This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
This two-day slate begins with Friday's Game 3 matchup between the Lightning and Islanders, which finds New York in a 2-0 series deficit. Barry Trotz's squad appeared to have bounced back from a 8-2 defeat in Game 1, only to suffer a crushing defeat in the waning seconds of Game 2. The slate continues on Saturday with Game 4 of the Vegas vs. Dallas series with the Stars having taken a 2-1 series lead after pulling off an overtime win in Game 3.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. NYI ($7,800): Considering the Russian netminder is currently riding a six-game winning streak, during which he's posted a 1.51 GAA and .944 save percentage, it is a little surprising for him not to be the most expensive goalie on the slate. He's also the only remaining keeper that hasn't seen his backup get into a game yet. At this price tag, fantasy players will be hard-pressed not to include him, though that also figures to see his draft percentage go through the roof.
Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. TAM ($7,500): Despite still coming up with a loss, Game 2 was actually Varlamov's best recent performance, considering he gave up four or more goals in his previous three appearances. Stopping the Lightning offense that is averaging 3.27 goals (highest among remaining playoff teams) is no easy task. The 32-year-old veteran hasn't faced a lot of rubber, he's only seen 30-plus shots in two of his 16 outings, which will likely limit his fantasy value as well.
Robin Lehner, VGK vs. DAL ($8,000): It's been boom or bust with Lehner of late, as he has registered four shutouts in his last eight appearances but has also posted sub-900 save percentages in the other four contests. While he's clearly the preferred choice of coach Pete DeBoer, there is still a chance Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,800) gets a look in Game 4 considering he gave up just one goal on 25 shots his last time out.
Anton Khudobin, DAL vs. VGK ($7,400): In 17 postseason contests, Khudobin's numbers haven't been great, as he registered a 2.77 GAA and .915 save percentage but has excelled when it matters most with 10 wins. The fact that he is the cheapest netminder in the slate and has faced 40 or more shots in two of his last four games makes him an intriguing play in a limited two-game slate.
Carter Verhaeghe, TBL vs. NYI ($2,500): This will likely be a decision that won't be known until the team comes out for warmups but early indications have Verhaeghe slotting in for the suspended Alex Killorn on the Lightning second line. Barclay Goodrow ($3,000) or Blake Coleman ($4,600) could also be options. Whoever it ends up should should see a significant uptick in ice time, including some power-play minutes
Yanni Gourde, TBL vs. NYI ($3,700): It was Gourde who jumped up to the first line when Brayden Point (undisclosed) was injured in Game 2 and should do so again if Point remains on the shelf Friday. Even without the top-line bump, the 28-year-old center has produced nine points in 15 playoff outings despite serving primarily in a third-line role.
Nicolas Roy, VGK vs. DAL ($2,700): He may be stuck in a 15-game goal drought, but he has garnered one goal and seven helpers in his first NHL postseason. The 22-year-old winger probably shouldn't be utilized in cash contests, yet offers intrigue as a value option for GPPs considering he is averaging solid minutes (14:44), has been elevated to the second line and is one of the cheapest forward options on the board.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Golden Knights vs. Stars
At this point, it's hard to trust the Golden Knights first line, which is significantly more expensive and includes a struggling Jonathan Marchessault ($6,000). In addition to Roy's value outlined above, Stastny won't break the bank and has produced four points in his last four contests while averaging 2:13 of ice time with the man advantage. Pacioretty has underwhelmed with just one helper in his previous six outings, but he's still putting pucks on net with 24 shots over the stretch and should bend the twine soon.
Islanders vs. Lightning
After the team's route in Game 1, Barry Trotz could have been forgiven for throwing his line combinations into a blender. Instead, he stuck with his existing top-six which has been producing all postseason. The trio has combined for 16 goals and 20 assists, including 13 power-play points. A quiet Game 2 could serve to lower their drafted percentages, making them all the more intriguing.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. TBL ($5,500): Frequent readers of our DraftKings Breakdown article no doubt may have started growing tired of seeing Heiskanen's name among the recommendations but until he stumbles, there is no reason not to keep utilizing him. He's significantly cheaper than the top two blue line options in Shea Theodore ($6,700) and Victor Hedman ($6,300) and has 22 points in 19 playoff contests. If Dallas eventually lifts Lord Stanley's Cup, Heiskanen has a good chance to be the first defenseman to win the Conn Smythe Trophy since Duncan Keith in 2015.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. NYI ($6,700): For fantasy players willing to go big on the blue line, Theodore certainly has earned his hefty price tag given eight of his 18 postseason points have come with the man advantage. He leads the team, not just defensemen, in scoring in the playoffs with his seven goals and 11 assists.
Kevin Shattenkirk, TBL vs. DAL ($3,800): The blueliner summed it up nicely when he told reporters, "Just pass to Victor Hedman. That's the secret right now," per Joe Smith of The Athletic. The 31-year-old veteran hasn't found the back of the net in seven straight games, but he has seven assists over that stretch, including a trio of helpers in the Game 1 rout.