This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
It's an exciting Friday with all six games featuring teams facing elimination. The Habs and Blackhawks will try to pull off upsets as the No. 12 seeds, while the Canucks and Blue Jackets will try to maintain momentum after emotional wins in Game 3. The losers will join the Rangers and Jets in the Alexis Lafreniere sweepstakes.
Darcy Kuemper ($7,800) was very good with a 39-save win in Game 3, and the Coyotes are taking advantage of a very inconsistent Predators team with a 2-1 series lead. The Coyotes are allowing 37 shots per game, second most among teams in the qualifying round, so at least Kuemper can rack up the saves even if the Preds force Game 5.
Jacob Markstrom ($7,800) looked sharp in a shutout win, and the Canucks offense has certainly found its mojo. The undisciplined Wild are giving them too many power plays and don't have many weapons outside of Kevin Fiala, and both Zach Parise and Eric Staal have yet to score.
Elvis Merzlikins ($7,500) provided a spark for the Jackets in the comeback win, and it certainly feels like all the momentum is on their side. He'll likely get the start, but my confidence doesn't waver much if Joonas Korpisalo ($7,300) gets another chance. The Leafs offense has yet to hit its stride, but more concerning is their inconsistency and lack of quality depth on the back end.
Given their price tag and the way their defense has been playing in front of them, I would shy away from Frederik Andersen ($8,500), Matt Murray ($8,400) – (Tristan Jarry ($8,300) should start and he's probably the better option – and either of the Oilers goalies. The Blackhawks may have won in OT but should've ran away with the win if not for the five posts they hit.
Kirby Dach ($4,200) had a very strong Game 3, stretching his assist streak and finishing with over 23 minutes of ice time. His willingness to block shots is a nice bonus.
Alexandre Texier ($3,600) was the unsung hero, stripping John Tavares and leading a 2-on-1 the other way that led to Pierre-Luc Dubois' overtime winner. He finished the night with five shots in 25 minutes (!) of action, and it's a line John Tortorella will continue to lean on heavily.
Jonathan Drouin ($3,500) scored a goal on four shots in Game 3 after a very quiet start to the series. For the Habs tp close out the series, he has to play a big role, and he gets plenty of help from center Nick Suzuki ($4,600), who is blossoming into a star.
Oilers at Blackhawks
If the Oilers score, there's a very good chance McDavid is part of the action. He has been on the ice for nine of the Oilers' 13 goals and scored five of them.
Blackhawks vs. Oilers
Stacking Jonathan Toews' line also works, but Dominik Kubalik has zero points after a five-point performance in Game 1. Kane's line is a little more dynamic with far more offensive upside, especially with DeBrincat now finding the scoresheet with three points in two games.
Canucks at Wild
Not only has this line been excellent at even strength, the Wild's undisciplined play has given the Canucks 15 power-play opportunities through three games. They're converting on just 13 percent of their chances, but they've been far more dangerous than that.
As usual, Roman Josi ($7,100)/Ryan Ellis ($5,700) and Zach Werenski ($6,200)/Seth Jones ($4,700) are the best D stacks, with Jones obviously being the best value play. He logs a ton of minutes and, Werenski doesn't outscore him by much. Josi and Ellis rank first and second in shot attempts among all defensemen in the playoffs, while Jones and Werenski rank fifth and seventh.
Quinn Hughes ($5,200) is a must-have if you're looking to stack up on Vancouver. He had three helpers in Game 3 and quarterbacks an especially dangerous power play. He possesses the most upside among all available defensemen.
Jeff Petry ($4,800) has arguably been Montreal's best rearguard this season and the only player to register a point in every game. His shot-blocking also means that he's likely to put up at least some fantasy points, making him a safe pick for a reasonable price.
Olli Maatta ($3,800) has been a nice surprise on the Chicago blue line. After scoring 17 points all season, he has four in three games against Edmonton. It's partly luck because he's attempted the fewest shot attempts on Chicago's back end, but the pucks seem to be bouncing his way right now.