Fantasy Corner: Defense and Goaltending Fantasy Picks – 05/13/22

Three teams can punch their ticket for the second round with a win tonight. The Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames won the first game of a best-of-three series over their opponents. Also, will the Pittsburgh Penguins eliminate the New York Rangers in their second-chance elimination game? This betting guide will give good value picks to boost your daily fantasy lineups for today’s trio of games.

Defense: Adam Fox, New York Rangers

Since stepping into the league, Adam Fox has become an absolute treat to watch. In three seasons, he already has a Norris Trophy to his name and one All-Star Game appearance. While his first taste of postseason hockey was a forgettable experience, he currently sits with five points in five games this time around. The Penguins haven’t found a way yet to keep Fox off the scoresheet, and his confidence continues to grow when the puck is on his stick.

Adam Fox New York Rangers
Adam Fox, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The regular season was a different story as the Penguins held Fox to just one assist in four meetings. He was a non-factor in most of those games, but that isn’t the case any longer. Game 6 has the potential to be in favour of Fox and the Rangers if Crosby is not available. The team buckled once their captain left Game 5, and the Rangers took full advantage of the situation. Look for Fox to be a big-time player tonight and continue his consecutive point streak alive.

Defense: Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers

Entering this year’s postseason, Aaron Ekblad‘s performance was shrouded in mystery. With health concerns and one point in 10 games during the playoffs, it wasn’t farfetched to doubt his impact on the game. In five games this series, he’s registered four points, all of which have come at even strength. He’s also showcasing good puck possession metrics, despite starting more zone starts on the defensive end.

Ekblad is averaging around 23 minutes of ice time in the first round, and he’s conserving stamina levels by playing a more controlled game. His physicality is taking a back seat compared to previous years in favour of a more disciplined approach. It’s paying off, as the Panthers’ forwards have more space to get open while Ekblad controls the play from the backend. As each game progresses, the Capitals tend to let leads slip, and that’s when a player like Ekblad is most dangerous.

Goaltending: Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames

The goaltending battle between Jacob Markstrom and Jake Oettinger was not one many expected to happen, but it makes for great storylines. Entering the first round of the series, many expected Markstrom to replicate his regular-season form, and he’s done that well. He boasts a .952 save percentage, one shutout, and has allowed just six goals on 125 shots faced. He’s been spectacular in each game, regardless of the outcome, and he’ll hope for some goal-scoring support in Game 6 to put an end to this series.

Jacob Markstrom Chris Tanev Calgary Flames Marian Studenic Dallas Stars
Jacob Markstrom and Chris Tanev of the Calgary Flames keep an eye on the puck while Marian Studenic of the Dallas Stars looks on (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In 19 career games during the playoffs, Markstrom has a .925 SV%. He had a career year with Calgary this season and continues to elevate his performance as the series prolongs. If there’s one goaltender you’re thinking of putting money on, consider Markstrom above anyone else. Dallas has failed to find a consistent way to beat him, scoring just twice in the last two games, and Calgary has all the momentum. They were also the league’s second-best road team, so chances are they put an end to Dallas’ run tonight.

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