Three teams can punch their ticket for the second round with a win tonight. The Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames won the first game of a best-of-three series over their opponents. Also, will the Pittsburgh Penguins eliminate the New York Rangers in their second-chance elimination game? This betting guide will give good value picks to boost your daily fantasy lineups for today’s trio of games.
Center: Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers captain was held off the scoresheet in Game 1, but since then, Aleksander Barkov has turned on the jets, scoring five points in four games. In Game 4, he assisted on the game-tying goal, and he followed it up in Game 5 by setting up Carter Verhaeghe for the eventual game-winning goal. He’s always a threat on the ice, and when he gets going, Barkov is the Panthers’ best weapon.
Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
He registered two goals in his only regular-season meeting against the Capitals this season. He plays them extremely well, matching their speed while utilizing his stick-handling to catch their defense flat-footed. With Verhaeghe and Anthony Duclair on his wings, the line has amassed a combined total of 16 points. Barkov is an interesting player to consider for Game 6.
Wing: Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
The Flames are one win away from advancing to the second round, and Johnny Gaudreau heating up could not have come at a better time. With four points in his last three games, he currently leads Calgary in assists and points. Even in a tight series against Dallas, he manages to find a way to end up on the scoresheet. Dallas did a good job limiting his high-danger scoring chances in Game 5 compared to Game 4, but they won’t be able to keep him quiet forever.
In his final 15 games of the regular season, Gaudreau was held off the scoresheet only twice. He picked up 24 points during that span, including an assist in his final meeting against Dallas. In a tight-checking series with both goaltenders keeping their teams afloat, a player like Gaudreau needs to shine. He’ll be hungry tonight, and he’ll look to silence the Dallas crowd.
Wing: Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins
In the potential absence of Sidney Crosby, the Penguins will need to rely on someone like Jake Guentzel. He’s had a phenomenal series against the Rangers so far, with seven goals in five games. If Crosby can’t go, expect Evgeni Malkin to centre the top line. He and Guentzel first played together in 2019, following an injury to Crosby. They both registered a goal and two assists each in their first game and showcased instant chemistry.
Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Guentzel is a unique player. He’s solid during the regular season but always manages to find an extra gear in the postseason. Lifetime, he’s a point-per-game player in the playoffs, and he’ll need to continue that pace if the Penguins want to take out the Rangers. Whether he plays on Crosby’s wing or Malkin’s, expect him to be a factor in Game 6.
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