This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Tuesday's NHL slate will feature plenty of action, with 11 games on tap after 7:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find a breakdown of the action and suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
A lot of tightly contested matchups are anticipated Tuesday, as the Oilers are this slate's only massive favorites at home against the Ducks. The Canadiens (vs. San Jose) and Wild (vs. Winnipeg) are also clear-cut favorites, but they aren't in the same ballpark as Edmonton. In terms of scoring, every game has an over/under of either 5.5 or 6.0 goals, with the Kraken-Devils, Avalanche-Capitals, Panthers-Lightning and Islanders-Blackhawks matchups all checking in at 6.0. Plenty of lineups should feature an Oilers superstar or two, but there aren't many definitive chalk plays to target beyond that.
Mike Smith, EDM vs. ANH ($8,500): Smith has been busier than the Oilers would like thus far, but the veteran netminder has been up to the task, starting the year 2-0-0 with a 1.92 GAA and .953 save percentage thanks to 81 saves on 85 shots. Things should get easier for Smith against a visiting Ducks team that averaged a league-low 2.21 goals per game last season, especially since Anaheim will be playing its second road game in as many nights here.
Jake Allen, MON vs. SJ ($8,200): Allen's yet to get in the win column this season, but a lack of offense has been the problem for Montreal, as the man filling in for Carey Price has a solid 2.05 GAA and .925 save percentage. Perhaps Allen's strong play will finally be rewarded in a home matchup with a Sharks team that's expected to be among the league's bottom-feeders, especially in the wake of the 21-game suspension to Evander Kane, who led San Jose in scoring last season.
Braden Holtby, DAL at PIT ($7,300): Holtby has struggled ever since Washington let coach Barry Trotz and his elite defensive system walk to the Islanders, but the veteran netminder seems to have finally found another place he can flourish in Dallas. He's managed to set aside 62 of 66 shots through two appearances, posting a 2.26 GAA and .939 save percentage for a defense-first Stars team. At just $7,300, Holtby's worth snapping up out of the bargain bin against a familiar foe from his Washington days – a Penguins team that's currently without three top-six regulars in Sidney Crosby (wrist), Evgeni Malkin (knee) and Bryan Rust (lower body).
Cal Petersen, LA at NSH ($7,100): Whether it's Petersen or Jonathan Quick ($7,100) who gets the nod in the visitors' net, Los Angeles' goalie of choice will be an intriguing value play against a Predators team that ranked in the bottom 10 offensively last season and has just five goals on 70 shots through two games, both regulation losses. Petersen's probably the superior option at this stage of their respective careers, and he was solid in the Kings' season-opening 6-2 win over Vegas, setting aside 23 of 25 shots.
Anze Kopitar, LA at NSH ($7,500): Kopitar has been arguably the best player in the league so far, and while that probably won't last, you may as well ride him until he cools down. The star center has needed just two games to accrue a 4-3-7 line, and Kopitar has previously scored as many as 92 points in a season. A Nashville team that's off to an 0-2-0 start will have trouble slowing Kopitar down.
Alex Ovechkin, WAS vs. COL ($8,000): The Capitals are catching the Avalanche at the right time, as Colorado's without a number of key contributors due to injuries and a suspension. Ovechkin has long since proven to be matchup-proof, anyway, and he's apparently nearly immune from Father Time's effects as well — the future Hall-of-Famer seems primed to wind up in the Rocket Richard Trophy mix once again considering he's already posted a 3-2-5 line and 11 shots through two games.
Jack Hughes, NJ vs. SEA ($6,300): Hughes made a substantial, though not eye-popping, leap as a sophomore last season, improving from 21 points in 61 games as a rookie to 31 in 56. If the first game of this season is any indication, the 2019 first-overall pick is ready to take another major step forward and establish himself as the new face of the Devils franchise. Hughes potted a pair of goals, including the OT winner, to top the Blackhawks in New Jersey's first game, and the fleet-footed center will look to build on that effort against a visiting Kraken team that's playing its second road game in as many nights.
Jonathan Drouin, MON vs. SJ ($3,700): The struggling Montreal offense has mustered only three goals through three games, and Drouin has scored two of those. Still available at just $3,700 despite the hot start, the two-time 53-point scorer remains a nice value play at home against a Sharks team that allowed 3.50 goals per game last season and is expected to struggle in similar fashion this year.
Matt Duchene, NSH vs. LA ($3,600): If you want to build around a few of the pricey stars in this slate, you'll have to find corresponding value plays elsewhere. Duchene could be one such player at just $3,600. The two-time 70-point scorer is coming off the worst season of his career (6-7-13 in 34 games), but Duchene has shown some signs of bouncing back, even though he's still without a point through two games. He's being deployed on the top line and No. 1 power-play unit, and Duchene has already put seven pucks on net. Perhaps a visit from a Kings team that's not expected to contend for a playoff spot will allow the 30-year-old forward to finally mark the scoresheet.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Oilers vs. Ducks
Edmonton is the night's heaviest favorite at home against an Anaheim team that's playing its second game in as many nights, and it's no secret which players usually lead the way for the Oilers offensively. With 3-2-5 and 0-4-4 lines, respectively, through two games, McDavid and Draisaitl are both off to hot starts after occupying the top two spots on the league's points leaderboard last season. Puljujarvi (2-2-4) is keeping pace with his pair of elite linemates early. If you don't want to commit such a massive chunk of your salary cap space to just one line, grabbing one of the two superstars along with the much more affordable Puljujarvi is a sensible strategy.
Avalanche at Capitals
Despite missing two-thirds of its usual top line in Nathan MacKinnon (COVID-19) and Gabriel Landeskog (suspension), Colorado still has plenty of firepower. Rantanen has a 109-171-280 line over 251 games since the start of the 2017-18 campaign, ranking 13th league-wide in that span with 1.12 points per game. The star winger has shown he's capable of carrying the offense sans his usual linemates, with an assist in each game and eight shots through two contests. Kadri and Burakovsky should both benefit from extra opportunities for the undermanned Avalanche. The former's a two-time 30-goal scorer who has come out of the gate hot with a 1-3-4 line through two games, while the latter has a 1-1-2 line this season and 40-51-91 output over 113 appearances in an Avalanche uniform.
Blue Jackets at Red Wings
What if Columbus is actually good? The Blue Jackets were largely written off as bottom-feeders after trading away Seth Jones in the offseason, but they're off to a 2-0-0 start and have outscored opponents 10-3. On the other side, there's still little doubt that the Red Wings are bad despite their 1-0-1 start, and Detroit has given up eight goals over those two games. Laine struggled in his first year with Columbus, but 23-year-old former 40-goal scorers don't grow on trees, and he seems to be beginning a bounce-back campaign with a goal and two assists through two games. Voracek was acquired from the Flyers in an offseason change-of-scenery trade, and the two-time 80-point scorer has made a strong early impression with two helpers through two games, while Jenner's an intriguing value play considering he has already capitalized on his top-line role with a goal this season.
Darnell Nurse, EDM vs. ANH ($6,200): Nurse is a do-it-all defenseman for the Oilers. His well-rounded contributions give him one of the highest fantasy floors in the game, and Nurse also boasts a robust ceiling since he's likely to get in on the offense for the favored Oilers. He's yet to light the lamp despite putting eight pucks on net through two games, but Nurse has already dished out a pair of helpers, and the goals should come before long considering he ranked second among defensemen with 16 last season.
Quinn Hughes, VAN at BUF ($5,200): Hughes is munching massive minutes on Vancouver's blue line and has the offensive aptitude to produce plenty of points given all that usage. So far, he has a goal in one game, an assist in another and five shots in the third while skating at least 26:46 in each contest. The 22-year-old defenseman has been among the top point producers from the back end since cracking the NHL — his 99 points in 132 games equate to a 62-point full-season pace — and Hughes should put his impressive skills on display against the lowly Sabres.
MacKenzie Weegar, FLA at TB ($5,100): Weegar's off to a flying start through two games, having stuffed the stat sheet with an assist, four shots and three blocks followed by another assist, three shots and two blocks. His two-way contributions give Weegar a lot of ways to outperform his middling valuation in what should be a fast-paced battle between two Florida-based rivals. Dating back to the end of last season, Weegar has a 3-10-13 line in his last 10 regular-season appearances.
Erik Gustafsson, CHI vs. NYI ($2,500): Gustafsson sat out Chicago's season opener, but he has worked into each of the team's two subsequent games, averaging over 17 minutes of ice time, including a role on the power play. He posted a 17-43-60 line for the Blackhawks in 2018-19, and while Gustafsson seems unlikely to ever repeat that offensive output, he undoubtedly has more offensive ability than your typical minimum-priced blueliner. It's probably only a matter of time before the Islanders wake up from their slow start, but in the early going, they've been the league's most favorable fantasy matchup for defensemen.