NHL.com's fantasy staff will provide daily picks for DraftKings NHL games during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs (until end of conference finals). This article includes expensive and value plays and should be used as a basis for your roster decision-making.
TOP CENTER: Ryan Johansen, NSH ($6,100) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 0.0
Johansen has been locked into an intense battle with Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler in the Western Conference Final, but it hasn't slowed down the Nashville Predators center's outstanding Stanley Cup Playoff production. He has tied the Nashville record for most points (13 through 12 games) in a single postseason after three straight multipoint outings (5.5 DraftKings points in each). The Predators have won nine straight home playoff games dating to the 2016 postseason, and Johansen has seven points in the span. He's priced well below Sidney Crosby ($8,300), Evgeni Malkin ($8,200) and Ryan Getzlaf ($7,700), opening up plenty of DraftKings roster flexibility.
Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Johansen strikes on early breakaway
VALUE CENTER: Kyle Turris, OTT ($5,200) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 6.0
The Ottawa Senators' forward group has excelled in big moments this postseason. Turris is one of six Senators with multiple overtime points (two) this postseason; the others are defenseman Erik Karlsson (two) and forwards Bobby Ryan (three), Mark Stone (two), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (two) and Alexandre Burrows (two). Turris has been an underrated component of Ottawa's run to the Eastern Conference Final, shouldering a heavy workload on a nightly basis. He leads Senators forwards in ice time per game (21:10) and is due for better scoring fortunes with one goal on 18 SOG in six home playoff games.
TOP WING: Jakob Silfverberg, ANA ($6,300) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 1.0
With all due respect to the stellar postseason performance of Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, how can you not spend up for Silfverberg at this point? He leads the NHL with 53 SOG and has 13 points in 13 playoff games. He's one of two Ducks (Getzlaf) and eight players from the remaining playoff teams who are averaging a point per game or better. Silfverberg, a fixture with Kesler at even strength, has two goals, two blocks and seven SOG in two games this series (5.3 DraftKings points per game), giving him four goals in five games against Nashville this season. He's also seeing plenty of power-play time (3:11 per game) in the playoffs. Silfverberg is averaging 5.0 DraftKings points per game this postseason compared to 3.3 in the regular season (+1.69 differential). The only remaining players with higher DraftKings point differentials than Silfverberg are Rinne (+2.93), Getzlaf (+1.94) and Marc-Andre Fleury (+1.81), according to data provided by DraftKings.
Video: NSH@ANA, Gm2: Silfverberg slides home Rakell's dish
VALUE WING: James Neal, NSH ($4,800) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 0.5
Neal is tied for 17th in goals per game (0.35; minimum 200 games played) over the past three regular seasons since he was traded from Pittsburgh to Nashville in 2014. He has become known for his streaky goal scoring, with no better example being his stretch of five goals on 29 SOG in his past seven postseason games dating to Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round against the St. Louis Blues. Neal is averaging 5.1 DraftKings points per game against the Ducks this season, and is somehow still priced below $5,000 for Game 3 at home. Take advantage of this value as long as it lasts.
Video: NSH@SJS: Neal beats Jones on sharp one-timer
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Erik Karlsson, OTT ($7,500) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 3.5
Karlsson leads all defensemen in scoring with 13 points in 14 playoff games. He has been on the ice for all nine of Ottawa's game-winning goals this postseason, including its six overtime goals. The near certainty of Karlsson returning DraftKings value because of his strong peripheral coverage makes him a safer bet compared to the most-expensive remaining forwards. The latest example of Karlsson's high floor is him totaling 4.5 DraftKings points in Game 1 despite not having a point (three blocks, six SOG).
Video: OTT@NYR, Gm6: Karlsson buries Ryan's slick dish
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Mattias Ekholm, NSH ($3,200) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 4.0
Ekholm ranks fourth among Predators defensemen in playoff points (six), but he's been the hottest of the bunch lately and is much cheaper than Roman Josi ($6,000), Ryan Ellis ($5,800) and P.K. Subban ($5,400). Ekholm, priced $700 above the DraftKings minimum, has a three-game point streak totaling four assists, four blocks and eight SOG. He has four assists, 10 blocks and nine SOG in five games against the Ducks this season (3.7 DraftKings points per game) and is in a good spot paired with Subban at even strength.
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Craig Anderson, OTT ($7,700) - DRAFTKINGS POINTS TOTAL: 7.0
Anderson is 4-2-1 with a .914 save percentage at home this postseason, with three of those wins coming in overtime. The unpredictable nature of these playoffs means the margin for the goalie win bonus is razor thin. Anderson has stopped 55 of 57 shots faced through two games this series and has at least 4.2 DraftKings points in eight of his past 10 playoff games. Game 3 is a golden opportunity for Anderson and the Senators to pounce on the depleted Penguins, who will be without forwards Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust and defenseman Justin Schultz.
Video: OTT@PIT, Gm1: Anderson robs Schultz with his pad
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