This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
The Habs and Sabres are tonight's marquee matchup between two teams that have exploded out of the gates. The Habs rallied from a three-goal deficit and prevailed in overtime against the Leafs, while the Sabres' power play has blistered the league with a 6-for-10 start. The Sabres and Habs are both averaging over four goals per game and getting some good goaltending.
The Flyers are finally home after opening the season in Prague and they'll host a Devils team that has fallen short of the hype. They were cut up by the Sabres, 7-2, and even worse: Taylor Hall hurt himself, Jack Hughes got benched, P.K. Subban's gambles were a disaster, and Mackenzie Blackwood played like he left his brain on the golf course.
The Canucks and Kings will wrap up the night as both look for their first win of the season in what should be a grinding, low-scoring affair. The Kings will be playing the second half of a back-to-back, and despite Jim Benning's spending spree, the Canucks continue to have trouble scoring goals with just two in two games.
Jacob Markstrom ($8,500) is the priciest option but the Canucks should be favoured here. They haven't played since Saturday, giving them plenty of time to rest and re-jig their lines ahead of their home opener. The Canucks are 3-0 in home openers in the past three seasons and the Kings are just 19-22-4-3 all-time at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
The Devils have many woes but scoring isn't one of them, which makes Carter Hart ($8,300) a risky play. However, the Flyers have had ample rest, their roster has more quality depth than the Devils, and Cory Schneider ($7,200) is so fragile you wince every time he goes into the butterfly.
Carter Hutton ($7,800) is an intriguing option and the preferred pick if you're balancing value and performance. Carey Price will sit and start Thursday's home opener, which mean Keith Kinkaid ($7,600) will get his first start of the season. The 30-year-old is coming off an atrocious season with career-worst numbers (3.36 GAA, .891 Sv%), and last season had the third-worst GSAA (21 more goals allowed than the league average in just 41 games) among 107 goalies.
The Goose is loose! Nikita Gusev ($4,300) scored a goal in his NHL debut but played just 12 minutes, and in his third game is now slated to play on the top line with Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier. It'll be the third straight game Gusev has had different linemates, but the line juggling doesn't seem to be bothering him and he could get a promotion to the top power-play unit if it continues to struggle.
J.T. Miller ($4,700) has been moved up to the Canucks' top line, replacing Micheal Ferland ($4,400), who drops to the third line. Miller has been good so far, scoring an assist and three shots in two games, and now he gets the plum assignment with Elias Pettersson. The entire Canucks offense has struggled, but Miller gets both top-line and power-play minutes and Travis Green is counting on a stacked top line to generate offense.
Adrian Kempe ($4,100) is a good value play as L.A.'s second-line center. He had an assist and two shots last night against Calgary, and after having trouble scoring goals last season, the Kings have now scored nine goals on 72 shots through two games.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
This is not a value buy anymore with Olofsson getting a pretty big raise, but the trio have looked like an elite first line with 11 points and they've out-attempted their opponents in shots by a margin of 39. The Habs are a very aggressive team and love taking risks, which is a reason why they're first in both shots for and shots against per game. A wide-open game will also benefit the Sabres' top line.
It's not cheap but it's the most high-quality line stack of the night. None of them registered a point in Prague but they looked very good together, registering eight shots on net. Their possession numbers were very good and it's a good matchup against the Devils, who continue to struggle with their goaltending.
The Canucks are stacking their top line and it doesn't cost much for the amount of upside you get. They'll have last change on home ice so look for the Canucks to get this line a lot of offensive zone starts, and Miller is an upgrade in both skill and speed to Ferland.
The Sabres have the league's best power play and Rasmus Dahlin ($5,700) is their quarterback, and he'll be a popular choice because his upside is as high, if not higher, than Drew Doughty and Shea Weber's. Rasmus Ristolainen is still the workhorse, but that works in Dahlin's favor because he gets the cushy minutes without having to face the opposition's top lines. Jake McCabe ($3,800) is also a solid contributor, first on the team in blocked shots (10) and second in ice time (21:27).
The Canucks have moved Bo Horvat back onto the top power-play unit, replacing the ineffective Josh Leivo and giving them a big boost, especially given his face-off prowess. Alexander Edler ($5,400) has not been replaced by Quinn Hughes yet so he remains the top power-play quarterback. There's offensive value to be had there and he's also a very consistent shot blocker who can provide a low floor.
Ivan Provorov ($4,600) and Jeff Petry ($4,500) both play a lot of minutes for their respective teams so that means more chances to harvest stats. Petry has a bit more offensive upside because he's very good at throwing pucks on net. He currently leads all defensemen in shots (14) and shot attempts (20), outpacing even Brent Burns (15 attempts).