This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday's NHL slate consists of the Game 6 showdown contest between the Islanders and Lightning, at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
New York won a 2-1 double overtime thriller in Game 5 to keep its season alive, but Tampa Bay still holds a 3-2 series lead and an 18-11 edge in goals overall. That scoring advantage is just 10-9 Tampa Bay if you take out the lopsided series opener, though. The Lightning are 3-0 when Brayden Point plays and 0-2 when he doesn't in this series, and the top-line center will likely be a game-time decision for Game 6.
Andrei Vasilevskiy ($10,800) has won seven of his last nine starts while allowing only 17 goals over this strong stretch. Given his recent success and both teams' defensive-minded approach to Game 5, he should be in consideration for your Captain spot.
Semyon Varlamov ($10,400) put the team on his back in Game 5, stopping 36 of 37 shots. With Tampa Bay largely carrying play in this series, Varlamov could provide strong value even in a loss if he posts a gaudy save total along the way, and he'll almost certainly be among the fantasy scoring leaders if the Islanders pull off another upset in Game 6.
Jordan Eberle ($7,200) brings more momentum into this Game than anyone after potting the double overtime winner in Game 5. His 5-9-14 run during this playoff run ranks Eberle in the top-five team-wide in goals and points.
Blake Coleman ($7,000) has been Tampa Bay's most consistent source of secondary scoring, with at least one point in eight of the past 12 games (4-5-9). While he plays a less prominent role on his new club, the trade deadline acquisition was on a 30-goal pace with 21 in 57 games for the Devils prior to being dealt.
Cal Clutterbuck ($3,000) was elevated to the top line in New York's most recent line shuffling. If he stays there, the physical winger makes for a terrific value play at just $3,000. He has chipped in a respectable eight shots and three blocks over the past three games while lighting the lamp once.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Lightning vs. Islanders
Cirelli would be replaced by Point on this top line if the latter plays, but the fantastic two-way pivot is a can't-miss value if Point sits given the talent flanking him. Kucherov was blanked for the first time in this series in Game 5 but still has a 2-7-9 line in five games against the Islanders, while Palat has eight goals in his last nine games.
Islanders at Lightning
While this line was kept quiet in Game 5, it has been New York's best throughout the postseason. Bailey leads the team with 20 points in 21 games, while Nelson is second in points with 18 and tied with Beauvillier for the goals lead with nine. Look for this trio to step up once more for the Islanders to keep their run going once again.
While Tampa Bay's forwards took the night off Tuesday, Victor Hedman ($9,000) was the only guy to get a puck past Varlamov in Game 5. That goal was Hedman's seventh in the past 10 games, and the 2018 Norris Trophy winner has tossed in four assists, 31 shots and 23 blocked shots over that stretch.
Ryan Pulock ($7,800) scored New York's first goal in Game 5, bringing his postseason line to 2-8-10. He leads all Islanders defensemen in points during the playoffs, just like he did in the regular season (10-25-35 in 68 games).
Kevin Shattenkirk ($6,400) has been mired in a four-game point drought following a stretch of five assists in two games, but he has maintained a decent floor during the cold spell thanks to seven shots and eight blocks. If the six-time 40-point scorer can rediscover his scoring touch, Shattenkirk should be able to outperform his $6,400 valuation.