Monday’s NHL slate features four series that are all at 2-1, with four different teams all looking to even things up at two games apiece. There are some major injuries that have popped up in recent games, so this seems like an especially important day to follow the news and stay on top of the line combinations. For now, we’ve got you covered with the current statuses and best guesses for each of the teams in question.
Vladislav Namestnikov ($3,800)
The Avalanche were forced to shake up their line combinations for Game 3 against the Arizona Coyotes, as top-six forward Vladislav Namestnikov ($3,800) missed the game after suffering an injury in Game 2. The Avalanche responded by realigning their top forwards with Nathan MacKinnon ($8,500), Mikko Rantanen ($7,100) and Gabriel Landeskog ($5,800) playing almost the entire game together on the first line. The second and third lines got pretty jumbled, however, so there’s a lot of uncertainty for the Avs’ depth heading into Game 4. Namestnikov’s status will be worth keeping an eye on, as his return would surely impact the second and third line combinations.
David Pastrnak ($7,700), Anders Bjork ($2,500)
The Bruins were without their star forward David Pastrnak ($7,700) again in Game 3 and he’s questionable to play in Game 4. The Bruins were able to win Game 3 without him (after losing Game 2) to take a 2-1 series lead and Boston figures to keep the same line combinations if Pastrnak sits again. In Game 2, Karson Kuhlman ($2,500) skated on the top line with Patrice Bergeron ($7,300) and Brad Marchand ($6,500) but Kuhlman also missed Game 3 and Anders Bjork ($2,500) wound up taking his spot. If Bjork can remain there for Game 4, he’ll certainly become a viable DFS option for today’s slate.
EDITOR’S NOTE: David Pastrnak has been ruled out for tonight’s Game 4 vs. the Hurricanes.
Andrei Svechnikov ($6,100)
In a series that already features one major injury (Pastrnak), the Hurricanes are now faced with playing Game 4 without their own star player in Andrei Svechnikov ($6,100), who injured his leg in Game 3. Svechnikov hasn’t been ruled out for the playoffs just yet but it seems likely that the Hurricanes will be playing without him at least for the rest of this round. It’s a major loss but the Hurricanes do have a lot of forward depth and it’ll be interesting to see how they shuffle their lines in Svechnikov’s absence. This is a team that has already done a ton of line mixing in this series, so it’s really anyone’s guess what the lines will look like in Game 4. Nino Niederreiter ($3,000) had already taken Svechnikov’s spot on the first line even before the injury, so this is the one stable grouping as it seems likely he’ll remain up there with Sebastian Aho ($7,100) and Teuvo Teravainen ($5,600).
EDITOR’S NOTE: Andrei Svechnikov has been ruled out for tonight’s Game 4 vs. the Bruins.
St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,200), Alexander Steen ($2,500)
The Blues were able to win last night’s Game 3 against the Vancouver Canucks and pull within 2-1 in the series, but they did so without two key forwards in Alexander Steen ($2,500) and, more notably, Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,200). Both players are questionable again for tonight’s Game 4 and Tarasenko in particular is a concern because he missed the majority of the 2019-2020 NHL season with a shoulder injury. He’s also arguably the team’s most dynamic offensive player and it’ll be tough for the Blues to continue to climb back in the series without him.
This is another tough situation to figure out in terms of line combinations, especially because it’s the last game on the slate and without the injury news updates there’s no way to know how the lines will shake out. The Blues went with a more balanced approach in Game 3, separating Brayden Schenn ($5,000) from his usual line mates and uniting him with Tyler Bozak ($3,100) and Oskar Sundqvist ($2,900), so if Tarasenko and Steen do miss the game we can probably expect to see this again.
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