As the second round is set to kick off, you will likely be looking for a few players to pick up in playoff pools. From the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning series, here are three of the best options who may be available to pick up.
A couple of Lightning players may be tasked with stepping up in the second round after a hard-fought first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Brayden Point, who plays on the second line and first power-play unit, was injured in Game 7 and it didn’t look good.
Ross Colton or Brandon Hagel may be the most likely candidates to move up, but Colton had a very good series while playing under 14 minutes a night in Round 1. He scored three goals and had five points to land himself third in points on the Lightning after seven games. He plays on the second power-play unit so he could also see an elevation there if Point stays out. Even if he doesn’t, the Lightning have won nine playoff series in a row dating back three seasons, so it’s never a bad bet to stick with them.
Nick Paul is a less likely candidate to slot in on the second line in place of an injured Point, but even if he stays on the third line, he stepped up in big games for the Lightning when they were facing elimination. He scored both goals for his team in a 2-1 Game 7 win, which could only give him a big confidence boost heading into a highly competitive second round against the Panthers.
Paul is playing over 18 minutes a night since he plays in all situations and likely just needed a few games to get adjusted to playoff hockey. Since coming over to the Lightning he has seven goals and 18 points during the regular season and playoff combined, which is productive for a third-line player who has a physical element to his games and is on a team that could go all the way again.
When considering possible Panthers players to add to your fantasy team, look no further than Anthony Duclair. Despite a slow Round 1 series against the Washington Capitals, he still plays on the top line while also lining up beside the best players on the first power-play unit. Unfortunately, that power play was held without a goal. That will most likely change in the second round for the highest-scoring team in the regular season against Andrei Vasilevskiy who wasn’t the same playoff self we’ve seen for the past two seasons.
Duclair finished fourth on the Panthers in points and third in goals during the regular season, so he is bound to come around as the Panthers were just shocked against an eighth-place Capitals team that was up to the task of playing with their team.
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