The Wednesday NHL DFS slate features a group of key Game 5’s, with three of the teams looking to stave off elimination and one other series knotted at 2-2. The action gets going a little later today with a 4 p.m. E.T. start time, beginning with some key injury news to monitor in the game between the Boston Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes.
David Pastrnak ($7,700), Charlie Coyle ($2,900)
Pastrnak has missed the Bruins last two playoff games after sustaining an injury in Game 2 of the series, and he’s questionable to play today as the Bruins look to close out the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 of the first round. In their last game, Boston opened with Anders Bjork ($2,700) on the wing alongside Patrice Bergeron ($7,300) and Brad Marchand ($6,900), but after a slow start they quickly pivoted to Charlie Coyle in place of Bjork.
The Bruins wound up coming back to win the game 4-3 (after trailing 2-0) and even though the first line didn’t contribute a huge share of the production, it stands to reason that the new lines will stick for Game 5 because of the overall result. This is all assuming Pastrnak is out again, so that’ll surely be worth monitoring, but Coyle would be a significant beneficiary if he’s given the chance to continue playing with two of the best players on the roster.
The Canadiens were shut out for the second consecutive game against the Flyers yesterday, and they continued to make adjustments to try to jump start their offense. The Canadiens did win 5-0 in Game 2 back on Friday, so it’s not as if they aren’t capable of strong offensive performances, but they’ve been extremely lackluster in the last two games. In the midst of this scoring drought, Montreal pivoted from their trusted first line of Philip Danault ($4,300), Brendan Gallagher ($6,600), and Tomas Tatar ($5,200), making wholesale changes to their line combinations.
Heading into Game 5, with a 3-1 deficit, it’s anyone’s guess what the lines will look like. Danault, Gallagher, and Tatar is the trio that worked the best for them in the regular season, so it seems logical that they’d return to that group as they did to start Game 4, but there’s almost no question that things will get jumbled again if they trail to start today’s game as well. Simply put, this is a difficult situation to trust right now.
St. Louis Blues
Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,200), Oskar Sundqvist ($2,900)
It looks like the Blues will be without their star winger Vladimir Tarasenko for an extended period of time, as he left the bubble earlier this week to go back to St. Louis to have his surgically repaired shoulder examined. Tarasenko had already missed the last two games, and while it’s obviously a big loss, the Blues did manage to secure the best record in the Western Conference (before the restart) almost entirely without Tarasenko playing.
The Blues also managed to come back from a 2-0 series deficit to even things up, and heading into Game 5 there are some questions about how their line combinations will be arranged. The top line of Jaden Schwartz ($5,500), David Perron ($5,800), and Ryan O’Reilly ($5,200) is clearly bearing a larger burden with Tarasenko gone, but the groups below them were mixed up quite a bit during Game 4. Winger Oskar Sundqvist joined Brayden Schenn ($4,900) and Tyler Bozak ($3,200) on the second during that last game, and he could be worth keeping an eye on if he sticks there for Game 5.
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