This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Friday's NHL slate consists of the one-game showdown contest for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Lightning and Avalanche after 8:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
Colorado won Game 4 in Tampa Bay by a 3-2 margin in overtime to take a 3-1 series lead. The Avalanche are favored to close out the series at home in Game 5 on Friday in a game with an over/under of 6.0 goals. Colorado would win the Stanley Cup if it can do so, dethroning Tampa Bay after back-to-back championships. Your lineup will consist of six players, including a Captain spot that costs 1.5 times as much and scores 1.5 times as many fantasy points.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB at COL ($9,400): If you like the Lightning to pull off the upset Friday and keep the series going, Vasilevskiy's a strong play and has enough upside to be used in your Captain spot. Outside of a disastrous Game 2 performance in which he allowed seven goals, Vasilevskiy has stopped 105 of 114 shots for a solid .921 save percentage throughout the rest of the series.
Darcy Kuemper, COL vs. TB ($9,600): Kuemper has alternated mediocre and excellent performances in this series, and he's coming off his strongest outing — all 37 of his Game 4 saves were necessary ones in the 3-2 overtime win. You will probably want to build around Colorado's skaters, but Kuemper can be an important part of an Avalanche stack.
Nazem Kadri, COL vs. TB ($8,000): Kadri made an enormous impact Wednesday in his first action since June 4. Colorado's second-line center returned from thumb surgery and proceeded to roof the overtime winner through Vasilevskiy's leaky blocker side. In 85 combined games between the regular season and playoffs, Kadri has compiled a 35-67-102 line.
Nick Paul, TB at COL ($6,000): Paul lit the lamp in Games 1 and 3 of this series, and he could be in store for a larger role in Game 5. If neither Brayden Point (undisclosed) nor Anthony Cirelli (arm) suit up, Paul will likely slide up to the second-line center role, which could mean a significant uptick in ice time after he skated less than 15 minutes in each of the past two games.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Avalanche vs. Lightning
Kadri's return has allowed Colorado to reshuffle its top six and move Rantanen back onto MacKinnon's line. MacKinnon's an excellent option if you can afford him, as he's coming off a dominant Game 4 performance in which he scored a goal on eight shots, bringing his shot total in this series to 22 through four games. Rantanen's Game 4 helper was his eighth assist of the series, so he has been well worth paying up for at $8,800. Lehkonen's a nice value at $6,200 given his top-line usage and 3-5-8 output over his last eight games.
Lightning at Avalanche
The Lightning's limited secondary scoring means you'll likely have to pay up for this top line if you like Tampa Bay in this one. This trio was kept off the scoresheet in Game 4, but Stamkos still has eight goals in his last 12 games. Kucherov may have been hindered by an injury in Game 4, making him a risky play, but it's hard to resist the upside of his 26 points through 21 games this postseason. Palat has been much more than just a passenger on this line, racking up a 5-7-12 line over the past 11 games.
Victor Hedman, TB at COL ($8,400): Hedman's doing his best to keep Tampa Bay competitive in this series, racking up a goal, two assists, 10 shots and five blocked shots over the past two games, with at least 22.7 fantasy points in each. The star defenseman's ability to contribute on both ends of the ice and hefty ice time totals — he's topped 24 minutes in six of the last nine games — give him the highest floor of anyone on the Lightning.
Josh Manson, COL vs. TB ($4,000): Cale Makar has been by far the most effective Avalanche defenseman, but fitting his $10,400 salary won't be easy with all the other high-end talent to choose from. If you're hoping to catch lightning in a bottle from a more affordable option, consider Manson, who has been surprisingly effective on home ice recently. Over Colorado's past three home games, Manson has totaled two goals, 11 shots and five blocks for an average of 14.3 fantasy points per game.