NOTE: Player prices are for two-game contests spanning Tuesday, May 24 (one game) and Wednesday, May 25 (one game).
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning ($7,600)
Kucherov has scored the game-tying goal in the third period to set up each of Tampa Bay's three overtime wins in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has three straight multipoint games, leads the NHL in even-strength points (15) this postseason, and is second in the League in goals (11) behind Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks. Whether Kucherov has been with his "Triplets" linemates or the revised trio of Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn, he has been a lethal scorer with a clutch gene. He has eight straight games of at least two SOG and has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in eight games against the Pittsburgh Penguins this regular season and playoffs combined. He's the same price as St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, who doesn't have a point through the first five Western Conference Final games against the Sharks, so take full advantage of this price discrepancy. Kucherov also has six goals and one assist in eight potential series-clinching games in his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Nick Bonino ($5,100) and Carl Hagelin ($5,300), Pittsburgh Penguins
Forward Phil Kessel ($7,200, fourth among wings) has been excellent in the playoffs and is priced as such, but his linemates have been nearly as strong and still can be stacked for an affordable combined cost. Bonino's three-game point streak ended in Game 5; Hagelin had an assist and one SOG in the loss. Bonino (six points in seven games) and Hagelin (five in seven) have been effective on the road, and Bonino scored the series-winning goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Washington Capitals. Bonino has scored nearly 60 percent (25 of 42) of his points in the regular season and playoffs combined on the road. Kessel and Bonino each have a point on nine team goals this postseason (fifth in NHL); Bonino and Hagelin each have common points on eight team playoff goals (tied for sixth).
DEFENSEMAN TO WATCH:
Brian Dumoulin, Pittsburgh Penguins ($3,200)
I advised DFS owners to target Dumoulin last week, and his ongoing breakout continued Sunday in Game 5. He scored his first goal since Dec. 15, 2014, and, thus, his first in 95 games this regular season and playoffs combined. Dumoulin, tasked with a heavier workload with Trevor Daley done for the playoffs after sustaining a broken ankle, has points in back-to-back games with at least one point in five of his past eight playoff games with at least 20 minutes played in each. Based on his recent production and price ($700 above DraftKings minimum), there's a lot to like about drafting Dumoulin as your second defenseman, including the two Game 6s.
Ryan Callahan, Tampa Bay Lightning ($4,300)
The Lightning's top-six group was juggled in Game 5, with Callahan seeing time on a line with Valtteri Filppula and J.T. Brown. Since missing Game 2 because of the flu, Callahan has stormed back with 12 SOG in three games, including a 7.0-point DraftKings output in Game 4 with one goal, three blocks and five SOG. He also had a shot attempt late in Game 5 that hit off the right post and rode the goal line, but not cross it. Callahan, mostly a depth-line wing at this stage of his career, has played with a renewed sense of confidence this round and has high single-game DFS potential. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Callahan also has eight points (three goals, five assists) in 16 potential series-clinching games in his career.
Matt Murray ($8,100) vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,000)
The Penguins are going back to the rookie Murray after he was pulled in Game 4 in favor of veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, who went on to start Game 5 and allow four goals in an overtime loss. Expect the Penguins to avenge their blown third-period lead Sunday with a tight road victory to push the series to Game 7. Murray (.936 save percentage) and Vasilevskiy (.934) have each been outstanding at even strength, so this matchup is a virtual toss-up. That said, this is a huge vote of confidence for Murray, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him deliver. He is 4-3 with one shutout in seven road games this postseason, and has had enough experience this spring to prepare him for his first career elimination game.
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