Pekka Rinne, NAS vs. ANA ($8,700) – Losing Ryan Johansen (thigh) was supposed to be the end of the line for the Predators, but they got a huge break when John Gibson (lower body) was forced to leave the game after the first period. The Preds dug deep and came from behind to win Game 5, and a potential series-clinching game returns to Nashville, where they’ve lost just one game these playoffs. Rinne was outstanding with 32 saves in Game 5, and with the home crowd behind him, he has the definite edge over the guy at the other end of the rink.
Sidney Crosby, PIT vs. OTT ($8,600) – He’s scored two goals and three points in his past two games, breaking a two-game slump to begin the series. The Penguins’ patchwork defense has forced Crosby to elevate his offense, and despite facing a stingy defense, he’s been very productive against the Senators. Crosby’s the best player in the game and the Pens have the luxury of last change again on home ice.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, OTT at PIT ($5,200) – If JG has really been touched by the hockey gods, surely he’ll turn in his best performance in key Game 5 on the road. The Pens can put the Senators on the brink of elimination with a win, but Pageau has shown he can single-handedly turn the course of the series in one game. Matt Murray has looked good in his return to the crease but has yet to be really tested. Pageau leads the Sens with eight goals in 16 playoff games.
Filip Forsberg, NAS vs. ANA ($8,000) – He didn’t score in Game 5 but at least managed to extend his point streak to six games with four goals and two assists during that span. Offensive chances were a little harder to come by without Johansen at center, but Nashville’s wingers have ramped up their shooting, accounting for 18 of 29 total shots, including four from Forsberg. As long as he keeps firing the puck at a high rate, Forsberg remains one of the best wingers for DFS owners.
Jakob Silfverberg, ANA at NAS ($6,500) – He played at least 20 minutes for the fourth straight game, and registered at least two shots on goal for the sixth straight. Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler have formed one of the Ducks’ most reliable duos, and offensively just couldn’t beat a red-hot Rinne in Game 5. If Rickard Rakell (lower body) misses his second straight game, expect Silfverberg to play an even bigger role as the Ducks face elimination.
Pontus Aberg, NAS vs. ANA ($3,000) – He’s a boom-or-bust pick for Monday’s tilt, but his performance in Game 5 was particularly encouraging. Despite putting just two shots on net, Aberg made good on a hard drive to the net when he picked off a Forsberg rebound and had the poise to put the puck in the net as he was falling down. It’s the type of play that only natural goal-scorers seem to make, and perhaps Peter Laviolette has at least found a partial answer to the gaping hole on offense left by Johansen. If Aberg keeps up his solid play, his role will surely expand.
Erik Karlsson, OTT at PIT ($7,100) – He’s notched two helpers and six shots on goal in his past two games and remains the biggest difference maker for the Senators. His ability to move the puck up the ice is second to none, and his accurate long passes should be able to stretch the Pittsburgh defense, especially one that seems to be losing bodies on a nightly basis.
Brandon Montour, ANA at NAS ($3,400) – He fired a series-high five shots on goal in Game 5, and also notched his second assist of the series. He was easily one of the best Ducks defensemen in the game, and despite a very talented blue line, has forced his way into the top-four mix, trailing Hampus Lindholm in total ice time by roughly one minute per game, and trailing only Sami Vatanen in power-play ice time. The Preds have managed to take advantage of the series with a very active defense, and the Ducks may choose to emulate the same style. Montour may be an NHL rookie, but he’s also scored 89 points in 104 games in the AHL, so there’s certainly a lot of offensive upside to be realized.