The NHL has altered the schedule on Friday, with two Game 7’s in the same day that will also be played on the same rink. The winners will meet in the Western Conference Finals. The Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche will be taking the ice at 4 p.m. ET, while the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights are scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET. There are some roster updates to sort through for each of these teams to help get you ready for tonight’s NHL DFS contests on DraftKings.
Anton Khudobin ($7,600)
After leading the series 3-1, the Stars have lost two-straight games to the Avalanche and are now faced with a Game 7. However, they’ve stuck with their line combinations and don’t appear to be at risk of making moves on that front. The only relevant roster news with the Stars is in net, where Khudobin seems like the obvious choice to start today’s game. The Stars’ usual starter Ben Bishop ($7,600) had missed the earlier portion of the series, but returned for Game 5, only to be pulled after surrendering a handful of first period goals. Bishop was then unavailable for Game 6, and even if he’s active for Game 7, it seems likely that Khudobin will remain the starter.
Gabriel Landeskog ($5,900)
The Avalanche have stormed back with two convincing wins to force a Game 7 against the Stars, but tonight’s game could be an even tougher test as a few of their key players are dealing with injury concerns. The Avs are already down to their third string goalie in Michael Hutchinson ($8,100), while defenseman Erik Johnson ($4,100) remains out of the lineup. Additionally, Gabriel Landeskog, Joonas Donskoi ($3,600) and Conor Timmins ($2,500) are all questionable to play, so the chances for success against the Stars will be largely dependent on how healthy some of these players are. The updates appear likely to come close to game time, so monitoring this situation before 4 p.m. ET lock will be key in terms of building DFS lineups.
Editor’s Note: Avalanche LW Gabriel Landeskog (undisclosed) will not play in tonight’s game vs. the Stars
Vegas Golden Knights
Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,600)
The Golden Knights were dominant again in Game 6, but it again didn’t lead to a win, as they were unable to find the back of the net. Over the last two games, the Knights have outshot the Canucks 91-to-40, but it’s resulted in two consecutive losses as they’re now faced with a do-or-die Game 7. For tonight’s game, especially because it’s a back-to-back, it seems plausible that Marc-Andre Fleury could get the start over Robin Lehner ($7,800). Goaltending hasn’t really been the issue for the Knights lately, but given the lack of rest between games and the fact that they’ve lost two in a row, starting Fleury could be the rational move.
Thatcher Demko ($7,900)
The Canucks went back to their trusted first line last night and it “worked” as they were severely outplayed but still managed to win the game 4-0. Given the final score, it doesn’t appear as though changes are likely anywhere amongst the skaters, but the decision in net seems like an interesting one. Backup goalie Thatcher Demko has been the sole reason for the Canucks making it this far, saving 90 out of 91 shots over the last two games. Demko surely deserves to get the start in tonight’s Game 7, but he is a backup goalie and it is a back-to-back. Even so, starter Jakob Markstrom ($7,700) remains injured and it seems likely that the Canucks will continue to rely on Demko rather than turning to a third-string goalie.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.