This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Thursday's NHL slate begins at 7:30 p.m. EDT and features two games. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
The Lightning are going home with a 2-0 series lead after a pair of 2-1 wins in Carolina, while the Islanders escaped with a split in Boston after stealing Game 2 in overtime and will now head home to Long Island. Tampa Bay's the largest favorite in a game with an over/under of 5.5 goals, while Boston's favored on the road in what's projected to be a low-scoring affair (over/under 5.0 goals).
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. CAR ($8,200): Vasilevskiy's locked in at the moment, having allowed just two goals on 99 shots over his past three starts. The Hurricanes only solved him once in each of the two games in front of the raucous Carolina crowd, and they could have an even harder time doing so in Tampa Bay.
Tuukka Rask, BOS at NYI ($8,000): The Islanders have been lucky in terms of opposing goalies struggling against them this postseason, but while it wasn't unexpected from Pittsburgh's Tristan Jarry, Rask's struggles have been more unusual. He's posted an uncharacteristic .902 save percentage through this series' first two games (55 saves on 61 shots) but still has a 2.06 GAA and .930 save percentage overall this postseason thanks to outstanding play against the Capitals in the first round. Coach Bruce Cassidy called Rask out after Game 2, so the Finnish netminder will need to tighten things up to keep backup Jeremy Swayman at bay, though Rask's definitely capable of doing so.
Semyon Varlamov, NYI vs. BOS ($7,900): Varlamov lost both of his starts against the Penguins in the first round but came up with 39 saves on 42 shots to take Game 2 in Boston after Ilya Sorokin was shelled for four goals in the series opener. Coach Barry Trotz will likely keep riding the hot hand in net, which would mean another start for Varlamov in Game 3.
Alex Nedeljkovic, CAR at TB ($7,700): He should have stopped the deciding goal in Game 1, but Nedeljkovic has hardly been the problem for the Hurricanes in this series, having allowed only two goals in each game. With a 2.18 GAA and .920 save percentage this postseason, Nedeljkovic remains Carolina's best option in net, though the team could give Petr Mrazek a look in an attempt to swing this series' momentum.
Nikita Kucherov, TB vs. CAR ($7,700): Kucherov was held off the scoresheet for just the second time this postseason in Game 2, but he still leads the Lightning with 12 points (3-9-12) in eight games. That production includes seven points in three home games thus far, and the superstar winger should continue to dazzle the home crowd in this one. You're likely building around either Kucherov or Boston's top line here.
Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at TB ($5,100): Svechnikov has been by far Carolina's best forward so far in this series. He scored the team's lone goal in Game 2 and assisted on the Hurricanes' lone Game 1 tally, plus Svechnikov led the team with six shots in Game 2 after putting five pucks on net in the series opener. If the Hurricanes are going to climb back into this series, expect the skilled winger to continue leading the way.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau, NYI vs. BOS ($4,200): Pageau recorded a power-play goal and an assist in Game 2, pulling him into a tie with Anthony Beauvillier for the team points lead with a 2-7-9 line through eight games. The third-line center's no stranger to postseason success, with a 22-14-36 line in 65 career playoff appearances.
Charlie Coyle, BOS at NYI ($3,100): Coyle's an appealing value play coming off a strong Game 2 performance in which he scored a goal on four shots. He's potted two goals in his last four games, and the big-bodied center has also been a reliable source of blocked shots for a forward, further boosting his floor.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Bruins at Islanders
These two teams would be evenly matched if this was just another line, but Boston has largely carried play in this series in large part thanks to the "perfection" line. Pastrnak has led the way with three goals and an assist through this series' first two games, while Marchand and Bergeron have each chipped in a goal and two assists. Bergeron was the only member of this trio who failed to average a point per game in the regular season, but he's racked up a 4-3-7 line through seven playoff contests. Marchand's at 4-2-6 in the playoffs, while Pastrnak's led the way with a 5-5-10 line.
Lightning vs. Hurricanes
The Lightning have depth that literally can't be matched without significant salary cap manipulation, and that depth has carried Tampa Bay to a 2-0 series lead against Carolina. This second line accounted for both of the team's goals in Game 2, with Cirelli and Killorn each lighting the lamp and Stamkos adding a helper. Cirelli's quietly having a terrific playoff run, as his 3-2-5 line through eight games has been accompanied by a team-high 25 shots. There's been nothing quiet about Killorn's team-high five goals (tied with Brayden Point), and Killorn has added four assists, placing him in a tie with Stamkos for third on the team in points this postseason (nine) behind Kucherov (12) and Victor Hedman (10).
Islanders vs. Bruins
For a second consecutive playoff run, this line has been the Islanders' best, yet its members remain relatively affordable. Beauvillier has arguably been the team's MVP so far in this run, holding a share of the team lead in goals (four) and points (nine) through eight games. Bailey shares the goal lead with Beauvillier and Kyle Palmieri, and he's added three helpers. Nelson's chipped in a 3-4-7 line, tying him with Bailey for third on the team in points behind Beauvillier and Pageau.
Dougie Hamilton, CAR at TB ($6,400): Hamilton's yet to mark the scoresheet in this series, but it's not for lack of trying, as he's put four shots on net in each of this series' first two games. He's up to 40 shots through eight postseason contests, which is tied with Pastrnak for the most among all skaters, not just in this slate. If Hamilton finally starts to get rewarded for all that rubber on net, he should have no problem outperforming his $6,400 valuation.
Victor Hedman, TB vs. CAR ($5,600): Hedman's a steal at just $5,600. The Norris Trophy contender has topped 21.0 fantasy points three times this postseason while scoring at least 7.3 in all but one game. Between the regular season and playoffs, Hedman has a 9-46-55 line in 62 games.
Scott Mayfield, NYI vs. BOS ($4,200): Most of Mayfield's value comes from his shot-blocking ability, but he's good for the occasional offensive outburst, as evidenced by his three-point performance in Game 3 against the Penguins and seven-shot output in Game 2 of that series. The big-bodied blueliner blocked seven shots in Game 2 against Boston, giving him at least four blocks in half of New York's eight games this postseason.
Brandon Carlo, BOS at NYI ($3,100): Carlo's still searching for his first point this postseason, but he's been a reliable source of secondary stats at an affordable valuation. He's scored at least 8.2 fantasy points in three of his last four games thanks to a pair of four-block efforts and five shots in the last game.