The first round of the playoffs is set, and that means some high-octane matchups for daily fantasy. With only the league’s best teams remaining, things get tighter in the DFS realm. This betting guide offers some good picks to stick with for daily fantasy lineups during the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Center: Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Filip Forsberg has been lights out against the Avalanche this season, scoring two goals and three assists in three games against them. That’s a continuation of his dominance over Colorado for his career. Forsberg has 16 goals and 32 points and is a whopping plus-27 against the Avs in 29 games. The 32 career points are tied for the most against any opponent in Forsberg’s career.
The Predators have fared pretty well against Colorado this year, going 3-1 against the Western Conference’s top-seeded team while averaging 4.25 goals per game. Forsberg has been in the middle of that success. Nashville might not make it out of the first round, but the Predators have given the Avalanche fits, and Forsberg should be in the thick of things again.
Wing: Pavel Buchnevich, St. Louis Blues
The series between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues could be one of the most entertaining of the first round, as 28 goals were scored in their three regular-season meetings. The Blues opened as underdogs against the Wild, despite beating Minnesota every time they’ve played this season. Pavel Buchnevich was a big part of that, racking up two goals and three assists in those three victories.
For his career, Buchnevich has five goals and four assists in nine games against Minnesota. This is a good spot for the Blues, but they don’t go anywhere without production from that top line. Buchnevich has delivered against the Wild his entire career and should keep delivering for daily fantasy lineups during this series.
Defense: Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
Jaccob Slavin has been one of Carolina’s most solid players all season. Even though he isn’t the highest-scoring defenseman out there, he stays on the ice and has been solid against the Boston Bruins this season. Slavin scored a goal and two assists in three games against Boston, and he’ll continue to rack up minutes for the Hurricanes in the postseason.
Slavin notably doesn’t take penalties—he was last year’s winner of the Lady Byng Trophy—and has only 10 penalty minutes all season. That means he’ll be available for plenty of minutes, and he blocks shots, as well, with 121 on the season. That gives Slavin good upside for the first round and should be available at an affordable DFS price, too.
Goaltender: Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
Sure, Igor Shesterkin is not going to be the least expensive option for the first round, but he’s going to be the best one. The frontrunner for the Vezina Trophy has dominated the Pittsburgh Penguins this season, going 3-1 while sporting a 1.01 goals-against average and a .960 save percentage. He stopped 97 of the 101 shots the Penguins threw at him.
New York has had a solid season, and for it to keep going, Shesterkin is going to have to be on top of his game. This is one of the best matchups the Rangers goaltender could ask for in the first round to get him some footing. He’s dominated them all season and should be a good daily option for first-round games.
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