The NHL is back on the ice to continue its postseason as DraftKings offers a two-game main slate locking at 7:00 p.m. ET.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on Thursday prior to games being postponed. Salaries have been updated.
Both of the series going tonight are tied 1-1 and face pivotal Game 3s. The Canucks finally got Tyler Toffoli ($4,700) back in their lineup last game and he immediately paid off with a goal. Tyler Myers remains questionable for Vancouver.
The Flyers broke Semyon Varlamov’s ($8,000) shutout streak early in Game 2 and eventually got the goalie pulled for Thomas Greiss ($7,800). The Islanders fought back and forced OT but it wasn’t enough. There are no big injuries to report here, although keep an eye on who gets the starting nod for both New York and Vegas as both their starters are coming off poor games and could sit today.
Top Line Stacks
Elias Pettersson ($6,600) –Tyler Toffoli ($4,700) –Tanner Pearson ($4,300)
We have a pretty big discrepancy in the puck totals between the two games on the slate, as the Golden Knights and Canucks have an O/U currently set at 6 goals, with the other game is carrying just an O/U of 5. This series has seen 12 goals scored already so that total should come as no shock. The Canucks’ depth up front improves greatly with Toffoli back in the lineup and the Canucks’ move to spread out their talent a bit over two lines worked well last game. Toffoli recorded three SOG and three points in just 14 minutes in Game 2 and his DK price still isn’t where we saw it at during the regular season when he was typically closer to $6K.
Playing with the inspired Pettersson is a great thing for Toffoli’s upside as the Swede now has three multiple-point games in his past four starts. With Vegas forced to give equal coverage to two lines, it’s possible he and Toffoli could continue to flourish. The two will be joined at even strength by Tanner Pearson who was a 20-plus goal scorer in the regular season and whose salary makes this group quite affordable. With Toffoli’s return, this line now has great breakout potential every night especially with the Golden Knights now facing questions around who their starter is in net.
Superstar to Target
Max Pacioretty ($6,900), VGK at VAN
The Canucks took it to Vegas in Game 2, but one bright spot for the Golden Knights was that they were again able to out-chance Vancouver, landing 40 SOG. Of those, Pacioretty was able to land five of them and now has 13 SOG in this series alone. The former Canadian looks back to full health after missing a couple of games last series and that’s great news for his fantasy prospects, especially considering the matchup with the Canucks. Vancouver allowed the fourth-most SOG in both the regular season and in the bubble and have already allowed 79 SOG in two games. Pacioretty was typically priced around $8K or more during the regular season so we are being given a pretty big price break here to roster him. With the other game featuring fewer offensive studs and a lower game total, building rosters around Pacioretty and his high shot volume — third in SOG in 2019-2020 — makes almost too much sense tonight.
Value on Offense
Alex Tuch ($4,200), VGK at VAN
Tuch’s been an integral part of the Vegas offense this postseason. While he’s mainly a third-line player he’s now posted 15 SOG in his past four games and has averaged 3.1 over his past 10. Tuch also gets sees regular time on the PP2, which is a good spot to be against a Vancouver squad which is allowing the fourth-most SOG since the restart. He heads into this game with goals in three straight games, so he likely won’t be super-low owned and he also makes for a good pivot target if you’re planning on fading most of the top two lines from Vegas. You can pair him with Alec Martinez ($4,200) here who anchors the second-line PP but Tuch makes for a good target on his own as he’s scored in a variety of situations now and is bringing multiple-goal/SOG-bonus upside every night at the moment.
Semyon Varlamov ($8,000), NYI vs. PHI
Varlamov got pulled in the Islanders’ last game and still hasn’t been confirmed as the starter today. That said, if he does start I’d expect nothing less than a big game from the veteran who has been terrific for New York in the bubble. Varlamov has posted 15 or more DKFP now in seven of his past 10 games, with many of those starts coming against a tough opponent in the Capitals. Philadelphia’s offense has also been less than inspiring in the bubble as they’re second-to-last in goals scored per game of all the teams left and have been just average on the power-play. Varlamov had posted a .920 save percentage or better in six of his last seven starts before the Game 2 disaster so going back to him here, when low sentiment may keep him lower-owned, makes a ton of sense.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Varlamov will start tonight vs. the Flyers.
Value on Defense
Travis Sanheim ($3,800), PHI at NYI
Sanheim’s been a solid minute-eater for the Flyers in the playoffs, averaging around 22 minutes per game so far in two games against the Islanders. While the offensive upside isn’t huge, he is still getting some PP2 exposure and did post 30 points (including nine goals) in 80 games this year. He also comes in with assists in his last two games, which is encouraging but his main reason for being a target is his affordable price and ability to gain you a ton of blocked shots. He now has seven in his past three games and is capable of hitting that bonus any night. He’s a solid pay-down target for those wanting to go strictly with value options on defense.
Nick Leddy ($3,100), NYI vs. PHI
Leddy’s similar to Sanheim in that he’s not likely to get you more than assists (if he shows up on the scoresheet at all) but is playing over 20 minutes a night, giving us solid production right now and has produced three points in his past four games. He does have more touch on the offensive side than Sanheim and is cheaper as well, which gives him a slight edge in the value department. He’d also be a good stacking target with any of the Islanders’ L1 players, like the now red-hot Anders Lee ($5,800), as he’s taken regular shifts on the power-play with them in the past couple of games.
Shea Theodore ($6,200), VGK at VAN
I didn’t mention stacking the Golden Knights’ first line as you’re likely better off spending up to get exposure to Theodore here than wasting all your salary on the Golden Knights’ forwards. The Golden Knights’ PP1 leader has really turned up his play of late, landing six points and 21 SOG in his past four games. The Canucks have been a fantastic target for opposing offensive players in these playoffs and rate out with the third-worst penalty kill of all the teams still alive in bubble play. Pairing him with the aforementioned Max Pacioretty ($6,900) and/or a play-maker like Paul Stastny ($3,800) makes a ton of sense here as the Golden Knights’ power play figures to cash on special teams at least a couple more times in this juicy matchup before the series ends. Considering he’s still available here at just $6.2K in price, Theodore makes for a near must play on this slate that is devoid of any other defensemen with nightly upside as big as his.
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