The action thus far in the NHL playoffs has been exciting, and things should be no different tonight as we’re greeted by another four game slate. The Lightning and Wings will battle in Detroit in an extremely important game three; while the Islanders, Blackhawks, and Flames will are all aiming to grab 3-1 strangleholds in their respective series.
Here are my top cash game options for tonight’s action.
Scott Darling – Chicago Blackhawks – $8,600 – It seems like every year around this time a new star goaltender emerges, and after turning away 77 of the 79 shots thrown his way thus far in this series, Darling appears to be that player. Often times goaltending is simply about confidence and momentum, and Darling is not lacking in either department right now. He was terrific when given the opportunity during the regular season, posting a 9-4-0 record with a 1.95 GAA and .936 SV% in 13 starts and is the biggest favorite of the night by Vegas standards
Others to Consider: Petr Mrazek, Jonas Hiller
Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – $6,100 – This is an extremely important game for the Red Wings, and with Justin Abdelkader returning to join Zetterberg and Nyquist on the team’s top forward line, the Detroit Captain looks like a bargain. Zetterberg thrived at Joe Louis Arena during the regular season, racking up 11 goals and 31 assists in 41 games. He owns 56 goals and 60 assists in 127 playoff games during his illustrious career and will need to put this Detroit team on his back if they hope to advance to the second round.
Sam Bennett – Calgary Flames – $5,300 – I touched on him on my article last Wednesday and the 18 year-old came through with an assist in Calgary’s 2-1 win in Vancouver. With the game-winning goal on Sunday, the legend is growing. A shoulder injury prevented Bennett from joining the big club out of training camp, but 11 goals and 13 assists in 11 games after returning to the OHL team, there was simply no denying him a spot on the playoff roster. Vancouver is still (and rightfully so) concerned with slowing down Calgary’s top scoring line, so Bennett will continue to see favorable matchups and, considering the pedigree, is one of the best values on the board.
Others to Consider: Steven Stamkos, John Tavares, Jonathan Toews, Henrik Sedin, Nicklas Backstrom, Sean Monahan, Ryan Strome
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Captitals – $9,000 – This is a nearly a must win game for Washington, and Ovechkin has proved to be the most dangerous offensive player in the game this season. There’s enough value on the board to easily fit him into your rosters and he’s a player to fade.
Brandon Saad – Chicago Blackhawks – $4,700 – With Shea Weber in the press-box once again, I’m really liking Chicago here. While Kane and Hossa are the more obvious picks, Saad is an absolute bargain. Saad scored the game-winning goal in game #3 and tallied a goal and two assists in four regular season meetings against these Predators. He saw nearly 20 minutes of ice-time in the last games and gets plenty of run on the wing of the Hawk’s #2 power-play unit.
Alex Killorn – Tampa Bay Lightning – $3,700 – Skating alongside Stamkos and Callahan on Tampa’s top scoring line has paid dividends for Killorn. The 25 year old has picked up points in both playoff games thus far and tallied a goal and two assists in the three regular season meetings with Detroit. He’s averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice-time per game lately and sees plenty of ice-time with the man advantage which should bode well for him against the Wing’s struggling PK.
Others to Consider: Daniel Sedin, Jiri Hudler, Justin Abdelkader, Troy Brouwer, Kyle Okposo, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Filip Forsberg
Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks – $5,100 – Keith was unable to match last season’s 61 points, but with 10 goals and 35 assists during the regular season, he still proved to be among the game’s best offensive defensemen. He’s a mortal lock for 25+ minutes of playing time tonight and has already picked up a goal and two assists in the first three games of this series. Keith dished out four assists against the Predators in their four regular season meetings and looks to be well worth the $5,100 investment.
Nick Leddy – New York Islanders – $4,000 – If you want some cheap exposure to John Tavares and the lethal #1 power-play for the Islanders, then Leddy is your man. The 24 year old and former first round pick is locked into big minutes for the Islander’s and picked up an assist on the game-winner in game #3. He finished the regular season on a tear, picking up eight assists over the final six games.
Other to Consider: Nicklas Kronwall, Brent Seabrook, Anton Stralman, Johnny Boychuck, John Carlson, Roman Josi, Dennis Wideman, Alex Edler
Best of luck tonight!
JMBWngFn (@JBritt2 on Twitter)