What better way to ease into the weekend than with some playoff hockey action? There are four games Friday, featuring eight of the teams that were in action Wednesday (Boston and Ottawa wonít play again until Saturday). Here are some favorable-looking options for your FanDuel lineup.
Cam Talbot, EDM vs. SAN ($8,600): Talbot took an overtime loss in Game 1, but he still played well, and he is of course coming off a sterling regular season. The Sharks only scored 2.67 goals per game this year, and their power play ranked a mere 25th. The Oilers need to pick up the home win here to avoid falling in a 2-0 hole, and if Talbot played as well as he did in the series opener, he'll be in fine position to secure the victory this time around.
Mikko Koivu, MIN vs. STL ($5,900): The Blues may have only allowed one goal in Game 1, but they also allowed a whopping 52 shots. Even in a game that went into overtime, thatís a lot. Home ice was kind to the Wild this season, as they averaged 3.34 goals per contest in Minnesota, and they'll likely be revved up as they try to avoid falling behind 2-0 in the series. Koivu picked up an assist and three shots on goal in Game 1, and heís notched six points in his last seven games.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM vs. SAN ($4,700): The Sharks allowed 2.68 goals per game after the All-Star break, which is not great for a playoff team -- nor is goalie Martin Jones' .912 save percentage. Edmonton lacks much depth at center, so unless you want to dish out big bucks for Connor McDavid ($8,900), Nugent-Hopkins is your best bet, and he wonít break the bank. He notched 18 goals on 200 shots this year, tallying 11 power-play points along the way. The Sharks had the 22nd-ranked penalty kill after the All-Star break, so while the Nuge isnít a huge power-play producer, he might find a little luck with the extra man anyway.
Phil Kessel, PIT vs. CLM ($7,200): Kessel kicked off the playoffs with a bang, tallying two points and seven shots on goal in Game 1. That continued a fine run of play; in his last seven games, heís notched seven points and 26 shots on goal. During the regular season, Kessel started 40.6 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone -- second on the Penguins -- and played 3:36 a night with the extra man. Not to overstate a small sample size, but in Sergei Bobrovskyís last four starts (all losses), heís posted a 3.58 GAA and .873 save percentage.
Jaden Schwartz, STL at MIN ($6,300): Since the All-Star break, the Wild have allowed 2.94 goals per game, and Devan Dubnyk has posted a 2.96 GAA and .889 save percentage in his last 12 starts. Meanwhile, Schwartz has 12 points in his last 12 games, including an assist in Game 1. He also has 39 shots on goal in that span while averaging 3:34 with the extra man. Unless Dubnyk suddenly regains his early-season form, Schwartz looks good here, especially in the more competitive landscape of the postseason.
Brendan Gallagher, MON vs. NYR ($5,200): Gallagher was once again hindered by injury this season, but when he played, he started 35.7 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, fourth among Montreal forwards. He also notched 187 shots on goal in 64 games, with his fantasy value being held down by an incredibly (and arguably unsustainably) low 5.3 shooting percentage. The Rangers gave up 32.1 shots on goal per game after the All-Star break, and they allowed 31 in Game 1. While Henrik Lundqvist spun a shutout in that game, his inconsistencies in the regular season were well documented.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, CLM at PIT ($3,600): Bjorkstrand is a bit of a gamble, but one worth taking. With Matt
Murray out for Game 2, Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net once again. That would be the same Fleury who posted a 3.02 GAA and a .909 save percentage this season, and he'll be playing behind a Penguins defense that allowed 32.6 shots on net per contest and now lacks Kris Letang (neck). Bjorkstrand started a whopping 41.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, which is the most of any Jacket. The 22-year-old rookie is loaded with potential, making him an interesting bargain option.
Oscar Klefbom, EDM vs. SAN ($4,800): Klefbom picked up a goal in the series opener, giving him a five-game point streak. His power-play numbers have also been up recently; since the beginning of March, heís averaged 3:24 per game with the extra man, tallying seven power-play points in that time. Since the All-Star break, the Sharks only have the 22nd-ranked penalty kill, so Klefbom is in good position to keep producing. Additionally, San Jose ranked seventh in shot attempts per 60 minutes (58.7), and Klefbom provided extra value by blocking 146 shots this season.
David Savard, CLM at PIT ($3,600): Speaking of blocked shots, the Penguins ranked sixth in shot attempts per 60 minutes (58.8), while Savard blocked 126 in 74 games. Pittsburgh also allowed 32.6 shots on goal per game, which tied for third-most in the league. Having Fleury in net also increases Savardís offensive potential. Heís not an offensive dynamo by any means, but he could prove to be quite the value at this price.