Everybody has a playoff game under their belt, and the tone has been set for every series. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Florida Panthers are still looking for their first postseason win, while a couple of Western Conference favorites look to take two-game leads in their series. Also, how many overtimes will the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins play? This betting guide will give some value picks to optimize your daily fantasy lineups for today’s quartet of games.
Center: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
It took all night, but Evgeni Malkin helped the Pittsburgh Penguins outlast the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their series in triple overtime. Malkin has been heating up at the end of the season and showed he still has some punch left after missing a chunk of the season following knee surgery last summer. He had a goal and an assist in Game 1 and has four goals and three assists in his last five games.
Malkin is going to keep getting a good amount of minutes. He centers Pittsburgh’s high-quality second line and is in the middle of the top power-play unit. He has 30 goals against the Rangers in his career, his second-most against any team. Play should continue to be fast in Game 2, and Malkin should be in the middle of that, as well. He should have a decent price tag, especially on a night with Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov, and Sidney Crosby.
Wing: Claude Giroux, Florida Panthers
Claude Giroux netted a goal in Game 1, and there should be more where that came from for the Florida Panthers’ high-profile addition from trade deadline day. The Panthers had a 2-1 lead thanks to Giroux’s go-ahead goal going into the third period of the series opener but then watched the Washington Capitals net three unanswered. That’s won’t sit well with Florida, the Presidents’ Trophy winners for this season.
Giroux has two goals and five assists in his last four games, and he had a goal and two assists against the Capitals in the regular season. He’s really clicking right now, and the pace should be kicked up a notch after the Panthers lost Game 1. Giroux’s salary shouldn’t be too high, and slotting him in one of your winger slots should deliver a decent return in the second game of the series.
Defense: Devon Toews, Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche absolutely demolished the Nashville Predators in Game 1, particularly in the first period. The Avs piled up five goals in the opening period, including a great goal from defenseman Devon Toews. He was also jumping forward into the offense early and often in Game 1 and should deliver more points and shots on goal as long as he does so.
Toews has points in his last three playoff games and should keep piling up minutes, both even strength and on the power play, moving forward. Cale Makar gets a lot of praise for his offensive game, and rightfully so. However, Toews is usually available at a much cheaper price in daily fantasy without giving up too much production. Save some salary by opting for Toews on defense so you can spend more on some of the higher-priced forwards.
Goaltender: Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames
Jacob Markstrom didn’t have to work very hard in Game 1, stopping just 16 shots on the way to his second career shutout in the playoffs. Dallas struggled to get anything going and seemed more concerned with slowing down Calgary than generating any pressure of their own in Calgary’s series-opening victory.
These look like they’re going to be low-scoring games, and if any team does blast off for a bunch of goals, it’ll probably be the Flames. Calgary will probably win this series. The Stars could sneak a game or two, but not if they don’t score, or at least start getting some shots. Stick with Markstrom in Game 2, and stay with him throughout the series or until the Stars show they can solve him.
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