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: Mikael Backlund, CGY ($5,100)
The Calgary Flames are facing elimination in Game 4 against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports, PRIME), but Backlund has been a bright spot with 6.5 DraftKings points in Game 2 (one goal, five shots on goal) and 6.0 in Game 3 (two assists, one blocked shot, three SOG). He has 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) in 42 home games during the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs combined, and seven points (three goals, four assists) in eight combined games against the Ducks this season. He had an NHL career-high 53 points (22 goals, 31 assists) in 81 regular-season games, and the Flames' offense won't go down without a fight if their four goals in Game 3 are any indication.
VALUE CENTER: Derick Brassard, OTT ($4,400)
Brassard had 39 points (14 goals, 25 assists) in 81 regular-season games for the Ottawa Senators during the regular season, down from the 58 points (27 goals, 31 assists) in 80 games he had last season with the New York Rangers. But Brassard has lived up to his reputation as one of the most productive playoff performers of the past few seasons. He had 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) in 19 postseason games in 2015, four points (one goal, three assists) in five games last season and has four points (two goals, two assists) in three games this year against the Boston Bruins. Two of those points have come on the power play, and he's averaging three SOG per game in the series. He is centering the much-improved Bobby Ryan (W, $4,200) at even strength.
Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Brassard slams home Ryan's nice dish
TOP WING: David Pastrnak, BOS ($6,900)
Pastrnak scored his first career NHL postseason goal for the Bruins in Game 3 and has at least one point in each of the first three games of the series. His shot volume should improve in Game 4 on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports, NESN) considering he had 262 SOG in 75 regular-season games in addition to an NHL career-high 70 points. Pastrnak has 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists) in 38 regular-season and playoff home games and is in a great spot whether on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, or David Krejci, who returned for Game 3.
VALUE WING: Andre Burakovsky, WSH ($3,600)
Burakovsky has been held without a goal for the Washington Capitals despite eight SOG through three games, and could be set for a big performance on the road in Game 4 on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC) with the Capitals trailing 2-1 in the best-of-7 series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He had an assist in Game 2 and scored 10 of his 12 regular-season goals on the road. He had 35 points (12 goals, 23 assists) in 64 regular-season games, and the Maple Leafs allowed the fifth-most DraftKings points to opposing right wings during the regular season.
TOP DEFENSEMAN: Shea Theodore, ANA ($3,800)
With a number of young defensemen available for low prices, fantasy owners have the chance to spend up for multiple high-end forwards on this four-game slate. The Ducks' defense is depleted with Cam Fowler (knee) and Sami Vatanen (upper body) injured, but Theodore has found his offensive groove with five points (two goals, three assists), six blocked shots and nine SOG in the first three games against the Flames (6.5 DraftKings points per game). Theodore, 21, showcased his offensive ability with 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in 26 games for San Diego of the American Hockey League and 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 37 NHL regular season and playoff games for the Ducks.
Video: ANA@CGY, Gm3: Theodore ties it with his second goal
VALUE DEFENSEMAN: Charlie McAvoy, BOS ($3,500)
McAvoy, who joined the Bruins after he had 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) in 38 games for Boston University this season, got his first NHL point on a power-play assist in Game 3. The 19-year-old has played more than 24 minutes in each of his first three postseason games and leads the Bruins with 3:27 per game on the power play. Injuries to defensemen Torey Krug (lower body) and Brandon Carlo (upper body) have opened the door for McAvoy to get significant minutes. He should continue to return value for a low price against the Senators, who allowed the seventh-most DraftKings points to opposing defensemen during the regular season.
GOALIE SPOTLIGHT: Jake Allen, STL ($7,900)
The Minnesota Wild are switching their forward lines, but it could be too little too late against Allen and the St. Louis Blues entering Game 4 on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 2, FS-MW, FS-N). He has allowed one goal in each of the first three games of the series, stopping a combined 114 of 117 shots faced for an average of 9.6 DraftKings points per game. Allen is 20-9-3 with a .914 save percentage at home in 33 combined regular season and playoff games, and has won 19 of 28 games since Mike Yeo replaced Ken Hitchcock as Blues coach Feb. 1. Allen is 6-5 with a .929 save percentage in 15 career postseason games.
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