Each day this season, NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL contests. This lineup has been constructed with expensive and value picks and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
C - Nicklas Backstrom, WSH ($6,700)
The Washington Capitals and Los Angeles Kings are each playing the second game of a back-to-back, so a lot of tired bodies could lead to more goals. Backstrom has scored in two straight and has two goals and three assists in the past three games. Kings goalie Peter Budaj has a five-game winning streak but has struggled against the Capitals in his career. He is 1-2-2 with a .900 save percentage and 2.51 goals-against average in seven games against Washington. Backstrom offers elite upside but isn't going to cripple your salary cap as badly as Connor McDavid ($8,000).
Video: WSH@MTL: Backstrom nets PPG through traffic
C - Mika Zibanejad, NYR ($5,800)
Zibanejad is centering the first line for the New York Rangers, playing with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello. He has an assist in back-to-back games, each on a goal by Kreider. Zibanejad is averaging 3.3 DraftKings points per game at Madison Square Garden, where the Rangers are averaging 3.34 goals per game. New York scored four at the Calgary Flames in a win Nov. 12, so expect similar success.
W - Johnny Gaudreau, CGY ($6,400)
The Rangers defense has struggled at times, something Gaudreau should be able to exploit. The Flames left wing has a goal and four assists during a three-game point streak, with at least 3.0 DraftKings points in each game. New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist's play has been erratic: He has a .891 SV% and 3.43 GAA in his past 10 games and has allowed 22 goals in his past six home games. Calgary finally reunited Gaudreau with center Sean Monahan on the top line, which led to the two combining for a goal, two assists and seven shots on goal in a 4-3 overtime win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
Video: CGY@OTT: Gaudreau finishes beautiful dish for OT goal
W - Chris Kreider, NYR ($6,200)
You already know that Kreider has scored in consecutive games with six SOG in that span. He's on pace to set an NHL career high in ice time per game (17:06), playing extensive minutes on the first power-play unit (2:42 per game). Kreider has played well at home, scoring 12 goals with 11 assists in 23 games (4.1 DraftKings points per contest). The wing has been a consistent provider of SOG, ranking second on New York behind Rick Nash with 2.7 per game.
W - Milan Lucic, EDM ($4,200)
The plan was originally for Lucic to play with McDavid, but he's fallen down to the Edmonton Oilers' third line with rookie Drake Caggiula and Anton Slepyshev. The veteran wing does get plenty of time on the first PP unit (2:50 per game) with McDavid and will relish the chance to play the Montreal Canadiens. Lucic has been more productive on the road (17 points in 29 games), plus the Canadiens may opt to start backup goalie Al Montoya instead of Carey Price in the second of a back-to-back.
Video: NSH@EDM: Lucic taps in game-tying goal
D - Kris Russell, EDM ($3,400)
There really aren't many defensemen worth spending up for during the three-game slate Sunday, so dipping into the bargain bin may be a wise strategy. As far as cash-game plays go, Russell is among the best in the NHL, averaging 3.0 blocks and 1.0 SOG per game. He has at least 2.5 DraftKings points in seven of his past 10 games, and though his point production is lacking, that could change against the Canadiens, who have allowed at least three goals in five of their past eight games.
D - TJ Brodie, CGY ($3,400)
Now is the perfect time for you to buy low on Brodie, who busted out of a major slump with four assists and 9.0 DraftKings points against the Devils on Friday. He was productive despite the Flames' poor showing against the Rangers earlier in the season, scoring 4.5 DraftKings points (one assist, two blocks, three SOG). Like Russell, Brodie is another defenseman who will provide salary cap relief, though he should be considered more of a tournament play given his low floor and high ceiling.
G - Cam Talbot, EDM ($7,400)
Talbot is an against-the-grain play for tournaments but his road splits are encouraging enough to make this play easier. He is 13-6-5 with a 2.30 GAA and .923 SV% in 24 road games. Talbot has lost three straight games but has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his past 10, when he's averaging 5.2 DraftKings points per contest. His chances of getting a win increase with Montoya in net for Montreal, plus the Canadiens are 4-3-1 in the second of a back-to-back this season. Talbot is another salary saver, which gives him additional value for 50-50 contests.
Video: EDM@NSH: Talbot uses pads to stone Fisher in close
UTIL - Sean Monahan, CGY ($5,700)
If you're going to draft one team's best player into your lineup, it's usually a good practice to stack him with whoever centering his line. Monahan is back with Gaudreau and has four goals and 11 SOG in his past three games. The 22-year-old will try to score his 100th NHL goal against the Rangers, which shouldn't be hard considering he's averaging nearly a goal-per-game in his past 10 (nine). Monahan has at least three SOG in nine of his past 10 games (38 total in that span), giving him a higher floor for cash games.
Video: CGY@NJD: Monahan goes bar-down to open the scoring
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