This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Cam Ward, CHI vs. VAN ($7,600): This game will be close, which is why Jacob Markstrom is only $100 cheaper. Two things to consider: The Canucks have been hit by injuries again and they lack depth at every position, and the Blackhawks have won five straight and within a few weeks have gone from bottom feeder to playoff contender. Ward has won four of his past five and sports a .929 save percentage in February.
Leon Draisaitl, EDM at MIN ($7,000): He's scored nine points in his past five games, continuing to dominate on offense despite the Oilers' struggles. There's no reason to think that won't continue against the Wild, who are missing Matt Dumba and just announced top shutdown center Mikko Koivu is out for the season. Defense has been the problem for the Oilers, not offense, and Draisaitl is worth the price.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLS at ARI ($6,100): He's been scoring at a point-per-game pace since November and scored a goal in his last game against the Coyotes. He's priced at the lower end of the upper tier despite being the No. 1 center, and the Coyotes are an appetizing opponent having lost four straight, including two consecutive losses in which they allowed five goals each game.
Nikita Kucherov, TB at STL ($7,000): Kucherov has two assists in two games, which I guess qualifies as a "slump" for his standards, but at this price he is a bargain. The Blues defense hasn't been consistent all year and their goaltending situation is even worse. He's a better value pick than Viktor Arvidsson ($7,300) and worth the premium compared to Brock Boeser ($6,700).
Patrik Laine, WPG at MON ($5,900): The struggle with Laine is real, who either looks like he's going to set scoring records or wash out of the league in three years – there's no in-between. He's had success against Montreal in the past, and no matter how much he struggles he's too valuable to take off the Jets' top six for long stretches. We're buying low on Laine with so many wingers available and the Jets will have Dustin Byfuglien back on the power play.
Nino Niederreiter, CAR at BUF ($5,000): He's scored five goals in seven games as a Hurricane, snapping out of a scoring funk after a tough start with the Wild. Expected starter Carter Hutton has allowed four goals in each of his past four games, and the Sabres are mediocre again after their honeymoon winning streak. Niederreiter has scored eight goals in 15 career games against them.
Brent Burns, SJ at CGY ($6,800): He's on a four-game point streak and worth the premium even with so many defensemen available, especially if Erik Karlsson sits out again. Big Save Dave Rittich is in net but the Sharks offense is pretty potent and the outcome of the game may come down to special teams; both teams have good power plays but the Flames penalty kill is definitely weaker.
Ben Hutton, VAN at CHI ($4,100): He played 28 minutes on the top pairing with Troy Stecher against the Caps, filing in for the injured Alex Edler, and the Canucks would've gained at least a point had it not been for a bad bounce late in the game. Hutton is an all-round defenseman who can contribute in multiple categories, and even though he doesn't score a lot he's getting more opportunities than anyone on the Canucks blue line.