Welcome to round two! We haven’t had the chance to get an article out over the last couple of days with no standard main slates taking place, but we are back for the second round! Let’s start this off with a bang as we will dive right into tonight’s two-game slate!
C – Evgeny Kuznetsov (WAS) – $6,500 vs. PIT
With the way Kuznetsov and Ovechkin played over the last few games of the first round it’s really tough to leave them out of the lineup tonight. The Capitals will host the Penguins tonight as the two clubs get together in the playoffs for the third straight year. Kuznetsov led the charge on the comeback in round one, scoring twice and adding four assists over the last three games. He also averaged almost five shots per game in the first round, so lock him in while he’s hot.
C – Riley Sheahan (PIT) – $4,000 vs. WAS
This is more than I would normally like to pay for Sheahan, but considering his promotion up the Penguins’ depth chart for tonight’s game I certainly don’t mind. With Evgeni Malkin sidelined for Game 1, Sheahan will slide into the second line center role for Pittsburgh alongside sniper Phil Kessel. Sheahan scored a goal and added an assist in round one, but also skated more than 20 minutes in the series-clinching Game 6. He could very well see similar minutes on the second line tonight.
W – Alex Ovechkin (WAS) – $7,700 vs. PIT
Ovechkin is almost a must for tonight’s game as he torched the Blue Jackets in round one. Ovi bagged five goals and added three helpers in the six-game series while firing an average of 5.5 shots on goal per game. He notched a pair of goals in the series-clinching Game 6 and appears to be coming up clutch when his team needs him this postseason. With a huge floor ahead of him look for Ovechkin to deliver in tonight’s Game 1.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $6,400 vs. WAS
Considering the Penguins scored at will in the first round, Kessel having just one goal and four assists in the series was a fairly quiet performance from the sniper. That said, don’t expect Kessel to stay quiet long as he scored 34 goals, added 58 assists and took 261 shots on goal in the regular season. He also led the league with 41 power play points as part of a lethal Penguins’ power play. The Caps killed just 69.2% of their penalties at home in round one, so some first unit power play exposure is warranted tonight.
W – Dominic Simon (PIT) – $3,800 vs. WAS
We have already completed our first three-man stack of the night tonight. Simon should skate alongside Sheahan and Kessel on the Penguins’ second line as Carl Hagelin has also been ruled out for tonight’s series opener. Simon has notched an assist in back-to-back games entering play tonight while he will also give us second unit power play exposure as well. There’s real nice value upside here as a result.
D – John Carlson (WAS) – $5,700 vs. PIT
In my humble opinion I believe Carlson is going to be the highest scoring defenseman on this slate tonight. He racked up a goal and eight assists in the first round while averaging three shots on goal and 1.5 blocks per game to boot. Carlson led all NHL defenseman in points with 68 in the regular season while he also fired 237 shots on goal and blocked 146 as well. He brings a real high floor and this three-man 5v5 and PP1 stack has a very high ceiling thanks to their 33.3% clip on the power play in round one.
D – Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ) – $4,300 vs. VGK
To say the Golden Knights were stingy in round one would be an understatement, but I don’t mind a bit of San Jose exposure tonight considering the low ownership they should have. Vlasic is a cross-category contributor with 11 goals, 21 assists, 161 shots and 174 blocks from the regular season. He picked up a pair of assists and 4.5 blocks per game in round one and the shot-blocking should certainly continue tonight for the veteran blueliner.
G – Martin Jones (SJ) – $7,300 vs. VGK
A win isn’t going to come easy but considering the way he played in round one and his price, I think Jones is an excellent play tonight. While his counterpart Marc-Andre Fleury yielded just three goals in a four-game round one sweep of the Kings, Jones yielded just four goals in the Sharks’ round one sweep of the Ducks. He posted a .970 Sv% in the first round, so there is no reason to dislike the proven playoff performer in tonight’s contest.
UTIL – Timo Meier (SJ) – $3,700 vs. VGK
I like the value upside Meier brings to the table tonight at low ownership. He had a real nice regular season with 21 goals scored on a whopping 210 shots on goal. He posted a goal and two assists on 11 shots in the first round to boot. He gives us a second unit power play mini-stack with Vlasic and brings a decent floor to the table at this price. Let’s look for some lower owned production from our Sharks duo tonight.
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