This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
Monday's schedule is more exciting than usual with five games on tap.
Former Winter Classic opponents, the Bruins and Flyers, will face off in Philadelphia, while the Islanders will try to climb within one point of Pittsburgh in the division against the Rangers.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, visit the suddenly not-so-good Capitals, and a win combined with an Islanders loss will see them move into third place in the Metro. Both the 'Canes and Caps are 5-5-0 in their last 10.
The Ducks have lost three straight and the Blues are rolling into town with a three-game winning streak. Even at the Ducks' best, they will be hard-pressed to pull off an upset. The Blues remain one of the toughest defensive teams in the league.
I like the Bruins but Tuukka Rask ($8,800) isn't a sure thing, and Carter Hart ($7,700) nearly stole a win from the Lightning in his last start. Jordan Binnington ($8,700) should be the best option and will be a popular pick against a Ducks team that ranks 30th in GF/GP.
Petr Mrazek ($8,500) is coming off a shutout against Arizona but seems overpriced, and I imagine Braden Holtby ($8,100) will get a break after losing to the Devils. Ilya Samsonov ($8,200) still doesn't seem like a sure play against Carolina, who are 11th in GF/GP and have managed to score at least three goals in all three previous games against the Caps this season The Caps are 1-1-1 against the 'Canes this season.
Semyon Varlamov ($8,400) has been pretty good all season and presents a stronger value play than either Rask or Mrazek. Henrik Lundqvist ($7,300) is usually good at home but he's coming off just one day's rest after losing 5-2 to the Blues. Alexandar Georgiev ($7,900) is unlikely to fare better, not to mention he doesn't come at enough of a discount to be an attractive value play.
The price is right for Carey Price ($8,000), who has not played well lately but still instills a considerable amount of confidence. However, the Habs are 25th in GF/GP at home, which means they'll either need Price to be lights out or Cam Talbot ($7,700), winner of four straight games, to have more holes than a Star Wars plot. It should be a close game but considering the Habs are inexplicably bad at home, a slight advantage goes to the Flames, who seem poised for a second-half surge.
Nick Suzuki ($4,600) is coming around nicely and now has three points in three games after scoring against the Sens. Derek Ryan ($3,700) has been a great third-line center and now has five points in six games, and also gets PT on the second power-play unit.
Filip Chytil ($4,200) is coming off a two-point game and centers a line with Kaapo Kakko on his wing. Through 35 games he's scored 16 points, which is pretty good considering how thin the Rangers are on talent and how often they got buried by the opposition.
Robert Thomas ($4,400) is starting to come into his own as a top-six forward with 14 points in his past 18 games. The new third line with him and veterans Tyler Bozak and Alexander Steen on the wing have given the Blues some added depth. The Blues are third in GF/GP since the calendar flipped to 2020.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Calgary Flames (TOTAL: $17,500)
Mangiapane keeps this line cheap but he's not a must-have since he hasn't scored since Dec. 27. Milan Lucic ($3,200) very occasionally takes a shift with this line so if you want even cheaper, you can pick him instead. Lindholm seems like their most consistent and best offensive player these days and he's scored twice in two of his past three games. Sean Monahan ($7,000) and Johnny Gaudreau ($7,400) still aren't worth the premium.
Carolina Hurricanes (TOTAL: $12,900)
This could be a high-scoring game and Carolina's third line has combined for seven points in three games against the Caps this season. With John Carlson preoccupied with Sebastian Aho or Andrei Svechnikov, it opens up some easier matchups for this line. When healthy, Haula has been scoring at 55-point pace, good enough to be a 2C on most other teams.
Between veterans Shea Weber ($6,200) and Mark Giordano ($5,600) I prefer Giordano, especially since the Habs offense at home is so inexplicably weak. The Flames are ninth in most penalties taken, but I don't trust the Habs PP (10th overall, 26th at home) to take advantage.
Torey Krug ($5,600) is on a five-game assist streak, Anthony DeAngelo ($5,100) is a high-upside offensive defenseman and Vince Dunn ($3,900), who scored a goal against the Rangers on Saturday, round out the top PP QB's. Jake Gardiner ($3,800) seems to be turning a corner with four points in his past five games, and in three games against the Caps has already scored two points against them.