Welcome to the playoffs! It’s been a real fun regular season putting together these FanDuel NHL DFS lineups for you! That said, now comes the real fun! The slates are going to be shorter, but they won’t lack intensity and excitement. With that said, let’s get into the first slate of the NHL playoffs which contains a trio of games!
C – Evgeni Malkin (PIT) – $9,200 vs. PHI
One of the best rivalries in sports will begin another chapter tonight as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Flyers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series. The home side was red-hot down the stretch offensively and Malkin seemed to be red-hot all season long. He finished the season ranked fourth in both goals scored and points with 42 and 98, respectively. He is a beast on the power play with 38 power play points, good for third, while he also threw 239 shots on goal. He will be a lot to handle for a so-so Flyers’ blueline.
C – Brian Little (WPG) – $4,600 vs. MIN
While the Penguins are my top stack of the night, I obviously expect some goal scoring from the Jets on home ice tonight against the Minnesota Wild. We don’t have a ton of money to spend on the Jets, however, so let’s dial up a cost-efficient Jets stack beginning here with Little. Little’s disappointing season was likely the reason the Jets went out an acquired Paul Stastny as Little tallied just 16 goals and 43 points on 129 shots. That said, those aren’t horrific numbers by any means as Little is set to center the third line, but also the second power play unit where the Jets have been on fire all season.
W – Patric Hornqvist (PIT) – $6,600 vs. PHI
This is really a guy to keep an eye on in this series. Hornqvist was absolutely scoring hot while finishing out the regular season, scoring a goal in each of his last five games while notching 11 goals over his last 14 games. He is a beast on the power play with 15 of his 29 goals scored this season coming on the man advantage while he also fired 247 shots on goal as well. Keep in mind all of this was done while missing 12 games with injury, so look out for the gritty Finn in this first round series.
W – Phil Kessel (PIT) – $7,800 vs. PHI
Kessel should also be a feared Penguin in this first round bout. He finished the regular season white-hot as well, posting four goals and three assists over his last four games. Those tallies gave him 33 goals on the season to go along with 58 helpers and 261 shots on goal. Kessel’s 41 power play points was the top mark in the NHL, 12 of which were goals. Kessel was excellent in the playoffs last season and figures to be a big-time threat this time around. He also gives us a three-man PP1 stack, which is nice considering the Penguins sport the league’s top power play at a 26.2% clip this season.
W – Mathieu Perreault (WPG) – $3,600 vs. MIN
A value play at first glance, and part of a three-man Jets stack as well. Perreault is no regular value play as he’s fully capable of scoring goals as evidenced by the 17 goals he scored this season. Perreault also added 22 assists on the campaign while firing 139 shots on goal. Let’s also consider he put up these numbers while missing 12 games with injury. Six of his 17 goals came on the power play where he will skate with Little tonight, so I’m liking the upside of these cost-effective Jets.
W – Wayne Simmonds (PHI) – $5,000 vs. PIT
By his standards, the 24 goals and 46 points Simmonds posted this season would be considered a down season. However, that’s still a real nice reason for people who weren’t perennial 30-goal scorers like he was. Nonetheless, he’s still a beast on the power play with 11 of his 24 goals coming that way while Simmonds also threw a healthy 176 shots on goal as well. Against a weak Penguins’ d-group and goaltender, Simmonds makes sense on this three-game slate, even as a one-off play.
D – Justin Schultz (PIT) – $4,900 vs. PHI
The obvious choice on the blueline in a four-man Penguins stack is Kris Letang, but I required some cost-savings in this lineup so let’s roll with Schultz instead. He still receives some PP1 ice time if Letang is at the end of a shift, and he is an offense-first defenseman with nice instincts. He posted 27 points in 63 games this season, including four over his last four games. He also took 109 shots and blocked 93 in those 63 games, so we get a little bit of everything with Schultz.
D – Tyler Myers (WPG) -$4,300 vs. MIN
Myers completes our three-man Jets stack while he forms a 5v5 and PP2 stack with Little and Perreault. As was the case with Schultz, Myers is a cross-category producer. He posted 36 points, took 150 shots and blocked 119 on the season across all 82 games. He scored three of his six goals on the power play where he should skate as the lone defenseman tonight. This stack should see fairly low ownership despite the Jets being a high-scoring team on a three-game slate.
G – Connor Hellebuyck (WPG) – $8,700 vs. MIN
In terms of pure win upside, I think Hellebuyck is the best bet on the slate. He has a real nice regular season, especially on home ice where he posted a 30-5-2 record with a 2.31 GAA and a .921 Sv%. He faltered down the stretch a little bit, but even if he were to surrender a couple goals tonight, he should have the goal support to get him the win against a Wild offense who was quite brutal on the road this season.
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