The playoffs roll on tonight as four Game 2’s are set to be contested. After competing for just under 9-periods, in what was easily the game of the “bubble” thus far, the CBJ and TBL will meet again just 48 hours after the historic game took place. How the teams will react is anyone’s best guess. Steven Stamkos still remains day-to-day for Tampa but seems unlikely to see the ice here.
As for the rest of the games, the Hurricanes got back Dougie Hamilton ($6,200) in Game 1 of their series against the Bruins but could be without another defenseman in Sami Vatanen ($4,400) for Game 2. He’s likely the biggest name to keep an eye on in terms of pregame announcements.
Top Line Stacks
VGK vs. CHI
Paul Stastny ($4,600) – Jonathan Marchessault ($6,100) – Reilly Smith ($5,000)
The Golden Knights second-line went to town in the first game of this series, landing five points and two goals as a trio. Reilly Smith did most of the scoreboard damage, potting both of the goals, but Marchessault had a monster game himself, posting two assists and six SOG. It’s generally a bad idea to chase big games but this line is likely going to be in a great position to score all series. Jonathan Toews ($5,800) should be matched up against the Golden Knights top line most nights, leaving the thin Blackhawks with no other real shutdown defensive presence to slow these three.
The other factor here is price. Despite this game having the largest puck total on the slate at 6.0 currently, the prices on all three players only moved by one $100 or $200 dollars on DraftKings, making them easy to fit in. Vegas has now scored 15 goals in its last three games and more offense seems likely tonight, making these three a great stacking target here once again.
Superstar to Target
Patrick Kane ($7,400), CHI at VGK
The Blackhawks were stifled in Game 1, managing just 20 shots on goal in a poor 4-1 loss. While I expect Vegas to win this series handily, I also expect the Hawks offense to show up at some point and make some of these games much closer than what we saw in Game 1. Kane has cooled off since a hot start in the bubble against Edmonton, but this feels like a great low sentiment spot to reinvest in the winger. Vegas-Chicago has the highest puck total of the night at 6 and Kane, despite recording just four SOG in his last two games, has now averaged five SOG over his last 10-starts. Despite the tough matchup, its also worth noting that Vegas featured a bottom five penalty-kill during the regular season, an area where Kane generally shines having recorded eight of his 34 goals this year. He’s a solid core play here on a night where stacking Blackhawk and Golden Knight players could pave the way to big fantasy totals.
Value on Offense
Alex Killhorn ($4,100), TB vs. CLS
The Lightning weren’t able to get anything going on the power play in Game 1 but with players fatigued from such a long OT its possible the penalty-kills will be more vulnerable here in Game 2. Killhorn has been an integral part of Tampa’s PP1 for much of the year and even more so in this bubble with Steven Stamkos (questionable) out. He’s landed two power-play points in his last three games and averaged 18 minutes a game during the regular season. If you don’t want to pay up for the big names in this series, Killhorn is a great pivot considering the low salary and power-play exposure he gives you.
Kirby Dach ($3,500), CHI vs. VGK
Dach got shutdown for the most part by a deeper Vegas squad in Game 1 of the series. Still, the rookie played over 21 minutes and seems unlikely to have them cut at any point considering the Hawks lack of depth down the middle. As mentioned above, this is a good buy-low spot on the Chicago forwards, who still carry a lot of upside on a nightly basis. Dach is also an easy stacking target with Patrick Kane ($7,400), but makes for a good one-off play on his own considering the minutes he’s seeing and power-play exposure he brings.
Ben Bishop ($7,700), DAL vs. CGY
Bishop hasn’t played for the Stars since the first game of the round robin—when he let in four goals on 32 shots—but seems likely to get the start in Game 2 after Anton Khudobin ($7,500) struggled in the opener. The veteran did struggle down the stretch, but his .919 save percentage this season is solid and he’s going up against a Flames offense that can be fairly mediocre. Calgary was just 20th in goals per game this season and was held in check for the most part in Game 1 of the series, other than a couple of bad goals allowed by Khudobin. If Bishop gets the start, he and the Stars seem likely to be small favorites on the puck line, making his salary very target-able for Game 2.
Petr Mrazek ($7,500), CAR at BOS
Mrazek was handed his first loss of the NHL bubble/playoffs when the Bruins scored on him in double-OT to end the game. The Czech has played well since the restart though, posting save percentages of .900 or better in each of his three starts now, and has a .911 mark over his last 10 games. Despite the loss, the Canes played the Bruins tough and were only done in by a great night from Boston’s top line. Even a small regression from that trio seems likely to tip the scales in Carolina’s favor making Mrazek a solid GPP option for Game 2.
Value on Defense
Alec Martinez ($4,000), VGK vs. CHI
Martinez continued to be an integral part of the Golden Knights backend in Game 1 of their series with Chicago, posting four blocked shots and landing an assist in just over 20 minutes of ice-time. Martinez was one of the best pickups of the trade deadline and he’s seemed to immediately flourish with the Golden Knights, eating up big chunks of minutes every night. While he’s not taking over from Shea Theodore ($6,600) on the PP1 anytime soon, he still carries good offensive skill and should get some backend PP2 exposure every game. The big draw here though is the big minutes and blocked shots he’s been producing. Martinez has averaged 3.2 blocked shots per game over his last 10 outings. When you add in a cheap salary and the fact he’s on a solid offensive squad in a very positive match-up, Martinez ends up coming out as one of the better values for tonight at his position.
Miro Heiskanen ($4,500), DAL vs. CGY
Heiskanen might cede some PP1 time to John Klingberg ($4,200), but he’s still been the best Stars defenseman to target for fantasy purposes this year. The second-year player has scored 40 points in 70 games this season and has been the clear workhorse for the Stars on the backend since the bubble began—playing over 25 minutes per game in their last two outings. He’s been far better at getting his shot through compared to Klingberg as well, landing 11 SOG over his last two games, including six in the first game of this series. With Dallas now down a game, expect them to keep Heiskanen busy in Game 2. He’s a player who could get more power-play exposure if the current first unit continues to falter.
Dougie Hamilton ($6,200), CAR at BOS
Hamilton returned from injury in Game 1 of the series with Boston, skating 26 minutes in the double OT game while recording three blocked shots. It had been over six months since Hamilton played, so conditioning is a factor here, but this is a player who was consistently going off at over $7,000 on DraftKings before he went on IR. The Canes are banged up on the backend so don’t expect them to ease Hamilton into the rest of this series. He’s a risky target in some regards, but if all you care about is upside you almost have to take advantage of this price. He’s a solid GPP target and a good stacking target with Carolina’s PP1 forwards.
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