This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Friday was a do-or-die day for a few NHL teams and, well, they by-and-large went by the wayside. Teams hoping to push for a Game 5 were eliminated left and right, including the two five seeds in Edmonton and Pittsburgh. That leaves us with only two games Saturday, and they are both round robin games. Those contests have looked a little sluggish at times, but the games are happening and DFS isn't going anywhere. The Lightning are facing the Flyers and the Avalanche are taking on the Golden Knights. Here's a little look into the fantasy landscape.
We might as well look at all four goalies here. It's worth noting Tampa, Colorado, and Philadelphia all finished in the top-seven in goals per game. And while Vegas "only" ranked 13th, they led the league with 34.5 shots on net per game. We currently have two confirmed starters. Andrei Vasilevskiy ($8,100) represents the most-expensive goalie. While his .917 save percentage this season wasn't up to his usual standards, he's posted a .930 save percentage in 26 2020 appearances and has looked great in the bubble. I wondered how Carter Hart ($7,300) would look given his .943 home save percentage and .857 road mark, but he did make 33 saves on 34 shots in his recent start.
Philipp Grubauer ($7,900) is projected to start for Colorado. He's only played in one game since February - which is admittedly only a few fewer than everybody else - but he did produce a 2.63 GAA and .916 save percentage this year. Should he start as projected, Marc-Andre Fleury ($7,500) is the closest thing to a weak link among these four due to his .905 save percentage and four goals allowed on 17 shots in his one bubble appearance.
There have been plenty of penalties called in the playoffs so far, which is iffy for a team like the Golden Knights who ranked 27th in penalty killing this year. Nazem Kadri ($4,400) has notched a power-play point in both of his games during the round robin, and it's easy to see that streak continuing when you look at his teammates on Colorado's top power-play unit.
I want to take a shot on one Bolt in case Hart looks like the road version of himself. My choice is Ondrej Palat ($4,100). He skates on Tampa's top line with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov and tallied 41 points in 69 games this season.
Max Pacioretty ($7,200) has missed the first two playoff games, and at this point it doesn't make sense for the team to risk his health. That could mean Chandler Stephenson ($2,800) potentially staying on the Golden Knights' top line with William Karlsson and Mark Stone. Of the four teams in action Saturday, the Avalanche allowed the most shots on goal per game at 31.3.
Avalanche vs. Golden Knights
Since there are only two games, forgive me for only providing one stack. Also, apologies for just choosing Colorado's top line. It was, in all honesty, the only choice. Two of these players, MacKinnon and Rantanen, skate on Colorado's number-one power-play unit. They will face off with Vegas' 27th-ranked penalty kill. There's also the matter of Fleury's .905 save percentage. And in case you haven't heard, MacKinnon ranks among the league's top-10 players with 93 points in only 69 games this year and two assists and 11 shots on goal during these playoffs. Rantanen is no slouch, with 41 points in 42 games after racking up 87 points the previous campaign. Then there's Namestnikov, the upside play with buy-low potential. He fired home 17 goals this season, and his elite linemates helped his notch a goal in his last game.
The fact Cale Makar ($5,300) isn't the most-expensive defenseman makes it easy for me to recommend him. He could be the Calder winner thanks to 50 points in 57 games, including 19 on the power play. Makar is also shooting more in the playoffs by directing seven pucks on goal so far. Mikhail Sergachev ($4,800) started 54.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest among Lightning defensemen. If Hart stumbles in his second-ever playoff start, the Russian blueliner could take advantage. Lastly, Nate Schmidt ($4,300) has been hot in the playoffs by tallying three points and nine shots on goal. He also put 121 shots on net in 59 games during the regular season. As I noted earlier, the Avalanche allowed 31.3 shots on net per contest and Grubauer's .916 save percentage was quite good but not great.