With the way last night’s action shook out, odds are you did very well with last night’s FanDuel NHL Picks. Our three-man Penguins stack dominated once again as Guentzel, Crosby and Hornqvist combined for two goals and three assists on the night. Other than those three Pittsburgh goals, there were only four more goals total score on the slate, and we were in on one of them as Patrik Laine and Paul Stastny teamed up for the only Jets’ goal. Let’s move on from that great lineup to yet another two-game slate tonight!
C – Steven Stamkos (TB) – $8,000 vs. BOS
The Bruins’ top line should see a lot of ownership tonight so I am going to pivot back to Tampa and see if they can with both games in Beantown and take a 3-1 series lead home. The Stamkos line has been very quiet in the series, but with Stamkos scoring the empty net goal in Game 3, I can’t help but think that might be the confidence boost required to get him going. He still has two goals and five assists in eight playoff games so far, so he hasn’t exactly been quiet, just a little quiet in the goal department which I am looking to change tonight.
C – Logan Couture (SJ) – $7,000 vs. VGK
This isn’t going to be easy, but again I am going to avoid the favorite in this game and see if San Jose can steal one in Vegas tonight. They’ve already done so once, thanks to Couture and his double OT winner in Game 2 to give the Sharks life. He likely should have had another OT winner in Game 3 if it weren’t for a miraculous save from Marc-Andre Fleury. He’s been the Sharks’ best player in this series and has notched two goals, two assists and 15 shots over his last three games.
W – Nikita Kucherov (TB) – $8,200 vs. BOS
Kucherov has been real quiet this series as he’s yet to register a point through the first three games. Given I think Stamkos can turn his scoring fortunes around tonight, I want to have Kucherov here when it happens. Obviously, you aren’t going to keep this guy down long as he racked up 39 goals and an even 100 points in the regular season and followed that up with a monster five-goal, five-assist performance across five games in the New Jersey series in round one.
W – Tomas Hertl (SJ) – $5,300 vs. VGK
Like Couture, Hertl is having a real nice series against the Golden Knights. He has scored in back-to-back games and now has five goals and two assists across eight postseason games so far. He skates with Couture in all situations including a spot on the top power play unit. He bagged 22 goals on 175 shots in the regular season, with six of those tallies coming on the man advantage. Let’s look for this duo to keep up the good work tonight in Vegas.
W – David Backes (BOS) – $4,600 vs. TB
The Bruins are certainly going to be a challenge for the Bolts tonight so I want to ensure I get some Boston exposure here. Backes hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire in these playoffs with just two goals and one assist across 10 postseason contests, but that’s exactly what should keep his ownership down entering tonight’s Game 4. He still had a decent season despite fighting injuries with 14 goals on 160 shots across just 57 regular season contests.
W – Danton Heinen (BOS) – $3,600 vs. TB
Heinen and Backes should form a low-owned mini-stack tonight as they skate on the third line together at 5v5 play. Like Backes, Heinen has been quiet in these playoffs, scoring just one goal across nine postseason contests so far. He enjoyed a real nice rookie season though, scoring 16 goals and recorded 47 points on 135 shots in 77 games. He may not see power play time, but a low-owned tally from Heinen would go a long way tonight.
D – Victor Hedman (TB) – $5,800 vs. BOS
I like the fact we are now getting Hedman at a discounted price. He’s been productive lately, notching four assists and 11 shots and six blocks across his last three contests. Of course, Hedman is logging big-time minutes on the Lightning blueline as he’s skated 24+ minutes in each game this series and skated more than 27 minutes in three of the five round one games. He forms a 5v5 and PP1 three-man stack with Stamkos and Kucherov tonight.
D – Marc-Edouard Vlasic (SJ) – $4,300 vs. VGK
He doesn’t form a power play stack with Couture and Hertl, however Vlasic gives us exposure to both power play units while he certainly forms a 5v5 stack with the duo. Vlasic is a cross-category contributor as he scored 11 goals, added 21 assists, took 161 shots and blocked 174 in the regular season. He has just a pair of assists in eight playoff games so far, but is averaging four blocks per game in this series and had as many as nine in one game.
G – Martin Jones (SJ) – $8,000 vs. VGK
Like we did on Wednesday, I am going to roll with Martin Jones at a real nice price. Jones rewarded us with a shutout in that contest, and after playing poorly for the first three games, I think that bounce back effort is exactly what he needed to get going again. When Jones gets going, he has the ability to be one of the best goalies in the league. Considering he posted a .970 Sv% in the first round and owns a career 2.01 GAA and .927 Sv% in the playoffs, I will accept the risk and roll with Jones tonight.
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