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Fantasy: Playoff X-factor for each team in 2018

Sharks could get Thornton back in second round; Copp chipping in for Jets; Golden Knights need more from Perron

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

NHL.com has identified a potential X-factor from each Stanley Cup Playoff team to help round out your postseason roster or provide value in DFS contests.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Playoff ranks | Top 250 for 2018-19Proj. lineups | Cheat sheet

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Kyle Turris, C, NSH: The Nashville Predators forward made an immediate impact providing depth at center and on the second power-play unit after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 6. He finished the regular season tied with Craig Smith for fourth among Predators forwards in points per game (0.65) and was fourth among their skaters in power-play points (17). The Predators will need their second line of Turris, Smith and Kevin Fiala to trade chances with the Winnipeg Jets' potent line of Patrik Laine, Paul Stastny and Nikolaj Ehlers (undisclosed; day to day).

Video: BUF@NSH: Turris rips one home from the slot

Andrew Copp, C, WPG: The Winnipeg Jets forward thrived on their third line during the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Minnesota Wild, totaling three points (one goal, two assists) and seven SOG in five games. Copp will be tasked with shutting down the Predators third line of forwards Nick Bonino, Colton Sissons and Austin Watson, which erupted for 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in the first round against the Colorado Avalanche.

Joe Thornton, C, SJS: The San Jose Sharks center has been out of the lineup since Jan. 23 with an MCL injury. The Sharks forward group stepped up in his absence during the first round, with 10 skaters scoring at least two points in their sweep of the Anaheim Ducks. Thornton is skating but has been ruled out for Game 1 against the Vegas Golden Knights. If Thornton returns at some point in the series, he would either slot in on the top line with forwards Evander Kane and Joe Pavelski or third line with Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc.

David Perron, LW/RW, VGK: The Vegas Golden Knights left wing missed the first two games of their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings with an undisclosed injury. He had one assist and one shot on goal in an average of 15:08 in Games 3 and 4. The Golden Knights' leading scorer in the first round was forward Reilly Smith (three assists), so they will need increased production from secondary scorers like Perron to match the Sharks, who rolled four strong lines against the Ducks. Perron had an NHL career-high 66 points (16 goals, 50 assists) in 70 regular-season games for Vegas.

Video: VGK@NJD: Perron snaps loose puck past Schneider

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Dmitry Orlov, D, WSH: The Washington Capitals defenseman played a pivotal role in shutting down Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Artemi Panarin in the first round. The Capitals had more shot attempts (42-37) when Orlov and Panarin were on the ice together at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick. Orlov scored a goal in Game 6 against the Blue Jackets and had two assists in the series. He has struggled offensively against the Pittsburgh Penguins over the past two postseasons (no goals, one assist in 12 games) and will be matched up against either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin (lower body; day to day). 

Video: WSH@CBJ, Gm6: Orlov rips slap shot by Bobrovsky

Brian Dumoulin, D, PIT: The Penguins defenseman had six points (one goal, five assists) and was plus-7 in six postseason games against the Philadelphia Flyers. He averaged 22:27 per game in the series and continues to elevate his game in the postseason with 20 points (four goals, 16 assists) in 60 games (0.33 points per game) compared to 51 points (seven goals, 44 assists) in 243 regular-season games (0.21).

Mikhail Sergachev, D, TBL: The Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman had two points (one goal, one assist), including one power-play assist, in five games against the New Jersey Devils. He was limited to 10:28 per game in the first round, lowest among Lightning defensemen. Sergachev's shot total (11 in five games) and power-play usage (total of 9:02) are valuable in fantasy, but he will need to play a larger role at even strength to take a further step forward.

Video: TBL@NYI: Sergachev rips slapper for power-play goal

Charlie McAvoy, D, BOS: The Boston Bruins rookie defenseman had one assist in round one against the Toronto Maple Leafs. His one assist was tied-for-last among Bruins defensemen, despite playing the second-most minutes of all skaters (162:04). If McAvoy can be an offensive threat like he was in the regular season (32 points in 63 games), it will help to alleviate pressure from defenseman Torey Krug, who had nine points (two goals, seven assists) in round one.

 

 

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