This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Welcome to the Conference Finals! The Toronto bubble is finished, and now all games will take place in Edmonton. Things kick off with the Dallas Stars facing the Vegas Golden Knights. Because there is only one game, DraftKings is running Showdown contests. That means picking a lineup of six players, one of whom is your captain. The points they accrue count 1.5 times more than everybody else's.
Robin Lehner, VGK vs. DAL ($16,500): Lehner commands the highest salary of any player Sunday, but that feels fair. For starters, the four highest salaries are all goalies, and that includes the backups. Dallas has actually outscored Vegas during these playoffs, but Vegas has only allowed 24.7 shots on net per game in the postseason. That's a big reason why Lehner has an 1.99 GAA, even though his save percentage is only at .918. He did pitch three shutouts against Vancouver, to be fair.
Anton Khudobin, DAL at VGK ($15,600): The plan was not for Khudobin to play this much in the postseason. But as Ben Bishop has largely been unfit to play, that's left the backup with a heavy workload. Though he was second on the depth chart, Khudobin did not play like a mere backup during the regular season by posting a 2.22 GAA and .930 save percentage. The playoffs have been a different story with a 2.94 GAA and .909 save percentage. Basically, the Stars have been the inverse of what they were in the regular season by winning with offense due to issues in net.
Denis Gurianov, DAL vs. VGK ($9,900): Gurianov put Calgary out of the playoffs with four goals and an assist in the series clincher. He then failed to find the score sheet in Game 1 versus the Avalanche. That was the last time the 23-year-old failed to register a point, as he enters this series on a six-game streak. Sure, Gurianov only notched nine assists in the regular season, but he scored 20 goals in 64 games. It's hard to argue with a player on a significant point streak, especially on this salary.
Alex Tuch, VGK vs. DAL ($9,600): So maybe Pierre McGuire gets a little hyperbolic when it comes to Tuch, but he's definitely turned some heads this postseason with 10 points - including eight goals. That equals his regular-season total, but the big winger only played in 42 games and his 8.2 shooting percentage marked a career low. Tuch is the only forward outside of Vegas' top-six I would consider, which makes him the closest thing to a value play available.
Usually, Wild Bill Karlsson is centering Vegas' top line. But on the current depth chart, he's been moved down to the second line with Chandler Stephenson on the top line. Will that hold? I don't know, but it's what I'm going with right now. In truth, Karlsson hasn't wowed anyone in the playoffs or even during the regular season. The Golden Knights are weirdly shallow at center, so you won't find a better option. Marchessault was a prolific shooter in the regular season, putting 235 pucks on net in 66 games. Given Khudobin and his .909 save percentage, pucks on goal could lead to points. Smith racked up 27 goals and 27 assists during the regular season and he's been the best of this trio in the playoffs with 13 points across 15 games.
As it often does with the Stars, it all comes back to the top line - who also happen to be three members of Dallas' top power-play unit. No, I didn't get cute and go with the fourth line just because Joel Kiviranta picked up a hat-trick. Seguin's 6.9 shooting percentage tanked him during the regular season, but we've seen this guy racks up 30 goals in a season so many times. He's been hot and cold these playoffs but did produce a six-game stretch where he accumulated seven points. Benn has 13 points in his last 13 games, and I'm also intrigued by the fact he's blocked 17 shots over that time since scorers rarely average over a block per game. Radulov is coming off a game where he notched two power-play goals, and the Golden Knights did have the 27th-ranked penalty kill coming into the postseason.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. DAL ($14,400): I would have called Theodore an underrated gem after the regular season. After all, he tallied 13 goals on 219 shots in 71 games with 33 assists to boot. Well, Theodore is not underrated anymore. All eyes have been on him as he's registered 16 points and a whopping 64 shots on goal in 15 playoff games. Theodore hasn't experienced a single subpar game since the playoff opener, which is totally understandable given the time off and getting used to the bubble.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL at VGK ($12,000): The 21-year-old Finn has a bright future, but he also offers a bright present. Heiskanen has an eight-game point streak going and currently sits at 21 points. We're looking at two Conn Smythe favorites here in Theodore and Heiskanen. And while I chalked up Theodore's poor playoff opener to rust, Heiskanen notched three assists in his first bubble appearance that interestingly came against the Golden Knights.
Esa Lindell, DAL at VGK ($9,000): I started with the two elite defensemen, but I have a couple options if you want to save some salary. Lindell doesn't score like Heiskanen or even John Klingberg, but he did post 23 points in 69 games this season and scored 11 goals two seasons ago. When Lindell isn't contributing offensively, he's active on the defensive end with 28 blocked shots over his last eight games.
Alec Martinez, VGK vs. DAL ($8,700): Speaking of blocking shots, that's how Martinez provides a lot of his fantasy value. He's blocked 38 shots in these playoffs after getting in front of 117 pucks across 51 regular-season outings. When a defenseman is blocking shots, it usually means they aren't driving offensive possession. But hey, fantasy points are fantasy points. Martinez also enjoyed a stretch of seven points in nine games this postseason.