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NHL Picks: DraftKings Fantasy Hockey DFS Cheat Sheet for Lightning vs. Avalanche on June 20

Geoff Ulrich gives his top NHL picks and lineup advice for the Stanley Cup Final Game 3 fantasy hockey slate on DraftKings.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Tampa Bay Lightning at Colorado Avalanche Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Monday features Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final and a single-game NHL slate, which begins at 8:00 p.m. ET on DraftKings. In this article, you will find DFS advice for DraftKings lineups.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $80K Kick Save [$20K to 1st] (COL vs TB)

Captain’s Picks

Andrei Vasilevskiy ($13,500)

We played for the big Colorado win in Game 2, but for Game 3, look for Vasilevskiy to finally make his mark in this series. He has been far better at home in these playoffs, posting three consecutive wins vs. the Rangers on home ice in the last series, with save percentages of .933 or better in all three of those wins. From an upside perspective, there’s simply a better chance we get a slate-breaking type of game from Vasilevskiy in Game 3, given the Avalanche have nearly double the shots as Tampa Bay, which should boost Vasilevskiy’s save potential once again. With Tampa Bay at -110 on the money line for Game 3, now is the time to look for the former Conn Smythe winner to finally make his mark in this series.

Nathan MacKinnon ($17,100)

We’ve targeted MacKinnon in this spot in both Games 2 and 3 but have yet to land on the true breakout game. MacKinnon does have two assists in this series and eight SOG, though, but he has almost been more important from a defensive standpoint for Colorado to this point. That could change in Game 3, especially if Tampa finally jumps out to a lead. MacKinnon has looked good, and Colorado still has a solid 3.1 implied goal total for this game (the exact same as Tampa Bay’s). The Avalanche center is getting his chances, so if you’re keen on staying with Colorado for the win again Monday, paying up for MacKinnon makes sense.

Nikita Kucherov ($14,100)

When the Lightning got down 2-0 to the Rangers last series, it was Kucherov who stepped up on home ice and landed four points in the next two games to help tie the series. The winger has been the team’s best forward for most of the playoffs and makes the most sense as the man who will lead a Lightning comeback. Tampa’s role players are good at chipping in here and there, but none of them truly have that requisite upside to be good value captains for the showdown format. With Victor Hedman ($12,000 CP; $8,000) clearly stuck in a defensive-minded role with the Avalanche’s strength at five-on-five, looking to Kucherov as your other higher-priced captain option from Tampa makes sense Monday, as well.

Flex Options

Valeri Nichushkin ($7,200)

This series has been a massive coming out party for Nichushkin, who has grabbed four points and 11 shots on goal in two games. Expect Tampa Bay to use their home ice shift advantage in this game to try and slow down Nichushkin, but also don’t be surprised if the he ends up paying off again anyway. He’s still relatively affordable for a winger who is seeing most of his minutes come alongside MacKinnon and who gets us great access to Colorado’s special teams. He’s a must-play if captaining MacKinnon but also a solid upper-tier flex option on his own.

Anthony Cirelli ($6,200)

With Tampa Bay at home, you can likely look a little further down their lineup Monday for some potential goals as they try to bounce back from the Game 2 embarrassment. Cirelli has been a pivotal player for them all postseason, and while a lot of his value comes on the defensive side, he’s still seeing some of the highest on-ice usage for Tampa outside of their big first line. Cirelli has also been far better offensively at home this year, with 13 of his 18 goals scored coming in Tampa Bay. Looking to him is a good way to get more Tampa Bay exposure in showdown lineups, and he’s someone you should almost expect to see play 18-plus minutes Monday, given the do or die nature of this game for the Lightning.

Alex Killorn ($4,600)

One player the Lightning will need to step soon if they are going to win this series is Killorn. The lack of depth scoring for Tampa Bay has been issue for much of the year, and Killorn is a player they’ve relied on in the past for timely goals. He’s still getting solid second-line minutes but has now gone an incredible 23 games without a goal. That’s not very good for fantasy purposes, but it’s also helped drive his salary down to the point where using him as a flex option makes some sense for those expecting a Tampa Bay win. If he doesn't break out of the slump in Game 3, he may not even be in the lineup for the rest of the series, so view this as a kind of do or die game for Killorn for fantasy purposes.


Andrei Vasilevskiy ($13,500 CP) — Ondrej Palat ($7,000) — Nikita Kucherov ($9,400)

We played for the Colorado domination win in Game 2, but I would expect a bounce-back of sorts from Tampa Bay in Game 3. As mentioned above, Vasilevskiy has been much better at home in these playoffs, and we should also expect Tampa Bay to slow the pace down a bit, making goals potentially harder to come by. A lower-scoring game with Tampa winning would likely see Vasilevskiy be one of the top three scorers and also give huge bumps to any Tampa Bay goal scorers. With Palat playing well (and still with a cheap salary) alongside Kucherov, he makes sense as a stacking partner beside the winger, who has carried Tampa’s offense throughout these playoffs.

Set your DraftKings fantasy hockey lineups here: NHL Showdown $80K Kick Save [$20K to 1st] (COL vs TB)

I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.

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