There is nothing quite like a Game 7, and tonight holds two of them. The New York Rangers and Dallas Stars evened up their series, but do they have enough to wrap it up? Will the Pittsburgh Penguins be able to get by without their captain? Will the Calgary Flames solve Jake Oettinger? This betting guide will give good value picks to boost your daily fantasy lineups for today’s duo of games.
Center: Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers
Heading into Game 6, Mika Zibanejad had just two points in his previous four games. As a result, the Rangers fell behind in the series but managed to rebound. That’s when Zibanejad had his biggest game of the series, registering two goals and two assists in a 5-3 win. He was effective every time he touched the puck and scored the Rangers’ first two goals to tie the game up before setting up the game-winner. He was named the second star of the game for his efforts.
It marks the first time in his career that Zibanejad plays in a Game 7. He has some history with the Penguins in the playoffs. In 2013, the Penguins eliminated the Ottawa Senators in six games, a series where Zibanejad went without a point. Four years later, his first with the Rangers, his team was eliminated by the Senators, who eventually lost to the Penguins in the Conference Final. He was exceptional during the regular season with seven points in four games against the Penguins, and he’s heating up at just the right time.
Wing: Bryan Rust, Pittsburgh Penguins
He may not be the biggest name on his line, but Bryan Rust is enjoying an excellent postseason thus far. On a line with Jake Guentzel and captain Sidney Crosby, Rust has amassed seven points in six games. Despite losing their captain in Game 5, Evgeni Malkin has stepped in and fit nicely with the pair of wingers. Rust and Guentzel have tons of chemistry, as evidenced by the goal set up between the two in Game 6.
In his eight-year career thus far, Rust has three goals in two instances of Game 7 hockey. He has two Stanley Cup rings and knows what it takes to play in big games. Under the guidance and mentorship of players like Crosby and Malkin, Rust knows how to overcome adversity. It’s something his team will need to do to take down a Rangers team that has momentum. Plus, it doesn’t get any easier with Crosby potentially missing a second straight game.
Wing: Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames
The Flames have had their hands full with the Stars and figuring out Oettinger, and life would be easier if Matthew Tkachuk could get going. Before the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he had three goals and five points in 11 playoff games. If one thing looked promising, it was his remarkable 104-point season, and Flames fans hoped he’d translate that production into the postseason. So far, it hasn’t been the case, but Game 7 could be the awakening that Tkachuk and the Flames need.
During the regular season, Tkachuk had two goals and one assist in three meetings against the Stars. He currently has four points in six games this series but has yet to touch the back of the net with one of his shots. Oettinger has been outstanding so far this series, but the Flames will need to figure out a way to get past him if they hope to advance to the next round. Tkachuk has big-game energy and is playing well despite the lack of production.
Center: Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
It certainly has been a tight series between Dallas and Calgary when a player like Tyler Seguin is reduced to three points in six games. Both teams have goaltenders playing above expectations, but Seguin’s concerns go beyond his lack of production. Seguin’s possession metrics are at career-low numbers currently, and he’s averaging around two shots per game. Still, he’s matched his goal total from the Stars’ last playoff run while playing in 20 fewer games.
Seguin doesn’t need to be a game-breaker, but some more offense would definitely aid the Stars in their journey to overcome Calgary’s defensive mindset. Only one of his shots has beaten Markstrom so far, with his other goal being an empty-netter. If the Stars can get Jamie Benn and Seguin going, especially during the early stages of the game, the Stars could get the job done. It all depends on which team’s stars show up.
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