This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The conference finals kicked off Sunday afternoon, as the Islanders took down the Lightning with a 2-1 decision. The Golden Knights will host the Canadiens for Game 1 on Monday night. This round is extra interesting, as these teams will be meeting for the first time this season. The Knights are heavily favored at -260, which is expected because they're more talented, experienced and deeper than the Habs, who will be traveling three time zones west for this matchup.
All advanced statistics are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick.
Chandler Stephenson, VGK vs. MON ($10,500): Stephenson was blanked during the second round against the Avalanche, but he was seemingly more unlucky than anything else. The 27-year-old pivot ranked second on the team with 2.28 xGF/60 at even strength, and he operates on PP1. The Canadiens' PK ranked 22nd during the regular season at 78.5 percent, so Stephenson is a high-upside contrarian play that doesn't break the bank at captain.
Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK vs. MON ($10,800): This is making the assumption that the Golden Knights opt to use their best goalie in Game 1. Fleury won the last four games of Round 2, registering a .921 save percentage in the process. Carey Price ($15,000) is red-hot as well with seven straight wins, but winning four straight against the Jets is far less impressive than four straight against the President's Trophy-winning Avalanche. Price could be in for a rude awakening in front of Vegas' relentless offensive attack. I'm far less concerned about the Canadiens' firepower against Flower. I don't expect a high-scoring series, so spending up at goaltender feels reasonable.
Alec Martinez, VGK vs. MON ($8,200): Here's some stability for your lineup, as Martinez has been steady with at least three blocked shots, hitting the bonus on DraftKings, in all but one playoff game this postseason, totaling 52 through 13 contests. He has some offensive upside, too, as he is a fixture on the power play where he scored three of his nine goals this season.
Max Pacioretty, VGK vs. MON ($10,400): You're going to pay a premium for Pacioretty to stack him with Stephenson instead of Mark Stone ($8,800), but that's the price we pay for goal-scoring upside. Pacioretty has been lights out since returning from injury, too, ringing up four goals, four helpers and 24 shots through seven contests. The "Revenge Game" narrative helps the cause, too.
Mattias Janmark, VGK vs. MON ($4,600): Janmark has fit like a glove in Vegas, delivering in a third-line role with six points through seven games. He doesn't shoot a ton, but he's always around for high-danger chances, leading the team last round with 2.29 xGF/60 at even strength.
Artturi Lehkonen, MON at VGK ($4,800): Lehkonen has been outstanding since returning from injury, depositing two goals on 11 shots and adding a helper over three games. The 24-year-old is skating on the top line, too, so he should get plenty of looks. His shot volume provides a solid floor in case Fleury is unbeatable, again.