This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
We've got four games on the docket Sunday night. Hopefully you enjoyed the four afternoon games, by the way. Seven of the eight teams in action are from the Western Conference and the other team happens to be the worst in the NHL. Naturally, the latter will be a matchup to target. However, there is much more to get to!
I have two goalies to recommend, depending on your goal. Based on your lineup-building philosophy, you will want to have either one or the other. No other goalies need apply. If you are willing to spend the bucks, David Rittich ($8,100) is the priciest netminder available. His own personal numbers basically don't matter. The dude is facing the Red Wings. Detroit is 15-44-4 with a minus-108 goal differential. The Wings have only managed 2.00 goals and 27.3 shots on net per game. No other team has scored fewer than 2.48 goals. This is the kind of matchup you dream of.
If you want to save a little cash on your goalie, there's plenty to like about Mike Smith ($7,300). He's a streaky netminder, but he has posted a 2.55 GAA and .922 save percentage over his last 12 games. One of those teams that has only averaged 2.48 goals is the Kings, and they're also on the second leg of a back-to-back.
Ryan O'Reilly ($5,900) has been doing his best Adam Oates impression for the Blues this year. While he's only scored 11 goals, he's dished out 43 assists in 62 games. The 29-year-old also has 17 points with the extra man. For whatever reason, the Wild have decided to start Devan Dubnyk today, despite the fact he comes in with a 3.31 GAA and .893 save percentage. Whatever their reasoning, it bodes well for O'Reilly.
Spoiler alert: The Flames will pop back up in the "Stacks" section of this article, but one line isn't enough for me with this matchup. Detroit has produced a 3.73 GAA and no other team has one higher than 3.37. The Wings also own the 29th-ranked penalty kill, which for them counts as a strong suit, I guess. Mikael Backlund ($4,900) centers the second line for the Flames, and has notched six goals and five assists over his last eight contests.
If you want a player with a low price tag but the potential to provide that proverbial bang for your buck, I've got my eye on Anaheim's Troy Terry ($3,000). Terry has started 56.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, second highest on the Ducks (now that Ondrej Kase has been dealt). He's also notched four points and 23 shots on goal in his last seven games. As for the Golden Knights, they are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back, and there's a good chance they'll be starting Malcolm Subban with his 3.09 GAA and .893 save percentage.
Flames vs. Red Wings
The prophecy has been fulfilled! Like I said, how can you not be enticed by this matchup? The Wings have compiled a 3.73 GAA, an .886 save percentage, and have allowed 32.8 shots on net per contest. If you are thinking: "Ah, but the Wings are at home!", just know that even in the Motor City, the Wings have recorded a 3.33 GAA.
Monahan's numbers are a little down this year, but he still has 18 goals and 23 assists. Plus, he's averaged 3:01 on the power play and the Wings have the 29th-ranked penalty kill. Despite an 8.2 shooting percentage, Gaudreau has still compiled a solid season. He's also been hot recently, notching 11 points in 10 games. Sure, only two of them have been goals, but that's on 38 shots on net. Eventually, Gaudreau's luck should turn around, and you don't need much luck against the Wings. And then there's Lindholm, who seems to have received some of Gaudreau's good luck. That's how he's tallied 27 goals in 62 games, tying his career-high.
Oilers vs. Kings
The Kings have posted a 3.16 GAA, but they are also on the second leg of a back-to-back. Will they try and play Jonathan Quick again, or give Cal Petersen only his fourth start of the season? The first three haven't gone well with a 3.69 GAA and .896 save percentage. If that's not enough, the Kings maintain the 27th-ranked penalty kill. The Oilers, on the other hand, boast the league's best power play. And, right now, these three guys are on the top unit.
Obviously, Draisaitl is expensive. He should be with 97 points and is projected to win the Art Ross - you tend to get what you pay for. Nugent-Hopkins has taken on a big role in the offense of late, especially since Connor McDavid's injury. The Nuge has racked up 14 points in his last 11 games, and he's put a whopping 43 shots on net during that time. Yamamoto is sort of the new kid on the block, but the 21-year-old has earned the right to stick around. He's only played in 20 games, but already has 20 points. Yamamoto's 25.7 shooting percentage will drop eventually, but things tend to be a lot easier when Draisaitl is by your side.
OK, I know you're wondering what Flames defenseman I'm going to recommend, so let's just start there. Mark Giordano is on injured reserve, so he'll miss this matchup, but Noah Hanifin ($4,300) is primed to step in at a considerably lower price. He's taken a lot of Giordano's minutes, especially on the power play. On the year, Hanifin has only averaged 1:25 per game with the extra man, but over his last six outings that number is up to 3:57. He's also notched a point in each of his last two appearances.
Colton Parayko ($5,900) has always been a steady player who isn't afraid to shoot the puck. This year has been no different, and since returning from injury he's fired 42 shots on goal in 13 games. His offensive activity has paid off in February with five goals and five assists in his last 10 contests. As I noted earlier, Devan Dubnyk has struggled with a 3.31 GAA and .893 save percentage.
I wish the Ducks had a standout defenseman, what with the Golden Knights being on the road for the second game of a back-to-back. They also possess the 24th-ranked penalty kill, for what it's worth. Hampus Lindholm ($5,000) only has 22 points, but he's also been quite snakebit. His 1.8 shooting percentage sits way below his career average, and even defensemen don't usually put up numbers that low. The Swede has also been doing his best to change that recently, directing 32 pucks on net across his last nine games. None of them have gone in, but that luck is eventually bound to regress toward the mean.