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Fantasy lines to watch in 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flames, Bruins have elite, solidified trios; Sharks, Golden Knights, Capitals best third units

by Jonathan Baron / NHL.com Fantasy Correspondent

NHL.com identifies the top fantasy hockey forward lines for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs and third lines that could provide value in FanDuel DFS contests. For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

NOTE: Value of the below lines has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production in the regular season and playoffs, line continuity this season, likelihood of a deep postseason run and first round matchups.

 

MORE FANTASY COVERAGE: Daily playoff picks | Rankings | Podcast

 

BEST TOP LINES ENTERING PLAYOFFS
 

Boston Bruins: Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

The top line of Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak combined for 260 points in the regular season, with all three members having NHL career highs in points (Marchand: 100; Pastrnak 81; Bergeron: 79). Pastrnak and Marchand combined for 16 points in four games against the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, and Pastrnak led the Bruins with 13 points in seven games against Toronto in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Elias Lindholm

The trio of Gaudreau, Monahan and Lindholm was together for 76 of 82 games during the regular season, the most of any line among 2019 playoff teams. Monahan and Gaudreau finished fourth among point pairs (56 team goals with each having a point) in the regular season, and all three players had NHL career highs in points (Gaudreau: 99; Monahan: 82; Lindholm: 78).

Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson / Yanni Gourde -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Kucherov had a historic regular season, scoring 128 points, the most of any NHL player in a single season since 1995-96. Point, who broke out for 66 points last season, took his performance to another level with 92 in 79 games. The third member of this line was Johnson for most of the season but Gourde saw time there down the stretch, making each forward a sleeper target in fantasy pools. Kucherov (59 points in 62 games), Point (16 points in 17 games) and Johnson (50 points in 64 games) have impressive playoff track records.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Zach Hyman -- John Tavares -- Mitchell Marner

The line of Hyman, Tavares and Marner led all NHL lines with 53 goals at 5-on-5 during the regular season. Marner led the Maple Leafs with five points in four games against the Bruins during the regular season and nine points in seven games against them in the 2018 playoffs. Tavares, who's making his playoff debut for the Maple Leafs, had 22 points in 24 career playoff games with the New York Islanders.

Video: CAR@TOR: Tavares knocks in own rebound for PPG

Nashville Predators: Filip Forsberg -- Ryan Johansen -- Viktor Arvidsson

The line of Forsberg, Johansen and Arvidsson had the best shot attempts differential (plus-196) among lines from playoff teams that played at least 200 minutes together at 5-on-5. The trio combined for 10 points in four games together against the Dallas Stars, Nashville's first round opponent, and the three forwards combined for 39 points in 13 games during the 2018 playoffs.

Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

The unit of Landeskog, MacKinnon and Rantanen could be reunited for Game 1 against the Calgary Flames after Rantanen missed the final eight games of the regular season because of an upper-body injury. MacKinnon, Rantanen and Landeskog each had NHL career-highs in goals and points this season and combined for nine points in three games against the Flames this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Jared McCann / Bryan Rust

This line could be in for a big series against the New York Islanders in the first round. Crosby leads the NHL in points (48 in 36 games) over the past two postseasons, and his 113 points in 66 regular-season games against the Islanders are his most against any opponent. Guentzel leads the NHL with 23 goals in 37 games over the past two playoffs and has five assists during a three-game point streak against the Islanders.

Other elite lines entering postseason: WSH: Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom / Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson; DAL: Jamie Benn -- Tyler Seguin -- Alexander Radulov; STL: Brayden Schenn -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko; WPG: Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler; CAR: Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Justin Williams

 

THIRD LINES TO WATCH ENTERING PLAYOFFS
 

San Jose Sharks: Marcus Sorensen -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

The third line of Sorensen, Thornton and Labanc outscored opponents 4-1 at even strength over the final four regular-season games. Labanc (56 points) and Thornton (51) were two of eight players to score at least 50 points for the Sharks this season. Labanc and Sorensen were tied for sixth on the Sharks in goals (17 each). Sorensen had four points during San Jose's four-game sweep of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2018 playoffs.

Washington Capitals: Carl Hagelin / Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

The third line of Hagelin, Eller and Connolly combined for 35 points in 21 games after Hagelin was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings. Wing Brett Connolly had seven goals in the span and finished with an NHL career-high 22. Wing Jakub Vrana, who ranked third on the Capitals in goals (24) this season, has practiced on the line with Eller and Connolly and could strengthen an already dangerous trio in the postseason.

Video: MTL@WSH: Eller pots backhander to open scoring

Vegas Golden Knights: Brandon Pirri -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch

This line was assembled after Vegas acquired wing Mark Stone on Feb. 25; Tuch moved down in the lineup, giving the Golden Knights three strong units. Tuch ranked fourth on Vegas in points (52) despite missing eight regular-season games. Tuch had five points in six games against the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the 2018 playoffs. Pirri, who scored 12 goals in 31 games this season, was fourth in shots on goal per game (2.65) on the Golden Knights behind Jonathan Marchessault (3.39), Mark Stone (3.00) and Max Pacioretty (2.89).

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