This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
The NHL playoffs got off to a fine start with a bit of overtime hockey between the Bruins and the Capitals. Sunday kicks things up a notch with three games taking place. However, the first game is at 12:00 p.m. ET, so you'll need to get your lineup in early. We've got three Game 1s on the docket: Islanders at Penguins, Wild at Golden Knights, and Lightning at Panthers. It should be a fun day of hockey!
Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. NYI ($7,900): The Islanders' had the worst offense of these six teams by a pretty sizeable margin. They finished the year ranked 20th in goals per game, while every other team in action finished in the top nine. Jarry had a few off days down the stretch, but from the beginning of March he had a 2.52 GAA and .917 save percentage in 25 games.
Semyon Varlamov, NYI at PIT ($7,300): Needless to say, I'm expecting a low-scoring game here. You saw what the Islanders did in the playoffs last season, right? They drained the energy out of games and turned them into stifling defensive battles. That's what Barry Trotz does, and the Islanders are capable of doing that again. On the occasions Varlamov does face a shot, he had a .929 save percentage this season.
VALUE PLAYS/ONE OFFS
Ondrej Palat, TAM at FLA ($4,700): Palat missed Tampa's final game of the regular season, but that may have just been the team not risking his health. He had 46 points in 55 contests, and Nikita Kucherov should be joining him and Brayden Point on the top line for the Lightning. If Kucherov shakes off the rust, that could boost Palat's fantasy upside. In spite of the fact that Chris Dreidger and even Spencer Knight looked better this season, Sergei Bobrovsky (and his massive contract) are starting Game 1. Bob had a .906 save percentage.
Jordan Eberle, NYI at PIT ($4,300): New York's offense isn't terribly potent, but there's some potential in this lineup. Eberle, for example, started 61.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. That was highest on the Islanders. He also put 128 shots on goal in 55 games, second most on the team. Even if Jarry is in good position to get a win – and may not face a ton of challenge – Eberle could still get on the score sheet, which would be great for your DFS lineup.
LINE STACK TO CONSIDER
The world has turned upside down. The Wild, usually a team built on defense, had a top-10 offense this year and ranked 16th in GAA. Minnesota's 2.84 GAA and 30.4 shots on net per contest are both highest among the six teams in action Sunday. I'm going with Vegas' second line because Max Pacioretty is a game-time decision, and if he doesn't play Tomas Nosek might be taking his space on the first line. Karlsson ended the year with nine points in 11 games to finish with 39 points in 56 games. Marchessault put over 200 shots on goal in each of his previous three seasons, and this year he had 176 shots on net in only 55 games. In his last 15 contests he had 50 shots on goal to go with 14 points. Smith has gotten hot at the right time. He has nine points in his last seven outings, including three of his five power-play points on the season.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. MIN ($5,900): Theodore has been one of the most-prolific offensive defensemen in the NHL for the last couple of years. He had over 200 shots on net in each of his prior two seasons. Last year, he also took on a much larger role on the power play. He averaged 3:06 per game with the extra man, tallying 16 power-play points. This year he had 15 power-play points and averaged 3:04 in ice time on the man advantage. Cam Talbot also enters the playoffs on a cold streak. Over his last six games he has a 3.93 GAA and .857 save percentage.
Mikhail Sergachev, TAM at FLA ($4,700): Sergachev is relied upon for secondary offensive support from the blue line behind Victor Hedman. He's usually up to the task. This was his fourth season in a row with at least 30 points. Sure, this year he had exactly 30 points, but that was in 56 games. He averaged personal highs in ice time (21:58) and power-play ice time (2:04). Florida's penalty kill was a middling 17th and with Bobrovsky and his .906 save percentage in net it might not even be that good.