C – Sidney Crosby (PIT) – $7,800 vs. WAS
Crosby continues to produce for the Pens despite finally being held in check in Game 2 in Washington. You aren’t going to keep this guy down long so let’s snatch him up tonight as the series shifts to Pittsburgh. The Penguins were the league’s second ranked home offense this season with 3.63 goals per game while their 26.7% clip on the man advantage at home checked in at a first place tie. Crosby has seven goals and eight assists in eight postseason games so no reason not to like the sure-fire Hall of Famer tonight.
C – Mark Scheifele (WPG) – $6,900 vs. NSH
All due respect to Crosby and other players in the playoffs who are no fire, but no one is scoring goals like Scheifele is right now. Scheifele has notched a whopping seven goals over his last four games while he’s chipped in a pair of assists for nine points over his last four. The Jets are also returning home after a split in Nashville, and that’s a good thing as Winnipeg led the league by far with 3.80 goals per game on home ice. A tough matchup yes, but Scheifele is too hot to fade right now.
W – Jake Guentzel (PIT) – $6,400 vs. WAS
Guentzel has arguably been the biggest surprise of the playoffs so far. He is scorching hot right now, notching seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points in eight postseason contests. He will flank Crosby on the top line tonight, but if Evgeni Malkin returns from injury it will likely cost Guentzel his top unit power play time. Regardless, there is no reason not to like Guentzel at all right now and I like this duo going on home ice tonight.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $6,100 vs. WAS
It should be interesting to see if Hornqvist slides down to play with Malkin on the second line should the Russian return to the lineup tonight, but even if he does I like this play. Hornqvist has been excellent in this postseason after tearing it up down the stretch, posting three goals and five assists across six postseason contests. He is a beast on the power play as well so there’s nothing to dislike about his upside regardless of who he plays with tonight.
W – Kyle Connor (WPG) – $5,200 vs. NSH
Of course it was be nice to get Blake Wheeler alongside Scheifele in this lineup, but he’s simply too expensive so I will pivot down to Connor. Connor had a fantastic rookie season for the Jets, posting 31 goals on 192 shots in 76 games. Despite the wealth of goal scoring the Jets have done in these playoffs, it’s interesting to see Connor sitting with zero so far. That said, he had an assist in three straight prior to Game 2 of this series, and considering he skates with Scheifele on that top line it won’t be much longer until Connor is back on the board.
D – Tyler Myers (WPG) – $3,900 vs. NSH
Due to the expensive group of forwards in this lineup I’m spending down on the blueline beginning here with Myers. Myers will form a mini-stack with Connor on the Jets’ second power play unit tonight while he form a three-man Jets stack at 5v5 play. He provides a little bit of everything as he scored six goals, added 30 helpers, took 150 shots and blocked 116. I like the cross-category upside he brings to the table and perhaps the Jets’ second power play unit can contribute and give us some lower owned production as a result.
D – Christian Djoos (WAS) – $2,700 vs. PIT
Djoos is an extreme value play, but he comes with some upside, especially in a mini-stack with our utility player tonight. He has just one assist in the series, but Djoos has offensive abilities. In 66 AHL games last season, the defenseman scored 13 goals and 58 points and then posted eight points in 12 playoff games. He isn’t seeing much ice tonight, but some low owned production could go a long way tonight.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $8,100 vs. NSH
Given how good Hellebuyck has been at home this season I see very little reason to deviate from him in goal tonight. Hellebuyck went an incredible 30-5-2 at home this season to go along with a stout 2.31 GAA. He has yielded just three goals in three home playoff games this season and stopped 47 of 48 shots in Game 1 which has Winnipeg holding home ice advantage now in this series. Let’s roll with Hellebuyck considering the Jets’ play at home this season.
UTIL – Jakub Vrana (WAS) – $2,900 vs. PIT
Vrana and Djoos will form what should be a tiny-owned mini-stack tonight in Pittsburgh. Vrana himself sees some second unit power play ice time while he scored a goal in Washington’s Game 2 victory, eclipsing his value with ease in the process. On two-game slates we need some differentiation in non-cash games, so Vrana provides a nice bit of that outside of cash games tonight.
PLAY THIS LINEUP