This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
You may have had a taste of hockey action Saturday afternoon, but it's time to focus on the evening slate. There are 10 NHL games starting at 7 p.m. EDT or later, and that's the focus of today's article. I am still using statistics from last season. No team has played more than five games, and some teams have played as few as three. That sample size is far from ideal.
Like I said, there are 10 games going on tonight. From a non-fantasy perspective, the biggest story is that the Kraken are hosting the Canucks in their home debut. We have a matchup some might expect to see in the Stanley Cup Finals in Colorado versus Tampa Bay. In terms of teams on the second leg of a back-to-back, we have Buffalo in New Jersey, Toronto in Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles having to travel from Dallas to St. Louis.
Jordan Binnington, STL vs. LOS ($8,500): Binnington has a 2.67 GAA, but a .921 save percentage. Plus, he and the Blues have won all three of their games this season. That's true even though they've played Colorado and Vegas already. The Kings were in the bottom five in goals per game last season, and like I said they are on the road for the second night of a back-to-back.
Scott Wedgewood, NJD vs. BUF ($8,400): MacKenzie Blackwood is out and Jonathan Bernier is hurt, which could leave Wedgewood to start. Hey, this is the rare situation where that could lead to you having him in your lineup. The Sabres averaged 2.39 goals and 28.4 shots on net per game last year. Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel are no longer involved. Also, Buffalo is on the second day of a back-to-back. The matchup means Wedgewood is worth a shot, even at this salary.
Ilya Sorokin, NYI at ARI ($8,300): Sorokin's first couple of starts were rough, but over his last two games he's made 68 saves on 72 shots. It's a little concerning that the Islanders have allowed so many shots on goal, but that should mellow out. This is still a Barry Trotz team. The Coyotes only put 27.5 shots on net per contest last year, and the team looks worse on paper this season.
Frederik Andersen, CAR at CLM ($8,100): So far, so good for Andersen with his new team. The Danish netminder has a 2.00 GAA and .938 save percentage in three starts. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets only averaged 2.39 goals per game last season, 29th in the NHL.
Dylan Larkin, DET at MON ($6,500): Larkin missed a game due to a suspension, but when he's been on the ice he's been quite active. Notably, he's averaged 3:22 per game on the power play. The Canadiens ranked 23rd on the penalty kill last year, and with Carey Price away from the team Jake Allen has struggled as the top netminder (3.06 GAA, .891 save percentage).
David Perron, STL vs. LOS ($5,800): Jordan Kyrou is the hot name on the Blues, but I'll go with Perron and his track record. He had 58 points in 56 games last season, and he's had over 20 power-play points in each of his last two campaigns. Also, he has three points in three games to start this season. The Kings are on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back, which puts them in a tricky situation, even if they seemingly saved Cal Petersen for this matchup.
Jared McCann, SEA vs. VAN ($5,700): McCann has five points in five games to start his run as a Kraken. Will his 37.5 shooting percentage regress? Of course, but last year he had 32 points in 43 games, including 10 on the power play. Now he's being relied upon as one of the key players for Seattle, as he's averaged 17:10 in ice time, including 3:18 on the power play. Thatcher Demko has been strong to start the season, but last year the Canucks had a 3.34 GAA and allowed 33.4 shots on net per game. Plus, maybe there's some magic in the home debut for the Kraken.
Pavel Zacha, NJD vs. BUF ($5,400): Zacha had 35 points in 50 games last season and has two points and nine shots on goal in three games to start this campaign. He's skating on the first line and has played 18:46 per night in ice time. The Sabres allowed 33.7 shots on net per contest last year, and Dustin Tokarski is expected to be in the net Saturday. He's 32 and has played in a total of 48 NHL games for a reason (that reason is a career .905 save percentage).
LINE STACKS TO CONSIDER
Panthers at Flyers
With the Flyers have the highest GAA and the second-worst penalty kill for the second season in a row? Probably not, but they need to prove it first. Carter Hart, who had an .877 save percentage last season, has started two games this year. While he did well against the expansion Kraken, he allowed four goals on 39 shots against the Canucks.
Barkov is the clear gem of the Panthers' top line. After all, he's one of the best players in the NHL. He had 26 goals and 58 points in 50 games last season and has five points in four games to start this year. Verhaeghe is benefitting from his position on the top line, as he's got a point in all four games, including three goals. He also had 18 goals in 43 games last season. Duclair had bad puck luck in his first season with the Panthers, posting a 9.6 shooting percentage. This year, though, he already has three goals.
Islanders at Coyotes
It's possible Carter Hutton is done as the first-team goalie for the Coyotes. He has an 8.75 GAA and .702 save percentage in two starts. If the Coyotes are alternating starts, though, it would be Hutton's turn. Even if that isn't the case, Karel Vejmelka is a 25-year-old rookie. He's had one impressive start, but also allowed five goals to the Oilers on 31 shots.
Barzal isn't typically a goal scorer, more of a playmaker, but this year he's put 15 shots on net. That's yielded two goals in four games, but if he keeps shooting like this Barzal should beat his career high of 22 goals. Lee missed a game with illness this year, but he has one goal and put six shots on net in his last outing. Last year he was limited by injury, but scored 12 goals in 27 games. Palmieri didn't look great after joining the Islanders last year, but he scored at least 24 goals in the five seasons prior to the last one.
Kris Letang, PIT vs. TOR ($6,200): The Maple Leafs are starting Jack Campbell, who is a tough matchup. However, Toronto is also on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back. Letang is also an elite defenseman, at least when it comes to offensive output, so I am willing to take a shot on him in this scenario. He's been what you would expect so far this season, with four points and eight shots on goal in four games. Letang doesn't have a goal yet, but that will change. He's had three seasons of at least 15 goals.
Ryan Graves, NJD vs. BUF ($5,500): As a secondary defenseman for the Avalanche, Graves showed potential two seasons ago with nine goals and 26 points. He dropped to 15 points last year, but he put 101 shots on goal and blocked 91 shots. Now with the Devils, he's paired with Dougie Hamilton on the team's top unit. He's averaged 22:47 in ice time, which is over three minutes more than he averaged last season. So far he has three points in three games, but he's also blocked six shots as well.
Jeff Petry, MON vs. DET ($5,000): Petry doesn't have a point yet, but he'll get on the score sheet soon enough. He's tallied at least 40 points in each of his last four seasons, including double-digit power-play points in each of those campaigns. With Shea Weber out for the year, his power-play role is even larger. The Red Wings seem like they are improving in a lot of ways, but they still had a 3.00 GAA last season.
Nick Leddy, DET at MON ($3,400): Leddy was always a solid contributor for the Islanders, and now he's doing the same thing with the Red Wings. Last year he had 31 points in 56 games, including 11 on the power play. Leddy has three points this year and has averaged 2:36 per contest in power-play time. With Allen's slow start to the season in net for the Canadiens, I like the new Wing on Saturday.