's ($7,300) also played poorly. He did post an elite .932 save percentage and 1.98 GAA last year, though, so taking a low-priced flier on the veteran is in play. Pittsburgh could be in line for negative regression to its fifth-ranked 12.1 team shooting percentage after posting a 9.9 mark last season
Even with the injuries piling up around him, Sidney Crosby ($7,500) has found the scoresheet in all seven games this season for four tallies, eight helpers and five multi-point showings. Somehow, his salary remains manageable, too. Dallas is also 1-6-1 to start the season while allowing a healthy 2.91 goals per 60 minutes at five-on-five.
This is a manageable cap hit for Andreas Athanasiou ($4,300). The speedster has been held to a single assist and an unsustainably low 0.89 PDO through five games, so after scoring 30 times last year, statistical correction is ahead. Athanasiou is locked into a secondary-scoring role, too.
While Alexander Wennberg ($3,700) hasn't made a consistent fantasy impact since his breakout 2016-17 campaign, he's marked the points column in three of his past four games for a goal, three assists and an average of 18:48 of ice time (3:02 on the power play). Centering the second line and skating with the No. 1 power-play unit has him positioned for his best showing since his breakout, and the Blackhawks have some defensive shortcomings. Dating back to last season, Chicago has surrendered the most high-danger scoring chances and expected goals against per 60 minutes.
Despite recording two goals and three assists through six contests, Brett Connolly's ($3,400) price remains low. The 27-year-old winger is in the heart of his offensive prime and locked into a scoring role skating on the second line and No. 2 power-play unit. The Avs are also in the middle of a five-game road trip and could be vulnerable.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
With Connor McDavid ($8,100) and Leon Draisaitl ($7,900) combining for an impressive 5.6 goals per 60 minutes over the past three years (including a 9.1 mark this season), it's hard to ignore Edmonton's top line with Detroit playing its second road game in consecutive nights. Third-wheel Zack Kassian ($4,200) also keeps the trio's cap hit in check and has registered a respectable three goals and three assists through the first seven games of the season.
Columbus is missing Sergei Bobrovsky ($7,500). The Blue Jackets sport a 24th-ranked .885 team save percentage and could be ripe for a letdown road showing after winning their past two contests. Enter an underpriced Patrick Kane ($7,500) and his linemates. Kane, Dylan Strome ($4,500) and Andrew Shaw ($5,000) have generated 15.6 high-danger scoring chances per 60 minutes at five-on-five to start the campaign, and Strome and Kane both skate with the No. 1 power-play unit – Shaw also skates with No. 2 group.
Dougie Hamilton ($6,300) is emerging as an elite fantasy producer this season, and until he slows down, he's worth considering night in, night out. He's finally receiving the top minutes he deserves and has translated them into five goals, four assists, 27 shots and 10 blocks through eight games. He's also been consistent with a point in six of those eight outings.
After posting a high-end 1.9 points per 60 minutes over the previous two seasons, Klingberg's ($5,000) poised for an uptick in offensive production. He's collected just a single assist through eight games despite logging a hefty 24:32 of ice time, including 3:16 with the man advantage.
There's notable value in Erik Gustafsson's ($4,900) salary Friday. His 2.45 points per 60 minutes pace all regular defensemen since last season's All-Star break, and he remains the go-to offensive blueliner for the Blackhawks. As noted, the Blue Jackets have struggled in goal this season.
With just two assists through six games, Dennis Cholowski's ($3,400) salary remains in bargain territory. However, he's still quarterbacking the No. 1 power-play unit, so the 2016 first-round selection is worth a look. Similarly, Michael Del Zotto ($2,600) is skating with Anaheim's second power-play group and has been a reliable floor producer in the past because of his shot volume and willingness to block shots alongside his modest offensive contributions.