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DraftKings lineup: Rinne can bounce back in Game 4

Predators goalie has strong track record at home, against Ducks

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

DraftKings Daily Picks: Thursday

DraftKings Daily NHL Picks for Thursday

The NHL Tonight crew makes its picks for top DraftKings players for Thursday night including Evgeni Malkin and Patrick Kane

  • 01:26 •

C - Ryan Johansen, Nashville Predators ($5,500)

Johansen has gone two games without a point, but has nine in his past 10 games and has been excellent at Bridgestone Arena since joining the Predators via trade. He had 18 points in 20 home games with Nashville during the regular season, and is still centering James Neal, who has 44 shots on goal in his past 10 games. Nashville's offense should respond after being shut out by Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen in Game 3, and Johansen brings power-play exposure and a heavy workload (18:44 per game in 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs) that should translate to DFS value. He's priced 12th among centers.

C - Paul Stastny, St. Louis Blues ($4,800)

Stastny's price is below $5,000 again after being held scoreless with one block and eight SOG in the first four games of the Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. But don't forget Stastny was tied for the most points in the NHL (19) from March 9 to the end of the regular season (15 games). Though Robby Fabbri has been moved off his line at points in the playoffs, Stastny is skating alongside Alexander Steen and Troy Brouwer and in position to pounce as the Blues have a chance to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champions at Scottrade Center. With the Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes lines likely to match up with Chicago's top two units, don't be surprised if Stastny has a big game and the Blues' depth proves to be too much for the Blackhawks.

W - Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins ($7,000)

Kessel is averaging 6.2 DraftKings points through three postseason games against the New York Rangers, scoring at least one point in each and totaling two goals, two assists and 17 SOG. Evgeni Malkin has bounced around the lineup in two games since returning, but that hasn't impacted the Penguins' second line, which has been a fixture for more than a month. Kessel plays on the top power-play unit with Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, Malkin and Patric Hornqvist, and skates with Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino at even strength. He's priced fifth among wings and has 44 SOG in his past 10 games.

W - Artemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks ($6,700)

Through the Blackhawks' ups and down in their series against the Blues, Panarin's DFS value has not wavered. He's averaging 4.0 DraftKings points in his three-game point streak, which is even better than his season average (3.6). He remains in his usual spot alongside NHL scoring champion Patrick Kane and Artem Anisimov, and has 16 points in his past 10 games dating back to the regular season. And if you're worried about rolling him out on the road in Game 5, remember Panarin finished the regular season with 43 points in 41 road games, fourth-most in the NHL behind Kane (52), Joe Thornton (44) and Joe Pavelski (44).

W - Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning ($4,300)

Based on how well he has played since being recalled after a suspension and stint in the American Hockey League, Drouin has become one of the biggest DFS bargains around. In six games since returning to the Lightning, he has two goals, four assists and 19 SOG. He has had multiple SOG in each of the games, and is coming off a breakout performance in Game 4 when he had three power-play assists, four SOG and 8.0 DraftKings points. He's among the Lightning's top-six forwards alongside Valtteri Filppula and Ondrej Palat, and has looked composed lately on the top power-play unit with Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman. Priced outside the top 30 wings, it's convenient to fit him into any lineup you construct.

D - Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers ($4,700)

DFS owners are accustomed to McDonagh being priced in the low $5,000 range, so why not take advantage of his discounted price coming off an injury? He missed nine games in the regular season and the first two of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Penguins, but returned in Game 3 with more than 22 minutes of ice time. He did not register a point or a SOG, but did have a block in his first game back. He has 34 points in 82 career playoff games, and had 34 points, 113 SOG and 138 blocks this regular season. McDonagh, capable of single-game prowess, is priced 14th among D-men.

D - Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators ($4,400)

Ekholm has one goal, seven blocks and two SOG in three games this series, and had 35 points with 100 or more blocks and SOG in the regular season. He has been a steady value option all season, and has four points, 11 blocks and seven SOG in six games against the Ducks (including regular season) for an average of 3.2 DraftKings points per contest. His moderate price tag provides additional roster flexibility, and he could return value with peripheral category production even if he doesn't score a point in Game 4.

G - Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators ($8,200)

Rinne did not return value in Game 3, when the Predators lost 3-0 against the Ducks, but DFS owners can still ride him with confidence heading into Game 4. He had a .931 save percentage in Game 1 and 2, is 4-1-0 with a .932 SV% in five games against Anaheim (including regular season), and was 22-9-5 with four shutouts in the regular season at Bridgestone Arena. The pressure is on Nashville as Anaheim creeps back into the series, but Rinne has the home track record and familiarity with his opponent to shut the door and give the Predators the upper hand.

UTIL - Troy Brouwer, St. Louis Blues ($4,100)

Brouwer, like Stastny, has cooled off in the postseason with no points, three blocks and four SOG in four games. That said, he's racking up hits (24) in the series and is a low-budget, low-ownership flier who could bust out of his slump in Game 5 at home. He's capable of taking over offensively, with three goals and three assists in a recent four-game point streak from March 29 to April 4, and plays alongside Stastny at even strength and on the Blues' second power-play unit. If one rebounds, chances are the other will be along for the ride.


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