This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The main slate on DraftKings leaves off the early game, but that still leaves us with five games to choose from, including a pair of round-robin matchups and a trio of Game 2's. This slate features a foursome of world-class centers that will all be looking for revenge after losing their first game.
Matt Murray ($8,100) comes in with the biggest price tag after an overtime defeat to the Habs on Saturday in which he notched 13.9 fantasy points thanks to a 32-save performance. It certainly wasn't a bad performance, but there's no guarantee he'll even start Monday, as coach Mike Sullivan could opt to go with Tristan Jarry ($7,900) instead. With the odds still in heavily in the Penguins favor at -167, it may be worth utilizing one of the two Pittsburgh goalies – especially if the slightly cheaper Jarry gets the nod.
There are several options below the $8,000 mark, including Robin Lehner ($7,900), Andrei Vasilevskiy ($7,800) and Braden Holtby ($7,600). The biggest concern with Vasilevskiy is the fact that coach Jon Cooper told reporters he might not utilize the netminder for the entire 60 minutes, which will limit his shot total. Additionally, if you are already going to pay $7,900, you might as well move up to Murray or Jarry, which effectively rules out Lehner, who is playing in a round-robin game with far lower stakes. That leaves Holtby, who is facing off with one of the most potent offensive teams in the league.
For discount options, that leaves Connor Hellebuyck ($7,100), who is coming off a Vezina Trophy candidate season but will likely be without Mark Scheifele and Patrik Laine up front. Alternatively, you could go for another Montreal upset and save some money by going with Carey Price ($7,300). For me, I would think about paying up for the Penguins' starting goaltender, though the ownership percentage for Pittsburgh's netminder could be rather high and would warrant considering another route.
Cody Eakin ($4,400): The Jets have a couple options for their top line, including moving Blake Wheeler to center. Alternatively, they could keep the winger in his preferred position and slot Eakin up to play with Wheeler and Kyle Connor. That sets him up to provide prime value versus the Flames. If Patrik Laine is also unavailable, Eakin is a near-lock for the No. 1 power-play unit.
Andrew Mangiapane ($3,800): Despite putting together a career year in which he set new personal bests in goals (17), assists (15) and shots (109), Mangiapane flew under the radar for much of the season and his salary reflects that. He managed two points in Game 1 on Saturday, which will likely boost his ownership, though he'll still be trying to score on one of the league's best goaltenders in Connor Hellebuyck.
Phillip Danault ($3,900): You won't find too many first-line centers carry a sub-$4,000 price tag, which makes Danault all the more attractive. He'll be especially popular among fantasy players that want to fade the Penguins, which is hard to argue against after Saturday's overtime loss. He managed an impressive 16.8 fantasy points in that contest with one assist, five shots and four hits despite not factoring in on the power play.
Jets vs. Flames
If you are already sold on the Mangiapane play, then it certainly makes sense to snag his linemates as well, considering the trio combined for two goals and two helpers Saturday. No doubt part of the reason Tkachuk failed to get onto the board was the five minutes he spent in the penalty box, and his fighting may not be over yet given Winnipeg's stance on his hit on Mark Scheifele. That said, Tkachuk still offers solid value on a second line that could be matching up with what would normally be the Jets' third line.
Penguins vs Canadiens
It's certainly not the cheapest stack out there, but the Sid and the Kids line was one of the best on the ice in Saturday's contest and registered a combined 29.8 fantasy points despite Sheary missing a penalty shot and a couple of other quality chances. It certainly won't be the contrarian play for Monday's slate, but fading the Crosby-led Penguins in a near must-win Game 2 is at your own peril.
Stars vs Golden Knights
Stone and Karlsson don't come cheap, which is fair considering they combined for 109 points during the regular season, but it's the inexpensive Stephenson who helps sell this stack. He will be jumping into a first-line role due to the absence of Max Pacioretty. He obviously doesn't offer anywhere near the same scoring touch, but just getting the puck to one of his linemates will bound to lead to points eventually.
It may be hard to ignore some of the names at the top, including Kris Letang ($6,800), John Carlson (6,500) and Victor Hedman ($6,000), but there are plenty of cheaper options in this five-game slate that still provide top-end production. Oscar Klefbom ($5,700) is one of those players after garnering two helpers, including one on the power play, in Saturday's high-scoring Game 1 clash with Chicago.
Further down the list, you've got guys like Mikhail Sergachev ($4,900), Neal Pionk ($4,800) and Erik Gustafsson ($3,800) all of whom should log significant minutes on the power play Monday. This is especially true of Pionk, who logged over eight minutes of time with the man advantage versus the Flames on Saturday but was limited to just 2.8 fantasy points.
Delving into the bottom of the barrel, Michal Kempny ($2,700) managed 18 points this season without logging any time on the power play. Still, the blueliner could be asked to take on a more offensively-minded role if John Carlson doesn't suit up, which would bolster his fantasy value. Similarly, Justin Schultz ($3,600) split time on the Penguins top power-play unit with Kris Letang, which makes him worth a look given his low-cost salary.