Much like last night in the Vegas-Colorado series where our over bet hit, we have a situation here in the Winnipeg-Montreal series that warrants taking advantage of in the totals. While two of the three games in this series have gone over the total, only the first game was a true shootout. Montreal pushed the over in Game 3, but needed the help of a late shorthanded goal. Closing out series are always tough, and Winnipeg bounced back with a solid effort in a low-scoring Game 2 after allowing five goals in Game 1. I’d expect a similar lower-scoring game here with the under looking like a solid bet for me.
I like Barzal as a DFS play today (and will talk more about that below), but his odds on the SOG props also stick out. We’re getting plus-money here on a player who is averaging 2.7 SOG over his past 10 games and has hit the over on this prop now in four of his past five starts. Barzal’s a streaky player, but he’s clearly skating with some confidence right now and is a player who likes to shoot the puck when he’s getting more offensive zone chance. Look for his ice time to potentially go up a little in this pivotal Game 5 and for his SOG volume to stay high here again.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Top Line Stack
Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders
Patrice Bergeron ($7,900) — Brad Marchand ($7,500) — David Pastrnak ($8,300)
The Bruins and Isles play in a massive Game 5 today in Boston, and there’s little doubt who we should be looking to on the Boston end for scoring. Even in Game 4 when the Bruins suffered a 4-1 loss (allowing two empty-netters) the Perfection line managed eight SOG and two points with only Bergeron going pointless. The Bruins are at home today, though, and that has been a good place for them so far in the playoffs, as they’ve outscored opponents 15-9 in Boston (and are 3-0-1 there in the 2021 playoffs).
The Islanders have obviously made a series of this now but have still been the worse defensive team for the most part and allowed 82 SOG in the first two games in Boston alone. Even if their goalkeeping keeps them in it again here, the shots should pile up quickly for this line that scored 10 points altogether in the first two games in Boston. The other game on this slate also features a fading Jets squad and a Canadiens team without any dominant trio to stack. Spending up here feels almost like a necessity given the slate breakdown today, especially now that the series is back in Boston, where this top line has done its best playoff work.
Superstar to Target
Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders at Boston Bruins ($6,300)
If you’re a Bruins fan, you can’t like the fact Barzal has finally awoken from his playoff slumber. The center only recorded three assists in the first series against the Penguins but has now grabbed points in three straight games and had his best game of the playoffs in Game 4 with a goal and an assist in just over 16 minutes of ice time. Barzal was first on the team in points and second in goals this year, so just the fact that the Islanders got this far without him doing much has to be scary for Boston, who now has to deal with three legit scoring lines.
From a fantasy perspective, he can be massively point-dependent but has also fired 11 shots on goal over his past three games and has only fired less than three shots on goal in two of his past nine games. The center remains very affordable and can be stacked with either regular winger Jordan Eberle ($4,100) or a multitude of other power-play regulars like Anthony Beauvillier ($5,700) or Jean-Gabriel Pageau ($4,600-see below). Outside of the Boston big guns, Barzal might legitimately have the best upside of any forward on the slate and remains fairly priced here.
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Value on Offense
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, New York Islanders at Boston Bruins ($4,600)
One reason the Isles have been able to keep this series close is the balanced scoring they’ve been getting upfront. Pageau has been a big part of that as their third-line winger has been contributing in big ways on the scoresheet. Pageau comes in averaging a point-per-game and 12.0 DKFP over his past 10 starts and is even getting power-play exposure right now on the PP1 for fantasy owners. The versatile center is averaging over 18 minutes per game and makes for a great value play on his own or can be paired with winger Kyle Palmieri ($3,800), who has also really picked up his production in these playoffs.
Artturi Lehkonen, Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets ($2,800)
Lehkonen has been one of the biggest surprises/additions for the Canadiens in this series against the Jets. The 25-year-old came back from injury at the perfect time for the Habs —who were dealing with the Jake Evans injury — and now has points in two straight games. He played well over 16 minutes in Game 3 and landed a team-leading seven SOG and a goal. The Lehkonen-Brendan Gallagher ($5,300) pairing seems to be picking up steam, and they make for a nice value combo here with Lehkonen being a great play on his own at barely over the min-price.
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets ($8,000)
I went against Price yesterday and paid the proverbial price for it as he stopped 26-of-27 shots faced in Game 3 and put the Jets on the brink of elimination. I am expecting a closer game in Game 4, and, for GPP purposes, on a two-game slate, you’ll probably get far lower ownership on Connor Hellebuyck ($7,600) today. Still, if we’ve learned anything yet in these playoffs it’s that one does not fade playoff Price.
Since returning to the lineup, Price has posted a .938 save percentage, a 1.97 GAA and has averaged 19.3 DKFP per game. The Jets got some help back upfront for Game 3 in Paul Stastny ($3,600), and it didn’t matter one bit. They look like goners here, and Price is in a great spot to pick up the win with Montreal -150 favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook. He’s the preferred pay-up option today for me with the other series picking up lately from a goal-scoring perspective.
Value on Defense
Scott Mayfield, New York Islanders at Boston Bruins ($4,100)
Despite a good forward crew, the Isles don’t get a ton of offense from their defense. That doesn’t mean that we can’t look to them for fantasy purposes, though, and Mayfield has been a great target in daily fantasy since the playoffs began. Despite lacking much, if any, power-play exposure Mayfield has still managed to average 2.1 SOG per game over the last 10 games, and, more importantly, has averaged a healthy 2.8 blocked shots over that same span. In fact, Mayfield has now recorded 17 blocked shots in his past five games alone and hit the bonus in blocked shots in four of his past 10 starts. If you’re not worried about stacking up your forwards with a more offensive defenseman and just want the best pure value in this range, then it’s hard to do better than Mayfield who has now played over 22 minutes in each of the past three games for the Isles.
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens vs. Winnipeg Jets ($5,100)
Weber seems likely to play big minutes in Game 4 for the Canadiens as they try and close out their series with the Jets. Defensive partner Jeff Petry ($5,100; upper body, questionable) left Game 3 early with an injury, and if he were to miss Game 4 or be limited even just a little, then Weber’s minutes would certainly go up in this spot. The veteran has played over 25 minutes in each of the past two games and should likely see that time stretched a bit in Game 4. He has grabbed at least two blocked shots now in four of the past five games and does still see some power-play time, which is where he picked up an assist in Game 1. The Jets don’t have the greatest penalty kill anyways and have allowed two power-play goals in the series already so stacking up on the special teams here for Montreal could be a nice way to be contrarian in rosters today.
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