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2 years agoWashington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals, including the overtime winner, and added a powerplay assist to lead the Caps to a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Backstrom is lighting up the postseason with eight points in five games, six of them coming on the powerplay. He began the playoffs as a fairly cheap DFS option but will likely see his price rise after last night's performance. He's a safe bet for a point or two every night, but don't expect more than one or two shots from the playmaking Swede.--Barry MilesSource: TSN
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2 years agoThrough five games of their first round series, the Toronto Maple Leafs have scored three power play goals on 10 opportunities. James van Riemsdyk has scored each and every one of them. JVR has made a name for himself on the power play, and much of his success has come within six feet of the opposing goaltender. Consistent with this theme, van Riemsdyk found the back of the net on Saturday with what would be the game-winning goal. The goal is his third in his last four games. When he’s on the ice with the man advantage, it’s obvious there’s a game plan, and JVR has the skills to convert. It’s a risk to start JVR in DFS, but he’s the guy Toronto will look to feed when given a chance.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBallerSource: NHL.com
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2 years agoToronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly found his way back on to the score sheet in game 5, feeding Tyler Bozak on a cross-ice pass midway through the second period. Rielly was held without a point in game 4, as the Leafs were limited to a single goal, but notched his fifth assist in as many games on Saturday. While Rielly’s totals aren’t staggering, he has shown consistency throughout this series and deserves to be started in DFS. Toronto will need to come out with as much energy as they did in game 5 to once again avoid elimination, but get to do so on home ice.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBallerSource: NHL.com
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2 years agoToronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen will get the nod in Game 5 against the Boston Bruins. This comes as no surprise, as despite Andersen's subpar .880 save percentage this postseason, he is the goalie that the Leafs will go to when needing the best chance to win. Boston's top line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand has proven to be a bit much for Andersen, however, with the stakes on the line, Andersen will prove to be a good candidate for DFS.--Caden Inaba - RotoBallerSource: Paul Hendrick on Twitter
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2 years agoColumbus Blue Jackets forward Alexander Wennberg will return to the lineup in time for Game 5 against the Washington Capitals after missing the last three games. Wennberg was taken out by a hit from Caps forward Tom Wilson and remained sidelined with an upper-body injury. He should return to the second line with Thomas Vanek and Boone Jenner, hopefully finding the chemistry that saw him post two goals and 11 points in March alone. Wennberg has a single goal in his only game this series and will look to add to those totals this afternoon.--Barry MilesSource: Washington Post
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2 years agoBoston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was a surprise omission from the lineup in game 4, but is expected to return to his top-line role on Saturday. Riley Nash filled in for Bergeron, and had experience on the first line in the regular season. The Bruins first line was again the main storyline as Boston took game 4; David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand connected on the game’s winning goal. Although he’s still looking for his first goal of the series, Bergeron has five assists through three games, and improves the outlook for the Bruins first line. There’s still a chance he feels he can’t go tonight during the pregame warm up, so keep your finger on the pulse. The Bruins have a chance to clinch the series tonight, and having Bergeron in the fold should be a huge help.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBallerSource: NBC Sports
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2 years agoAs many expected, Toronto Maple Leafs center Tomas Plekanec has lost his spot on the second line as a result of Nazem Kadri’s return from suspension. Plekanec played his best hockey of the series and as a Maple Leaf in games 3 and 4, posting two points and limiting Boston’s top line. It was a welcome change of pace for Leafs fans. His ice time will likely take a hit on the third line, and he will center rookie Andreas Johnsson and the slumping William Nylander. Although Plekanec’s prospects were looking up, that was when he was alongside Mitch Marner. Leave him on the wire for game 5.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBallerSource: Chris Johnston on Twitter
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2 years agoToronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander was skating on the third line at the team’s morning skate Saturday. Coach Mike Babcock juggled his line a bit, dropping Nylander from the first line. Nylander had a +/- of -2 in game 4 and has just one assist through four games, and has not been able to make an impact on offense. Toronto must win Saturday night to avoid elimination, and Babcock doesn’t feel Nylander on the first line gives him his best chance to do so. Avoid starting Nylander in DFS. He may not stay on the third line the entire game, but he hasn’t given owners a reason for a second thought thus far in the series.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBallerSource: Chris Johnston on Twitter
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2 years agoToronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri is eligible to return to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension he received in game one for a hit on Boston Bruins Tommy Wingels. At today’s morning skate, Kadri resumed his usual position centering the Leafs second line. This is a good sign for the Leafs, as Kadri is a talented player and had a great regular season. Tomas Plekanec filled in admirably in his absence, but the line looks stronger with Kadri on it. He’ll be playing alongside Mitchell Marner, who has arguably looked the best on the Leafs in the series. This should give both of them a bump in outlook, and could prove for a beneficial DFS start, as the Leafs come out determined to stave off elimination Saturday night.--Kevin Acorn - RotoBallerSource: Chris Johnston on Twitter
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2 years agoTampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat has been held scoreless over the last two games after scoring four points in the first two games. His scoreless streak on the road put a halt to his blistering start to the series and has understandably caused a dip in his DFS value. Palat did perform better at home in the regular season, shooting 11.5 percent compared to 8.8 percent on the road, so his decline in production in Games 3 and 4 is not too much of a surprise. Look for Palat and Tampa Bay's second line to perform closer to their production in Games 1 and 2 now that the series shifts back to Tampa Bay.--Russ Ivanac - RotoBallerSource: NHL.com
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2 years agoNew Jersey Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen did not travel with his teammates to Tampa Bay for Game 5 but has yet to be officially ruled out for Saturday's contest. Vatanen left Game 4 after a hit from Nikita Kucherov and did not return. Though he is considered day-to-day, it would be a surprise to see him play in Game 5. Vatanen only had one point in four games this series but had logged over 20 minutes of time on ice in every game except Game 4. The impact of Vatanen's absence will likely impact the Tampa Bay forwards more than anyone, giving them a more favorable matchup than usual.--Russ Ivanac - RotoBallerSource: Amanda Stein
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2 years agoWinnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck held off all 30 shots in Game 5 to shut out the Minnesota Wild and earn his first playoff series victory. Helleybuyck checks off another personal and franchise milestone with his victory Friday, backing the Jets to their first playoff series victory as well. Hellebuyck has been officially nominated for the Vezina trophy along with Nashville's Pekka Rinne and Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy, and he continues to give reasons why he should win the award. The postseason is far from over but if he keeps up his play over the last two games, he should have the Vezina and the Stanley Cup in his pocket.--aayushdasSource: Nhl.com
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2 years agoWinnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers was not on the ice during warmups for Game 5 against the Minnesota Wild. Ehlers got off to a good start in this series, grabbing two assists and sending six shots on net in four games. The Jets will be extra thankful to have Myers back in the lineup, as this latest injury starts to weaken their roster. Tucker Poolman will stay in the lineup and Matt Hendricks will step in for Ehlers.--aayushdasSource: Elliotte Friedman Twitter
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2 years agoWashington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby stopped 23 shots in a 4-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. Holtby was less than 14 minutes away from completing the shutout when Columbus forward Boone Jenner tipped a shot right in front of him to make it 3-1. After a disappointing regular season, Holtby has regained the starting job from Philipp Grubauer and has not disappointed, winning both games he's started while posting a stunning .940 save percentage and 1.33 goals-against average in three appearances. With his newfound confidence, expect Holtby to play more like the goalie who won the Vezina in 2016.--Barry MilesSource: TSN
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2 years agoColumbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 29 of 32 shots in a 4-1 loss in Game 4's matchup against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night. Washington has been peppering Bobrovsky with shots in this series, averaging 41 per contest, while the reigning Vezina winner sports a solid .921 save percentage. Bob played well enough in this game but the offense just wasn't there, as the Jackets were nearly shut out by Braden Holtby. Expect Columbus to respond on Saturday afternoon.--Barry MilesSource: TSN

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