David Pastrnak (FDraft: $14,700 DK: $7,100 FDuel: $7,400): Pastrnak and the Bruins potent offense draws the second-best matchup of the night, as massive -320 favorites against a Buffalo squad coming off a game last night, and starting the woeful Chad Johnson, owner of a .882 save rate and 3.73 goals against average on the season. These numbers are atrocious, and the Sabres defense will do him no favors with their defensive stats also evidencing a bottom-dwelling defensive team. Breaking down the stats for the discrepancy between the offensive prowess of the Bruins and the defensive ineptitude of the Sabres would be extensive; for a brief overview just know that Buffalo is the 4th-worst defense in the NHL, while Boston is the 4th-best offense. Pastrnak is a big part of this attack, as we’ve written about before (feel free to search earlier articles for some impressive numbers which have been built upon since the date of writing). In short, this is a straightforward lock giving affordable exposure to one of the best lines in the league against an incredibly shoddy defense and opposing goaltender.
Auston Matthews (FDraft: $14,700 DK: $7,100 FDuel: $7,400): While an expensive option for this slate, Matthews’ talent, team and matchup all warrant Must-Have status. Ottawa’s defense is even worse than Buffalo’s, and their starting goalie Craig Anderson has commandeered a disappointing season so far. The Maple Leafs are also huge favorites, albeit not as heavily favored as Boston, but the leg-up which gives Matthews his surefire potential is the 6.0 goal over/under, as opposed to 5.5 in the Boston game. Matthews is a stud, whose numbers speak for themselves; he leads the team in points, leads forwards in minutes, ranks second in shots and first in +/-. While his power play numbers haven’t been studly this season so far, he logged 21 points last year, and that fact in conjunction with his ability, suggest strongly that positive regression is coming. Another positive indicator is the fact that he ranks 5th on the team in penalty shots, despite skating just the 9th-most time on the power play. Regardless of man-advantage situations, this matchup is favorable, and with Ottawa’s 28th-ranked penalty kill, his power play numbers may just receive a not unexpected boost tonight.