The NHL playoffs continue to be the gift that keeps on giving. All eight playoff matchups have seen every team secure at least one win, albeit in various ways. The Los Angeles Kings and Edmonton Oilers have gone to overtime in three of their four games played, while the New Jersey Devils have rallied behind Jack Hughes (C – Devils) to notch two consecutive victories on the road at Madison Square Garden to even the series. Of course, we can’t neglect what the Toronto Maple Leafs are doing either, as their 19-year playoff series win drought appears to be coming to an end after erasing a three-goal deficit in the third period and ultimately winning in overtime on the road to go up 3-1 in the series over Tampa Bay. Carolina, Boston, Vegas, and Toronto are all one win away from advancing to the 2nd Round. At the same time, the Seattle Kraken earned their first home playoff win in a pivotal Game 4 to even the series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
On Tuesday night, we’re only getting three games on tap, starting with Carolina returning home to attempt closing out the series against the New York Islanders. Next, we’ll see Dallas attempt to take a 3-2 series lead after initially falling 2-1 to Minnesota, while the Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings series returns to Edmonton for a highly anticipated Game 5. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and the value is everywhere on this smaller DFS slate, so let’s jump right into my eight favorite prospects to target when constructing NHL DFS lineups ahead of Thursday night’s action on the ice. As always, best of luck, and let’s cash some contests!
Recommended Plays: DraftKings
DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000
Roope Hintz (C – Stars): $6,900
Roope Hintz is sitting at the perfect value to insert him into DraftKings lineups ahead of Game 5 on Tuesday night. Hintz has logged two three-point outings across the first two games of this series, including a hat trick in Game 2, so at under $7,000, he quickly becomes a must-add prospect due to the high floor and ceiling combination that he provides.
Kevin Fiala (LW – Kings): $6,400
Kevin Fiala’s presence was an immediate upgrade for the Kings in Game 4, as the winger returned from injury to produce two assists and three shots on goal in Game 4. His salary inexplicably went down $200 on DraftKings from the last game to his current pricing, so we are obligated to plug Fiala into lineups accordingly, especially since we saw Edmonton’s goaltender, Stuart Skinner (G – Oilers), surrender three goals in 11 minutes before being replaced by Jack Campbell (G – Oilers). On Tuesday night, Skinner is expected to be the primary netminder, which means wheels up for Fiala’s production.
John Klingberg (D – Wild): $4,000
After spending the first eight seasons of his career with Dallas, John Klingberg now finds himself facing his former team, and he’s been producing at a steady rate for Minnesota in the series. The 30-year-old defenseman has at least one point in three of the four games, including a goal during Minnesota’s 3-2 loss in Game 4. While Klingberg isn’t a high-volume shooter, he’s frequently involved in setting up scoring possessions while collecting a couple of blocked shots to stabilize his floor. We’re paying little to get Klingberg in lineups, so adding him is an easy decision to justify.
Ilya Sorokin (G – Islanders): $7,300
It’s a risk to roll out Ilya Sorokin. Still, the New York Islanders need to win out to avoid a first-round playoff exit, so expect Sorokin to function as the brick wall he’s been for most of the season, bailing out the inconsistent Islanders’ offense in big spots. Due to his poor performance in Game 4, allowing five goals on 29 shots, we’re getting a massive discount on Sorokin, which is enough to get me to buy in one more time.
Recommended Plays: FanDuel
FanDuel maximum salary is set at $55,000
Anze Kopitar (C – Kings): $6,500
Anze Kopitar is a seasoned veteran who continues to lead the Los Angeles Kings through the gauntlet of a first-round series against their Pacific Division rival, the Edmonton Oilers. Kopitar has logged a point in three of the four games, scoring an early first period goal with some sweet dangles to give the Kings a 3-0 lead. However, his most significant production surge came in Game 1, when he contributed three assists and a goal, logging 43.4 FD fantasy points. We can expect a minimum of 10 FD points from Kopitar in Game 5, so at $6,500 on FanDuel, he’s a decent value due to his high floor.
Mats Zuccarello (RW – Wild): $5,500
Minnesota has been getting steady contributions from Mats Zuccarello on their first line attack in the series against Dallas. He has recorded an assist in three of the four games while scoring a pair of goals in Game 3, making his floor roughly 12 FD points and his ceiling around 25 FD points. At $5,500, this is a solid value to acquire, as Zuccarello tends to be involved in most scoring possessions for the Wild. Plug him in as a solid salary-saving winger with an upside.
Evan Bouchard (D – Oilers): $5,500
Edmonton has developed Evan Bouchard into a prominent defenseman within the offensive zone this season, and it couldn’t be happening at a better time. Bouchard has scored two goals and logged five assists across the first four games of the series against Los Angeles, which includes two multi-point outings. In addition, he’s a high-volume shooter and does the dirty work in the defensive zone, averaging 2 blocked shots per game in this playoff series, making Bouchard a must-add prospect in FanDuel lineups at $5,500.
Jake Oettinger (G – Stars): $7,800
Nailing which goaltenders to tail or fade in DFS has been a struggle this season, but Jake Oettinger should have plenty of confidence patrolling the crease during the Stars’ return home for Game 5. Oettinger is 2-2 as a starter in this series, but he’s recorded 34 and 48 saves in two of these starts, while he is fresh off of his best performance in Game 4, surrendering only two goals on 34 shots. At under $8,000, we can qualify Oettinger as a solid DFS value, especially facing a defensive-oriented team like Minnesota, so let’s plug him into FanDuel lineups with confidence.