This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.
The Islanders can be the second team to advance with a win in early action starting at noon Eastern time. A lot of eyes will be on the Bruins game after a very lackluster showing in their first round-robin contest, and this time they're facing a Lightning squad that looked very much in mid-season form. The Oilers and Blackhawks are in action again, and they've been the most entertaining, high-scoring series.
If Thomas Greiss ($7,400) starts, he's a good value play against a Panthers team that has scored just three times. It's been a closer series than the Isles' 2-0 lead suggests, and despite Sergei Bobrovsky's best efforts he can't mitigate the mediocre play of the defence in front of him. The Panthers just don't seem to be prepared and have yet to put forth a consistent effort all game.
I think Game 2 was more telling of what the Habs offence is capable of… which is to say, not much. Even if the Habs get the matchups they want as the home team, Matt Murray ($8,500) shouldn't have too much trouble getting the win.
Philipp Grubauer ($8,400) should get the start, but Pavel Francouz ($8,400) is the same price anyway. The Stars struggled before the break and continue to do so in round-robin action. They don't generate much offense, and their much-lauded defense allowed four goals in one period against the Knights sans Max Pacioretty. Juuse Saros ($8,000) and Pekka Rinne ($8,000) are in the same boat. Either goalie is a good pick against the inconsistent Coyotes, who aren't getting big performances from Taylor Hall or Phil Kessel.
I like both Roope Hintz ($5,200) and Ryan Johansen ($5,100). Their ice time is limited, but they've been pretty productive so far in the playoffs. My most bullish value pick at center is Kirby Dach ($4,100), though, who has two assists in two games while playing with Patrick Kane on his wing. His line generated more high-danger chances than any other Hawks line, according to Natural Stat Trick. Jesperi Kotkaniemi ($3,500) has scored in every game, but the Hawks are probably going to score a lot more than the Habs, so Dach is probably the safer pick.
Bryan Rust ($5,500) is a good value play on the wing with a point in six of his past seven games dating back to March 3, and among wingers who average more than 14 FPPG, he's the cheapest. Anthony Beauvillier ($4,800) could've had a couple goals, and it's evident his speed is a problem for a thin Panthers defense. Josh Archibald ($3,400) is a boom-or-bust pick depending on whether or not he plays with Connor McDavid.
Islanders at Panthers
It's a cheap line stack and the Panthers defense isn't particularly strong, especially if Matt Barzal's line takes all the attention. They've generated a combined 17 shots through two games and only Nelson has yet to register a point. It'll come.
Blackhawks vs. Oilers
DeBrincat has largely been invisible but he gets power-play time and he's shown good chemistry with Kane in the past. Dach has been very good and seems to have leapfrogged Dylan Strome as the No. 2 center.
Oilers at Blackhawks
We'll see if Archibald sticks, but it really doesn't matter who you play in that spot because it's all McDavid and RNH anyway. You might be better off with Alex Chiasson ($3,800) just for the PP exposure even though he doesn't play on this line at even strength.
Ryan Ellis ($5,800) has been quiet but he's a good D stack with Roman Josi ($7,400). Not having Steven Stamkos on the power play has taken away some of the Lightning's bite, so I would be hesitant with Victor Hedman ($6,500) until Stamkos returns. Oscar Klefbom ($5,600) and Jeff Petry ($4,600) are always good high-floor options.
Considering how poor Dallas' defense was in their first game, I like Cale Makar ($5,700) a lot. I'm not nearly as sold on Miro Heiskanen ($4,700), but his three-assist performance was impressive, and you can't argue with the price against a very average Avalanche PK. Mikhail Sergachev ($4,400) also still has plenty of upside, and in his last game against Boston, scored a goal and an assist.
I would shy away from Torey Krug ($5,800) because it looks like the Bruins are asleep, and also Oliver Ekman-Larsson ($5,200), Shea Weber ($5,000) and Aaron Ekblad ($5,000). All three play important roles on their clubs, but their offensive production is either inconsistent or in decline.