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Fantasy sleepers for 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Backes producing on line with Krejci; Dunn brings power-play exposure for Blues; Labanc, Wallmark have higher ceilings in conference finals

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

NHL.com identifies sleeper candidates for the Stanley Cup Playoffs who can round out your playoff pool roster or provide value in FanDuel DFS contests. For more fantasy hockey coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

 

EASTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

Boston Bruins: David Backes, F -- The veteran forward has four points (one goal, three assists) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. He's on a three-game point streak entering Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final skating on the Bruins' second line with wing Jake DeBrusk and center David Krejci, who has 10 points (four goals, six assists) and 20 shots on goal in 13 postseason games. While Backes is skating 9:33 per game, he's worth considering in FanDuel DFS contests because of his exposure to Krejci and his production in limited minutes.

Carolina Hurricanes: Lucas Wallmark, F -- The Hurricanes forward has five points (one goal, four assists) in 11 playoff games. He's skating 14:47 on the third line with wings Brock McGinn and Andrei Svechnikov, who has four points (three goals, one assist) in five playoff games. Wallmark also skates on an underrated second power-play unit with forwards Svechnikov, Nino Niederreiter, defensemen Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin, which could help Carolina improve on its only weakness (10.5 percent, worst among teams in conference finals).

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE FINAL

St. Louis Blues: Vince Dunn, D -- The Blues defenseman scored a goal and had five SOG in Game 7 against the Dallas Stars in the second round. He has five points (one goal, four assists) and 20 SOG in 13 playoff games skating on the third pair at even strength with defenseman Carl Gunnarsson and a power-play unit with exposure to forwards David Perron, Tyler Bozak, Pat Maroon and Robert Thomas. Dunn also takes shifts on the top unit with elite forwards Vladimir Tarasenko and Jaden Schwartz and could be a difference-maker for St. Louis' struggling power play (2-for-22 in second round) against another strong penalty kill for the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose Sharks: Kevin Labanc, F -- The Sharks forward has six points (three goals, three assists) in 14 playoff games but has been held without a point in six straight games entering Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. He's skating on the third line at even strength with valuable center Joe Thornton and wing Marcus Sorensen and also brings sneaky value on the top power-play unit with elite skaters Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski and either Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns. Labanc had four power-play points in Game 7 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round and could bounce back against the Blues.

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