When I decide on my evening’s players, I put heavy emphasis on teams that are home since they have last line change. The wily strategists these coaches are know who they put out for their matchup is vital to a team’s success. Tonight on DraftKings I’m targeting the Penguins-Rangers game that Vegas likes to go over 5.5 goals.
G: F. Andersen, Anaheim – $7,900
Anaheim has their back against the wall already in these playoffs and look to get back within one tonight in Nashville. Head Coach Boudreau challenged his team and I expect them to step up to support Andersen tonight. Andersen was terrific all season, finishing with a 0.919 save percentage and 2.31 goals against average culminating in 22 wins.
D: B. Skjei, NY Rangers – $2,600
This kid is the value play of the night, priced improperly because he is new and has yet to catch up to the algorithm DraftKings uses over a certain amount of games played. He has 19 blocked shots and 13 shots on goal, and played 19-plus minutes last game. On average he’s putting up 17.5 minutes per game, in part because he’s playing on the second power play unit. There is tremendous upside here with low risk. He’s a must play to help open up for space for a higher priced player tonight.
D: K. Bieksa, Anaheim – $3,500
Bieksa is healthy and back on the point for a desperate Anaheim team that needs firepower as well as strong defense. Bieksa plays on the second power play unit and is paired with Cam Fowler on defense. Look for Bieksa to shoot the puck and block a few shots tonight against Nashville team looking to finish off Anaheim.
W: M. Zuccarello, NY Rangers – $6,000
Zuccarello is playing much better and contributing to a team that desperately needs his playmaking ability and grittiness. (Without taking penalties!) The team leader in points, I look to him tonight to help the Rangers keep pace with a Penguins team that is scoring goals in bunches.
W: C. Hagelin, Pittsburgh – $4,800
Hagelin will be in familiar surroundings in the Garden tonight against his old team. He was quiet last game and I expect his ownership to be low because of that fact. I also expect Hagelin to have come alive and have good game tonight and contribute with Kessel and Bonino.
W: P. Hornqvist, Pittsburgh – $7,300
Hornqvist and Crosby are posed to have a big night in New York tonight to try and take a series lead. this line will be matched by whomever Coach Vigneault chooses task the responsibility of shutting down the first line. That said, this opens up ice for the other lines but Crosby is too good to contain and will still capitalize on the chances he creates finding open space when there is none.
C: S. Crosby, Pittsburgh – $8,400
Crosby was quiet last game so I was hoping that and his price tag would keep ownership down a little bit tonight. Crosby loves to play in the Garden according to his words from last year, and I expect him to come alive tonight and make life for the Rangers miserable, capitalizing on every defensive mistake New York makes. Hopefully we get something big tonight, in a game Vegas likes to be a shootout in the Big Apple.
C: J.T. Miller, NY Rangers – $4,800
Miller has fallen off a bit but his resurgence last game makes me think that he will have a monster game tonight with his newfound confidence. Miller and Zuccarello can be the difference tonight, especially if Mr. Invisible-in-the-playoffs Nash plays his usual perimeter game and fails to contribute. Miller has a good game tonight and is worth his low price.
Utility: N. Bonino, Pittsburgh – $4,800
Bonino will be a heavy play tonight and definitely a player you can swap if you want to slot another Ranger in. However, Bonino and Kessel have been playing well and I wanted exposure to the two tonight, along with the pair on the first line.
Mixing in the Rangers pair on the second line gives us a solid mixture of three lines in the same game that have the ability to tally multiple points together or as individuals.