We have a four-game main slate for today’s action with several key injuries to keep track of. Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues has been ruled out and the Bruins’ David Pastrnak is questionable. His return would be huge for the Bruins, who are up 3-1 in their series and are looking to close out the Hurricanes today. The Canes’ Andrei Svechnikov remains out and seems unlikely to return anytime soon.
St. Louis and Vancouver remain tied 2-2, but the Canucks could get Tyler Toffoli back tonight. The Avalanche are up 3-1 on the Coyotes and can close out the series today. Conor Garland and Vladislav Namestnikov are both questionable for the game. We also have Philly vs. Montreal, where the Flyers haven’t allowed a goal in two games and can close out the series here with a win. The first game of the DraftKings main slate (BOS/CAR) is set to begin at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Top Line Stacks
STL vs. VAN
Ryan O’Reilly ($5,200) –David Perron ($5,800) –Jaden Schwartz ($5,500)
The Blues have fought back well in this series and come into a pivotal game five tonight with some rearranged lines. Vladimir Tarasenko being out means Ryan O’Reilly takes over top-line center duties and the former Avalanche player showcased his terrific postseason chops once again in game four by posting two goals, an assist and 32.1 DKFP. The center has now hit double-digit DKFP in each of his last three games, is playing well over 21 minutes per game in this series and is far too cheap at just $5.2K.
David Perron has been great too, averaging over four SOG per game in this series, and his slight price increase isn’t really bothersome here given the matchup. Vancouver gave up the fourth-most SOG per game in the regular season and has given up 34.5 SOG per game since the restart began. This trio should play together all night, both at even strength and on the power-play, and remain a superb, affordable, first-line to begin lineups with on this slate.
Superstar to Target
Patrice Bergeron ($7,300), BOS vs. CAR
Bergeron has now recorded 12 SOG over his last two games and has been more aggressive on the offensive side since David Pastrnak ($7,700) left this series with an injury. Pastrnak is questionable to play in today’s game, as of writing, and even if he does play it remains to be seen how much ice he’ll actually see. The Bruins can eliminate the Canes here and given how good Bergeron has been at getting his shot through in the last two contests, a bigger offensive outburst in game five for the now 35-year-old center seems quite possible. While Boston’s scoring has been more spread out of late, expect their captain to carry load here against a Carolina team who has allowed seven goals in their last two games and is allowing over 33 SOG per game since the restart.
Value on Offense
Justin Williams ($3,700), CAR at BOS
Williams has picked up some of the minutes left behind by Andrei Svechnikov, who is out for this game. The veteran played over 16 minutes in game four, scoring a goal and recording five SOG. While you shouldn’t expect a banner night like that from him every game, his minutes have increased in each of his last three starts and he’s now taking regular minutes on their first line power play. That kind of role, alone, makes Williams an enticing target here at under $4K, and the fact the Bruins have just lost their best goalie and Williams has a great knack for producing in the playoffs makes him an even headier target at this price.
Michael Raffl ($2,500), PHI vs. MTL
Raffl’s a player who has produced decent games in spurts during his career and is again getting a chance to shine with the top-6 in Philly. The 31-year-old scored a goal in the Flyers’ last game, playing over 14 minutes and saw regular ice time alongside Sean Couturier ($6,600) in the last game. This series hasn’t been great for offense, but the Philly side definitely seems worth taking some shots with in DFS, especially as they are spreading out their offense for a more balanced attack. Raffl’s getting better minutes than many other higher-priced forwards in this series and makes for a good minimum-priced stack with the Flyers’ number one center.
Jake Allen ($7,600), STL vs. VAN
Allen took over for the Blues in net in Game 2 and since then has stopped 61 of 64 shots against. It’s been a close series, and injuries have been a factor for both sides, but you have to like the price you’re getting here on a goalie whose team heads into this game as -145 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook (as of writing). The Blues have also been allowing a few more SOG per game than they did in the regular season which only adds to Allen’s upside. He’s produced 27 or more DKFP in two of his last three starts and is looks to be in a great spot to grab you a win. There’s no better value in net on this slate.
Philipp Grubauer ($8,400), COL vs. ARZ
It’s not pretty but paying up for Grubauer and looking for value plays at other positions today might be the safest play in net today. The Avalanche have clearly dominated the Coyotes thus far, allowing just 36 SOG in the last two games combined. Those kinds of numbers definitely kill some of the upside today for Grubauer, whose team enters this game as the biggest favorites on the slate at -210 on DraftKings Sportsbook (as of writing). Still, paying up on a small slate for a win isn’t the worst idea and Grubauer likely has the best shot at the shutout bonus on the slate. With few attractive cheap options to choose from, he makes sense as a high-end target here.
Value on Defense
Jakob Chychrun ($3,700), ARZ at COL
Chychrun still isn’t playing huge minutes as he’s averaging just 19 minutes per game in this series. Still, the American is producing in several different peripheral categories for fantasy purposes and scored the only goal for the Coyotes in their 7-1 blowout loss in game four. Averaging 2.5 SOG and 1.7 blocked shots per game over his last 10 starts, it’s hard to find fault with him at this price tag, especially considering the lack of better options at his position on this small slate. It’s possible the Coyotes decide to expand Chychrun’s role a bit in game five with their season on the line as he accounted for three of the teams 15 SOG in game four. Either way, he’s again a solid DFS value to target here for those in need of savings on defense.
Power Play Defensemen
Dougie Hamilton ($6,400), CAR at BOS
I wrote about Hamilton’s more affordable price tag a few of games ago, and since then, he’s produced 14 SOG and eight blocked shots (in three games). Hamilton isn’t playing the massive minutes he might have been had he been fully up to speed before this series began, but he’s seeing plenty of power play time and remains the Canes’ best option on the blueline in that regard. This is projected to be one of the tightest games on the slate, so you should expect Carolina to play Hamilton as much as possible on special teams. He’s worth paying up for and using in a contrarian-type stack too, as Carolina is a quality enough team to breakout for at least one game against the Bruins and push this series a little further.
Cale Makar ($6,000), COL vs. ARZ
The Avalanche dominated the Coyotes in game four of this series and feel extremely likely to move on to the next round after today’s game. Makar has upped his point production since the restart began and comes into this game with a four-game point streak, which includes two points from the last game. Arizona’s allowed over 39 SOG per game in the bubble and feel like they’re on life support here. Targeting Makar and pairing him with one or more of the Colorado forwards today will likely be a chalky move but also a correct one. The Coyotes and their bottom-three penalty-kill will be hard-pressed to stop the Avalanche from piling in a few more goals here and ending the series today.
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