The Wild and the Golden Knights have played to under five goals in two of their first two games. Game 3 saw a little more action but was also marked by a bit of a self-destruct by Minnesota in the second period. With their season nearly on the line here, you should expect a more concerted defensive effort. Both these teams feature solid goaltending and special teams and have now combined for five or fewer goals in five of their past seven meetings. I like another close low scoring game to develop here.
Top Line Stack
Vegas Golden Knights at Minnesota Wild
William Karlsson ($5,400) — Jonathan Marchessault ($6,300) — Reilly Smith ($4,600)
We have seen this Vegas second-line at times act as the de facto number one for the Golden Knights in terms of production and that’s been the vibe they have been giving off early in this series. These three combined for four points and each played over 19 minutes of ice time in Game 3 as the Golden Knights continue to try and compensate for the loss of Max Pacioretty. His absence has led to lower-scoring games, but it has also given this line a boost in terms of volume and production.
Smith specifically returning to form late in the year has been a big boost and he walks into this game with 12 points and is averaging 3.3 SOG over his past 10 games. As Vegas tries to close out the Wild and return home with a 3-1 lead, expect this affordable trio to keep getting extra opportunities. They’re a good value proposition here against a Wild team that saw some regression on the defensive side in Game 3.
Superstar to Target
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens ($9,200)
Matthews did everything but get on the scoresheet in Game 1, landing eight SOG and 15.0 DKFP in 23 minutes of ice time. The Toronto center didn’t have much issue with Montreal in the regular season as he scored seven times against them in the past seven regular-season meetings. Carey Price ($7,200) is making just his second start since returning from a long IR stint so there’s a possibility for some regression in net for the Canadiens here as well.
The three-game slate doesn’t offer us a ton of high-end scorers either as all three games have O/U set at 5.5. There’s plenty of mid-tier plays worth rostering today, so starting with Matthews shouldn’t leave you hamstrung against the field here at other spots. He only had two stretches where he went more than a single game without a point in the regular season so a quick bounce back should be expected here.
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Value on Offense
Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs ($4,900)
Suzuki played over 20 minutes of ice time in Game 1, and while he didn’t get on the scoresheet and produced just 4.1 DKFP, his usage was encouraging. Playing on a line with Tyler Toffoli ($6,000) and Joel Armia ($3,000), Suzuki should also benefit here from the Maple Leafs' sudden depth issues at center with John Tavares now slated to miss at least two weeks. Still locked in with Toffoli as a member of the PP1, the matchup against the weak penalty kill of the Leafs makes this a fine price to chase Suzuki at.
Kasperi Kapanen, Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders ($3,800)
Kapanen played just over 11 minutes in Game 3 against the Isles, but that was mainly because the team didn’t want to rush back his normal center, Evgeni Malkin ($5,300), into big minutes. Kapanen has been effective with Malkin as his center in the past and has now landed 32 points in 43 games this year for the Penguins, so this price is very solid for that kind of point producer. He landed points against the Islanders in each of the first two games and averaged 10.25 DKFP in those games as well. Any increase in ice time here should give him a great shot at paying off again.
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders ($7,500)
Jarry pulled out the win in Game 3 of the series but really didn't have a great night on the scoresheet, allowing four goals on just 30 shots faced. Jarry is now 7-1-1 over his past 10 apperances and has tended to bounce back quickly from poor games for Pittsburgh, especially in the back half of the year when he played his best hockey. He comes in with two shutouts over his last 10 games and was able to hit the DK save bonus in each of the first two games against the Islanders. The Penguins are small underdogs here, but this price is too cheap for Jarry given how he’s played of late and how underwhelming the Isles can be on offense (22nd in goals scored per game in the regular season).
Value on Defense
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild vs. Vegas Golden Knights ($3,200)
Suter posted a bagel in Game 3 against Vegas, but continued to play big minutes and remains a preferred value target here. The Game 3 anomaly was hard to swallow for fantasy purposes but looking at the slate today there's still nobody who offers a better blend of volume and potential upside at this range. The veteran is getting power-play exposure and has recorded double-digit fantasy points now in two of his past four games, including a 14.0 DKFP effort in Game 2 of this series when he hit the double bonus (blocked shots and SOG). Expect Suter to keep seeing ice and potentially be a little more aggressive here on the offensive end as the Wild look to even the series.
Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens ($5,100)
Rielly looks a little undervalued at this price, especially after he put up a strong opening game. The two-way defenseman landed an assist and had five SOG in Game 1. He’ll likely be asked to do a little more on the power play now too, seeing that the Leafs are down their second-best player in Tavares. Rielly’s averaging 2.4 SOG and 1.4 blocked shots per game, over his past 10 starts, so even if he doesn’t find you multiple points his volume and production elsewhere could still have him pay off. He’s an essential part of any Leafs PP1 stack tonight given the injury issues up front.
Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders ($5,900)
Letang has averaged around 27 minutes per game in this series and got on track offensively with three points in Game 3. The offense was a big boost for the Penguins, who still don’t have a 100% healthy Malkin to rely on. Even better for fantasy purposes is that none of the three points he scored were on the power play so there’s still some room for improvement here as the Penguins' top-5 power-play unit figures to get on track here eventually. Expect Letang to keep playing big minutes as the Penguins try to keep imposing their will with their best skill players. He’s solid upper-tier value under $6K.
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