This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
We are finally in the official postseason, as the qualifying rounds have ended and the top dogs have been properly seeded. Tuesday's slate includes four Game 1s – two in each conference – starting at 3 p.m. EDT.
The qualifying round was quite exciting with classic NHL parity, as the Canadiens and Blackhawks – both #12 seeds – toppled their respective opponents and looked legitimate in their own unique, predictable fashion. The Blackhawks looked like the powerhouse offense of the past while Carey Price carried the Habs to victory.
We have our teams set, and it'll be interesting if there is any discrepancy between teams who have played meaningful games since March and those who had their spot locked in before arriving to the bubble. If there's any difference, it'll likely be negligible.
Andrei Vasilevskiy TB vs. CBJ ($8,900): After an impressive set of round-robin showings, Vasilevskiy has some unfinished business ahead against the Blue Jackets, who memorably swept the top-seeded Bolts last year. Although the Blue Jackets looked solid in beating the Maple Leafs, they posted a measly 46.95 Corsi For percentage in the qualifying round.
Petr Mrazek, CAR vs. BOS ($7,700): Mrazek picked up where he left off in the regular season by steering away 47 of 50 shots across two wins in the qualifying-round sweep of the Rangers. Keep in mind James Reimer ($7,200) got the start in Game 3, but there's little doubt Mrazek will be in net for Game 1. Meanwhile, the Bruins, perhaps uninspired by the format, looked lost in the round robin, combining for just four goals through three games. Take the value with Mrazek here.
David Krejci, BOS vs. CAR ($4,900): Nobody played well for the B's in the seeding round, so let's not hold that against Krejci. Looking back on last year's postseason, however, we see he was dependable with 16 points and 39 shots on net over 24 contests. If the Mrazek tip doesn't bode for you, Krejci's the best option outside of the top-line stack.
Alex Killorn, TB vs. CBJ ($4,800): For a winger with 26 regular-season goals, Killorn remains modestly priced. Perhaps it's due to his high-variance shot volume, but we're seeking the upside he has established.
Alex Tuch, VGK vs. CHI ($4,000): This isn't your typical postseason Corey Crawford, as he marked an uninspiring .891 save percentage against the Oilers in a battle of high-scoring affairs. The Golden Knights took the same route to earn the top seed in the Western Conference, and Tuch surprisingly led the squad with three goals in that stretch.
Hurricanes vs. Bruins
Here's a situation where the Hurricanes are stacking their best center, left wing and right wing together, and the results were fantastic in the opening round dusting of the Rangers. Aho has the most points of any player left in the bubble, and even the B's tight blue line will have its hands full Tuesday.
Flames vs. Stars
This unit was remarkable in all facets of the game during the qualifying round, racking up six goals and as many assists over four outings. What's even more convincing was their combined seven power-play points, and they'll carry that momentum into a matchup against the Stars, who finished 17th in the regular season at a 79.7 penalty-kill percentage.
Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights
This trio stoked the fire that led to the upset of Edmonton in the qualifying round, putting together 16 points – six with the man advantage – through four games, although Kubalik did nearly all of his damage in a record-setting, five-point Game 1. It'll be an interesting battle between the Hawks and their old netminder Robin Lehner, but look for this line to clean up on the power play, as Vegas ended up 27th on the penalty kill in the regular season.
Zach Werenski, CBJ vs. TB ($6,100): It took a couple games to settle in, but Werenski did indeed bring a desirable floor into the playoffs, as he has been shooting and blocking enough shots to record at least 11.2 fantasy points in three straight games. At that rate, it takes just one point to make him a value, so don't be shy even against a stout Lightning blue line.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. CHI ($5,900): Theodore has improved every season since the Golden Knights traded for him in 2017. He showcased his first-round pedigree before the hiatus, and he notched four points and 11 shots on net over the last two round-robin games. Chicago's floodgates were open during the qualifying round, so Theodore is primed to keep it rolling.
Mark Giordano, CGY vs. DAL ($5,600): Giordano's 2018-19 Norris Trophy campaign is a thing of the past, as he notched just 31 points over 60 regular-season games, and it hasn't been much better in the postseason. Nevertheless, he's hopping in front of shots and logging major minutes, including on the power play, which will come in handy against the Stars' aforementioned mediocre penalty kill.
Sami Vatanen, CAR vs. BOS ($4,400): Vatanen made his Hurricanes debut Aug. 1, and he's registered three goals in three games with the trendy bunch. On a pairing with Jaccob Slavin, his minutes stand to increase after averaging just 19:14 of ice time per contest in the qualifying round. However, Vatanen will turn into an iffy DFS play if Dougie Hamilton returns from his January leg injury, so keep an eye on pregame lineups.