This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
After a day of play-in games, Wednesday's five-game slate will see the return of round-robin games, as the Lightning clash with the Bruins and the Avs take on the Stars. We'll also see the Predators and Coyotes playing in the second game of the back-to-back while world-class studs will again be front and center with Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
After a stellar showing in Game 2, it's hard to argue against utilizing Matt Murray ($8,000) for Wednesday's slate. With his 26-save performance in Game 2, the 25-year-old netminder racked up 21.4 fantasy points, which is certainly worth the high salary. Meanwhile, it's Juuse Saros ($8100) who likely will get the nod despite playing in a back-to-back, though having Pekka Rinne available provides the Preds' coaching staff with a viable alternative.
The round-robin matches will offer two top goalies for just under the $8,000 price range in Philipp Grubauer ($7,900) and Andrei Vasilevskiy ($7,700), though there is a risk that comes with taking them as they are both playing top teams and, in the case of Vasilevskiy, may not play the entire contest. Still, Grubauer garnered 24.9 fantasy points in his first out after stopping 31 of 32 shots and securing the win, while Vasilevskiy earned 22.1 fantasy points by giving up two goals on 33 shots in a shootout win.
The bottom of the goalie pool will feature Ben Bishop ($7,100) and Darcy Kuemper ($7,300). For the Dallas netminder, it was a disappointing opening playoff contest, as he allowed four goals on 32 shots for a subpar .875 save percentage. It seems unlikely coaches will rest netminders in the postseason due to back-to-back, but an injury to Antti Raanta (undisclosed) may well have forced the coaching staff's hand.
Phil Kessel ($3,900): Kessel picked up a pair of helpers in Game 1, including one assist on the power play, and continues to play with Taylor Hall on the top line as coach Rick Tocchet condenses his stars on one unit.
Mattias Janmark ($2,700): He may have underwhelmed in the first game with just 9.5 fantasy points and didn't log any time with the man advantage, but getting a top-six winger for under $3,000 is a steal even if he only grabs one helper.
Conor Sheary ($3,800): It feels like cheating to keep going back to the well with Sheary, but the winger paid dividends in Game 2 with a pair of helpers and three shots on his way to 14.5 fantasy points. There is little reason for coach Mike Sullivan to shuffle the deck and move Sheary off the Sidney Crosby line. Until his price jumps up, fantasy players should be giving the 28-year-old a hard look every time the Penguins are on the ice.
Penguins vs Canadiens
After the Penguins' top line of Sidney Crosby ($6,900), Jake Guentzel ($6,500) and Conor Sheary ($3,800) combined for two goals and three assists in Game 2, plus another two points in Game 1, fading them Wednesday will certainly be a high-risk proposition. If you are down for a contrarian play, the Habs' third line comes in at just $8,500 in combined salary — less than Connor McDavid alone. It was the only group to produce in Game 2, and Kotkaniemi has goals in both contests.
Avalanche vs Stars
The offense wasn't exactly rolling in the Avs' first round-robin outing. However, that shouldn't come as a shock considering they were going up against St. Louis' Jordan Binnington. Still, both MacKinnon and Rantanen managed to pick up assists in that contest. During the regular season, MacKinnon only experienced one goal drought that lasted more than three games and will find the back of the net before long.
Oilers vs Blackhawks
Nugent-Hopkins earned a helper on each of McDavid's trio of goals Tuesday, including one with the man advantage, which brought his postseason assist tally up to a league-leading five through two games. In terms of stacking, it really doesn't matter who the third guy is, but the fact that Archibald carries a minimal salary makes tossing him into the mix at least worthwhile in the event he grabs a point.
It's the usual characters who continue to feature at the top of the defenseman board with Roman Josi ($7,000), Kris Letang ($6,500) and Oscar Klefbom ($6,200) leading the way in terms of price. Josi grabbed a third assist in Tuesday's Game 2 versus Arizona but that extra $800 in salary doesn't warrant paying up from Klefbom, who has a pair of helpers himself. Of the three, Letang has shown the least potential to earn that heavy price tag considering he has no points and his spot with the No. 1 power-play unit for Pittsburgh is tenuous, at best.
In terms of mid-range pricing options, Ryan Graves ($4,700) and Miro Heiskanen ($4,600) offer the most intrigue. The 24-year-old Graves scored the opening goal of Sunday's clash with St. Louis while also dishing out four hits for 14.1 fantasy points while Heiskanen earned a trio of assists — including one with the man advantage. Unless their salaries drastically increase, these two could be worth looking at in subsequent round-robin matchups, as well.
As for value plays on the blue line, fantasy players shouldn't overlook Pittsburgh's John Marino ($3,600) considering he logged over four minutes on the power play in Game 2, giving him a two-game total of 7:21. The uptick in responsibility saw him post 13.3 fantasy points in Monday's matchup thanks to six shots on goal. With the Penguins struggling with the man advantage, coach Mike Sullivan could just start throwing combinations out there to see what sticks, including putting Marino on the ice with the No. 1 unit.