NOTE: This lineup is for three-game contests spanning Thursday, April 28 (one game) and Friday, April 29 (two games).
C - Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals ($6,400)
Backstrom had one goal, three assists, three blocks and seven shots on goal for an average of 2.8 DraftKings points per contest in five games against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the regular season, padding his strong career regular-season totals against them (33 points in 34 games). Their 2009 Stanley Cup Playoff series may be ancient history, but Backstrom charges into the long-awaited postseason rematch after leading the Capitals with seven points in six first-round games against the Philadelphia Flyers, with four points coming on the power play.
C - Jason Spezza, Dallas Stars ($6,300)
The Stars are a high-event hockey team that relies heavily on its potent offense and takes chances to create said offense. The Blues can play that style, as evidenced by their series against the Chicago Blackhawks, where the teams finished seventh (2.71 for St. Louis) and fourth (2.86 for Chicago) in goals per game. If the Blues fail to dictate their own style in Game 1, Spezza will have a chance to capitalize, as he did in the first round; he had nine points (tied for third in NHL), three blocks and 22 SOG in six games for an average of 5.8 DraftKings points per contest. He scored two goals on 15 SOG in four games against the Blues in the regular season.
W - Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks ($7,800)
Pavelski powered the Sharks to redemption against the Los Angeles Kings in five games, with five goals, one assist, three blocks and 14 SOG in the series. For anyone worried about him sustaining his high shooting percentage, he has the third-best regular-season shooting percentage (16.3) in the League since 2013-14 among players with at least 200 games played in the span. San Jose has home ice for the second round against the Nashville Predators, whom Pavelski had one goal, one assist, four blocks and eight SOG in three games against in the regular season. Pavelski, fourth among wings in price, averages 4.0 DraftKings points per game at home this season (including playoffs).
W - Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues ($5,200)
Schwartz, tied for 13th in price among wings, plays on a line with Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera, and had a huge series against the Blackhawks in the first round. He had seven points (three goals, four assists) with three power-play points and 14 SOG in seven games, including an assist and three SOG in Game 7. His price somehow remains the same as it was to start the Chicago series, so take full advantage of one of the most consistent DFS value plays so far this postseason.
W - Joonas Donskoi, San Jose Sharks ($3,600)
Donskoi had a breakout Game 5 against the Kings, scoring two goals on two SOG for 7.0 DraftKings points. It may be tough to replicate that performance against the defensive-minded Predators, but Donskoi had six of his eight power-play points at home in the regular season. His linemate, Logan Couture, had two points and 10 SOG in two regular-season games against Nashville this season. Donskoi is one of the most lethal wing options available in the $3,000 range.
D - Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues ($6,000)
So many players were largely responsible for the Blues' first-round triumph against the Blackhawks, but you can make the argument Pietrangelo was their most valuable player in the series. He had six points (tied for second among D-men), 13 SOG and 25 blocked shots (second in NHL) in seven games, and was one of three defensemen to average more than 30 minutes of ice time in the first round. He is the best all-around defenseman by far in the Blues-Stars series, and that advantage could carry the Blues to another series victory. He is priced eighth among defensemen in DraftKings.
D - Johnny Oduya, Dallas Stars ($3,700)
Oduya only has 22 points in 88 games this season (including postseason), but that's not where his value lies in DraftKings. He averages 2.0 DraftKings points per game because of his hefty shot-blocking total (185). He has seen an uptick in SOG in the postseason, totaling nine in six games to go along with 13 blocks and one goal. Dating to the regular season, Oduya has 2.0 or more DraftKings points in seven of his past eight games. He is averaging nearly 20 minutes per game in the playoffs and is a high-floor option priced $1,200 above the DraftKings minimum.
G - Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks ($7,800)
Predators goalie Pekka Rinne had an outstanding finish to the first round, allowing two goals combined in Games 6 and 7 to stun the Anaheim Ducks. He has great numbers against the Sharks this season (2-0-0, .941 save percentage in two games), but San Jose has been an offensive juggernaut this postseason, scoring 3.20 goals per game (third in NHL) to knock out the possession-heavy Kings. Jones, likely a lower-ownership choice than Rinne, is priced fifth out of the six projected goalies for Thursday and Friday games, had 37 regular-season wins (third in NHL), and allowed four goals on 52 shots faced (.923 SV%) in his first two playoff games at SAP Center.
UTIL - Conor Sheary, Pittsburgh Penguins ($3,200)
Sheary was moved to a line with Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist mid-series against the New York Rangers, and had eye-opening performances in Games 4 and 5. The speedy forward combined for two goals, three blocks and four SOG for an average of 4.8 DraftKings points per contest. Loading up on expensive Penguins forwards can be risky for Game 1 at the Washington Capitals, who allowed six goals in six playoff games against the Philadelphia Flyers, so take the cheapest exposure to their top-six group you can get.
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