DraftKings NHL: Thursday Playoff Picks
DraftKings NHL: Thursday Playoff Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.

GOALIE

Petr Mrazek, CAR at WAS ($7,200): Considering what happened last night, if I had to pick an upset it'd be this game. The Hurricanes are a plucky group with elite scoring talent, and the Caps defense is banged up and Braden Holtby hasn't looked as sharp this season. Mrazek can be extremely streaky, but he enters the playoffs as one of the league's best goalies, winning five of his past six. The Caps have a bad habit of losing Game 1's, which they did in the first two rounds of last year's playoffs.

CENTER

Sean Monahan, CGY vs. COL ($6,800): There's a good chance this is a high-scoring series, and it starts with the Flames and their five 70-point scorers. Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau ($6,800) were the only ones to average over a point per game, and despite some late-season line juggling from Bill Peters, the two stars will play on the same line. The only player with more upside in the $6,000 price range is Nathan MacKinnon ($6,900).

Nicklas Backstrom, WAS vs. CAR ($5,600): Backstrom sat out the season finale for a much-needed break and he will return to the top line upon his return. The Caps swept the season series 4-0 so they won't change match, and that includes matching Backstrom against Sebastian Aho's line. They're a team Backstrom has traditionally dominated, with 59 points in 57 career games against them.

WING

Mikko Rantanen, COL at CGY ($5,800): One of the ways the Avs can beat the Flames is if their top line beats theirs, and the only way to do that is to play Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog ($6,600) with MacKinnon. If Rantanen doesn't play on the top line, this price no longer seems like a bargain because the upside isn't there, though he's still worth picking given the Flames' shaky goaltending.

Kasperi Kapanen, TOR at BOS ($4,400): While most agree the Bruins are going to win the series, they're not going to do it in a sweep and they're definitely not doing it without allowing a few goals. In their last meeting, John Tavares drew both Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara, and Kapanen took advantage scoring two assists. It remains to be seen if the B's will put all of their attention on Tavares' line, but if they do perhaps Kapanen's line with Auston Matthews will get another chance to shine.   

Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at WAS ($4,200): There's no guarantee Svechnikov will get any significant ice time, being a rookie and all, but at some point when the 'Canes are looking for scoring, Rod Brind'Amour will see Svechnikov on his bench and tap his line to provide it. The Russian sniper is fourth on the team in goals and fifth in shots, and the Caps just aren't as tight defensively this season without Barry Trotz.

DEFENSE

Mark Giordano, CGY vs. COL ($6,000): He's got a strong case for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, and once again his upside is higher than John Carlson and Morgan Rielly's, both of whom are playing against stingier opponents. The Flames goal differential between home and away is plus-43 and Giordano has scored 16 more points at home.

Nick Jensen, WAS vs. CAR ($2,900): With Michal Kempny injured, Jensen will be playing a bigger role than originally thought. He'll likely be paired with John Carlson, giving him an opportunity to play with the team's best defenseman. Jensen's game won't change much – blocking shots and making safe plays will be his calling card – but the added minutes could help him produce better numbers. He played over 23 minutes in the season finale against the Islanders.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Chen
Jason joined RotoWire in 2013. In 2014, he was a finalist for the FSWA Hockey Writer of the Year award. Jason has also written for Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, The Hockey News, The Hockey Hall of Fame's Legends Magazine, and Centre Ice Magazine.
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