NOTE: Player prices are for two-game contests spanning Monday, May 16 (one game) and Tuesday, May 17 (one game).
SPEND UP FOR:
Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins ($6,900)
Kessel is cheaper than teammate Patric Hornqvist ($7,000) and is more likely to salvage DraftKings value if he does not earn a point in Game 2. He has 10 points in his past 10 games with 36 shots on goal in that span for an average of 4.1 DraftKings points per contest, and has averaged 3.3 per game in the span. Hornqvist was split up from usual linemate Sidney Crosby at practice Sunday, raising speculation that Penguins coach Mike Sullivan could mix up his lines for Game 2. Kessel has points in three straight with 13 SOG in that span for the Penguins, including a three-point, five-SOG outburst in Game 6 (10.5 DraftKings points) to push them past the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Second Round. He has three assists, one block and 13 SOG in four games against the Lightning and 41 points in 48 home games (including the Stanley Cup Playoffs). Drafting Kessel with linemate Nick Bonino ($5,200) makes for one of the best value line stacks contest-wide.
Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins ($4,700)
Kunitz has one goal on 20 SOG in 12 games this postseason, but has been trending in the right direction with two points, 12 hits and eight SOG in his past three games. His even-strength linemate Evgeni Malkin, another breakout hopeful for Game 2, has been held without a point in his past five playoff games. Kunitz has one goal, two assists and six SOG in four games against the Lightning this season for 2.5 DraftKings points per game. If you're looking for a contrarian line stack based on recent performance and projected ownership, the Malkin-Kunitz combo should be near the top of your list.
Brian Boyle, Tampa Bay Lightning ($3,200)
Boyle has returned DFS value in three of his past four playoff games despite playing on a depth line for the Lightning. He scored goals in Games 3 and 5 of the second round against the New York Islanders, has at least three SOG in three of his past four games, and had 3.0 DraftKings points in Game 1 against the Penguins despite not having a goal or assist (three blocks, three SOG). He's priced $700 above the DraftKings minimum and sees time in a net-front role for the Lightning on the power play; he played 0:49 with the man-advantage in Game 1 but is averaging 3:35 per game in those situations this postseason. When he's out there in shorthanded situations, he's as likely to block shots as any forward on either team.
Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (blood clot) has been ruled out for Game 2, but defenseman Anton Stralman (fractured fibula) remains a possibility to return. Stralman, priced at $4,600 in DraftKings, hasn't played since March 25 but would give the Lightning added power-play depth and could help neutralize the Penguins' anticipated pushback after Tampa Bay held them to one goal in Game 1. Four of Stralman's nine goals in the regular season have come in three games against Pittsburgh. DFS owners should plan to roster Stralman as their second defenseman and, of course, keep an eye on his status leading up to puck drop.
BETTER GOALIE OPTION:
Matt Murray, Pittsburgh Penguins ($8,300)
Bishop remains day-to-day because of the lower-body injury he sustained in Game 1 and the Penguins are in danger of losing two straight at home. You have to expect desperation offensively from Pittsburgh and its depth to take advantage of Andrei Vasilevskiy, who stopped 25 of 26 shots in relief of Bishop in the opener but has limited postseason experience and a .914 save percentage through 17 road games in the regular season and playoffs combined. Though Vasilevskiy has appeared in six career playoff games, he has started one, stopping 17 of 19 shots faced in a loss at the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. Murray has yet to lose consecutive games through 10 outings this postseason, and should get more goal support considering the Penguins lead the NHL in home playoff goals (24 in seven games).
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