This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The Habs looked excellent in a 5-2 win against the Blues, who are out of tune and losers of four straight. The Wild get a road opponent playing the second half of a back-to-back, but there's just very little confidence in Bruce Boudreau's group right now at a league-worst 1-6-0 and all three of their top scorers being defensemen. And the Habs were 4-0 victors when they met on Thursday.
The Caps and Hawks have both won two straight games, but the Caps are the better team and pretty strong on the road. The Hawks held Connor McDavid to just two shots and zero points so their defensive play should at least be respected; they've played a league-low five games, but the Hawks defense - 15th in GA/GP - seems to be kind of underrated.
Both Alberta teams will be playing and will wrap up the Western Conference games. The Oilers and Jets could be high-scoring with the amount of star power on the ice, as four of the league's top 10 scorers will be featured in this game. The two teams have combined to score 42 goals in their past six meetings.
The Flames will find it difficult to beat John Gibson and the Ducks, who can move to the top of the Pacific with a win. With each passing game, that Lucic-Neal deal looks worse and worse and the goaltending situation is going as well as you'd expect.
John Gibson ($8,800) is easily worth the premium due to his reliability. He's third in the league in even-strength save percentage at .953 and second in goals saved above average at 5.28, according to Natural Stat Trick. The Kings turned the Flames into ash last night and Cam Talbot ($7,200), who had to relieve a shell-shocked David Rittich in the third period, will likely get the start. It would be just his second start of the season after a mediocre 17-save loss against the Sharks last Sunday.
Devan Dubnyk ($7,300) may be a sneaky way to get a win because he can easily outplay Keith Kinkaid ($7,400). The question is whether the rest of his team can provide enough goal support, as speed has been a big problem for the veteran-laden Wild and they'll have trouble keeping up with the Habs.
The Hawks haven't announced their starter but Robin Lehner ($7,600) represents a better play than Corey Crawford ($7,400). After five games, it's pretty clear Lehner is superior and the Islanders' loss may be the Hawks' biggest gain. Braden Holtby ($7,900) will start but his performance has been really uneven this season, and his latest 28-save win came against the hapless Rangers.
I'd be wary of playing Connor Hellebuyck ($7,700) against the Oilers, but I could say the same about Mike Smith ($8,000) or Mikko Koskinen ($8,100), who have to face a very fast and offensively talented Jets' squad.
The Wild were shut out the last time they faced the Habs but they won't have to face Carey Price again… so that makes Swiss man of mystery Kevin Fiala ($3,900) an intriguing play as a top-line winger and first-unit power-play option. I'm not saying the Wild will score many goals, but if they do, Fiala's a decent bet because he's a talented puck possession player. Unless, of course, he's a healthy scratch again.
The Caps' second power-play unit barely sees any time, but Brendan Leipsic ($3,100) could be a sneaky value play against the Hawks' awful penalty kill. He's a shooting winger but nothing more than a fourth-line player, so there's just as good a chance you get nothing out of him.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
The McDraisaitl line stack will be very popular, but this one has the potential to be really good as well against a thin Jets' defense. Chiasson represents the weakest link but played a season-high 17:18 on Friday and seems to be sticking on this line with Tomas Jurco dropping down to the third. Both RNH and Neal also play on the top power-play unit, so there's your added bonus.
The Blackhawks could get sneaky-good goaltending from Lehner, but otherwise the Caps' top line makes a good line stack because all three also play on the top power-play unit. Oshie has registered four points in his past four games - including two power-play goals - Backstrom has notched three points in his past two games and Ovechkin has recorded a six-game point streak and leads the league with 40 shots.
It's very expensive, but worth the price. The trio have provided nearly half of the Jets' entire offensive output, combining for 10 of the team's 26 goals. Wheeler and Scheifele are the only two Jets forwards to average more than 20 minutes and all three rank in the top five in shots. Second-line wingers Nikolaj Ehlers and Kyle Connor have produced the same amount of goals as Wheeler and Laine with six, but the difference is Scheifele, who is the team's only top-six center.
John Carlson ($7,000) remains the best pick and doesn't come at much of a premium to Mark Giordano ($6,700), whose Flames have really struggled recently - including an ugly loss last night. Carlson also has a plus matchup against the Habs, who will be starting their backup.
Three defensemen are tied for the team lead in points – four – and that includes Brad Hunt ($3,600), who comes cheaper than Ryan Suter or Jared Spurgeon. The 31-year-old journeyman is essentially a power-play specialist, an elite offensive defenseman in the AHL who can quarterback the second power-play unit.
Oscar Klefbom ($5,700) has solidified himself as the Oilers' top PP QB and has scored six points in his past six games, including two on the power play. He gets to play with the league's top two scorers and has become a high-floor, high-ceiling defenseman with his ability to also pitch in with shots and blocked shots.
The Ducks own a defenseman who's also cooking in Cam Fowler ($5,000), with four points in his past four games. The big drawback is that their defense can be hard to figure out since there's no clear alpha dog and it's not clear which power-play group is the top unit, and collectively they've converted just five percent of their chances. But against a struggling Flames squad that's playing the second half of a back-to-back, Fowler doesn't seem like a bad choice.