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DraftKings outlook: Sharks at Blues, Game 1

Stastny's faceoff prowess generates offense; Jones eyes road bounce-back

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Fantasy Insider

NOTE: Player prices are for two-game contests spanning Friday, May 13 (one game) and Sunday, May 15 (one game).

BREAKOUT CANDIDATE:

Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues ($5,200)

Schwartz has been held without a goal in nine straight playoff games, but has still chipped in six assists, 11 blocks and 15 shots on goal in the span for an average of 2.8 DraftKings points per contest. He remains on the top line with Vladimir Tarasenko, and it's worth noting Alexander Steen has joined that unit of late, with Jori Lehtera moving to the third line. Schwartz was limited to 33 games (eight goals, 14 assists) in the regular season because of injury, but had six multipoint outings in that short span and is a potential difference-maker in the Western Conference Final.

LINEUP LOCK:

Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks ($6,300)

Couture had the most points (11 in seven games) in a single playoff series in Sharks history, highlighted by his three-point outing with one block and four SOG for 9.5 DraftKings points in Game 7 against the Nashville Predators. Now, it's on to the conference final against the Blues, against whom Couture had two goals, one assist, two blocks and 12 SOG against in three games during the regular season. St. Louis has a plethora of strong defensive forwards, but the fact Couture is on a separate line from Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski at even strength could make him avoid the strongest Blues defenders. Couture has power-play points in three of his past four games, a four-game point streak, and five multipoint outings in his past eight games.

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm7: Couture snaps it past Rinne

VALUE PICK:

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

With the Blues and Sharks being such well-rounded teams, faceoff wins will take on an even greater importance. The line of Robby Fabbri, Troy Brouwer and Stastny did its share of offensive damage in the series against the Dallas Stars, but Stastny's play on the other end has been underappreciated. He has won 61 percent of his defensive-zone faceoffs this postseason, tops in the League among the 35 players with at least 100 total faceoffs taken. After being held without a goal in the first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks, Stastny had three goals, four assists, one block and 19 SOG in seven games against the Stars, including a three-point outing in Game 7 on the road.

MUST-HAVE DEFENSEMAN:

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks ($5,000)

Is there a more underrated player in the entire NHL than Vlasic? His injury absence was a huge reason the Sharks lost Game 7 in the 2014 playoffs against the Los Angeles Kings, and his presence in Game 7 this time around against the Predators helped lift his team to the Conference Final. He had two assists, four blocks and one SOG for 6.5 DraftKings points in Game 7, capping off a second round in which he had an NHL-best seven assists. He ranks second in blocked shots this postseason behind Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who will cost you $800 more in DraftKings. Vlasic remains on the Sharks' second power-play unit and has excelled in all situations this postseason. He combined for three assists, seven blocks and three SOG in three games against the Blues in the regular season for an average of 5.5 DraftKings points per contest.

Video: NSH@SJS, Gm7: Jones smothers Neal's slap shot

BETTER GOALIE OPTION:

Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks ($8,300)

The Sharks went 2-0-0 during the regular season against the Blues at Scottrade Center, the site of Game 1. San Jose goalie Martin Jones stopped 51 of 55 shots faced (.944 save percentage) in the two road outings against the Blues. Jones has lost three straight on the road allowing four goals in each game, so expect a bounce-back effort considering he won each of three road games in the first round against the Kings and was 22-7-3 with a .925 SV% away from home in the regular season.

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