This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Tuesday's NHL slate consists of the Game 5 showdown contest between the Islanders and Lightning, at 8:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
Tampa Bay has dominated this series, leading three games to one while holding a 17-9 edge in goals. New York's lone win in Game 3 came with the Lightning missing both Brayden Point and Alex Killorn, but the Lightning are back to running their full lineup minus Steven Stamkos, who hasn't suited up in the postseason.
Andrei Vasilevskiy ($10,600) had a four-goal hiccup in Game 3, but that's his only loss in his last eight starts. The Lightning netminder has allowed just 15 goals over this eight-game stretch, so he'll be a safe option against an Islanders team that struggles to generate offense.
Since a putrid relief appearance in Game 1, Semyon Varlamov ($10,200) has gone 1-2 with eight goals allowed on 93 shots (.914 save percentage) in three subsequent starts. If you're going against the grain and banking on an Islanders win in Game 5, then Varlamov should be in your lineup, if not your Captain spot.
Brock Nelson ($8,600) has been New York's best player over the past two games, potting a goal in each and adding a helper in Game 3. After scoring a team-high 26 goals in the regular season, Nelson's tied for New York's team lead with nine goals this postseason, and his hot streak will likely need to continue for New York to keep its season alive.
Yanni Gourde ($5,600) has been Tampa Bay's top source of secondary scoring in this series, with a 2-3-5 line through four games. At just $5,600, Gourde makes for a strong cheap filler.
Mathew Barzal's ($9,000) speed with the puck on his stick is eye-catching, but it hasn't translated to results in this series, as he has just two helpers in four games. His 5-10-15 line this postseason — third on the Islanders — suggests the team's leading regular-season point producer (19-41-60 in 68 games) is capable of more than he has shown so far, and perhaps having his back against the wall will bring the best out of Barzal.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Lightning vs. Islanders
Expect nearly universal utilization of this line given how unstoppable it has looked. Point missed part of Game 2 and all of Game 3, yet he has still found time to rack up a 3-4-7 line in this series. Kucherov has a 2-7-9 in this series' first four games, with at least one point in each. Expect most lineups to dedicate their Captain spot to one of Point or Kucherov. Palat has more than held his own on this line, potting eight goals in his last eight games.
Islanders at Lightning
With Casey Cizikas out of the bubble with an undisclosed injury, the wingers from New York's energy line are now flanking a more offensively capable pivot in Pageau. The grit and attitude these guys bring has been key in counteracting Tampa Bay's edge in talent. Pageau had a goal and an assist in Game 3, and his eight goals this postseason are one back of the team lead shared by Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier. Martin and Clutterbuck have both lit the lamp in this series, and you need affordable options like them to fit in this slate's top players.
While the Lightning's highly skilled forwards provide most of the flashy play, Victor Hedman ($9,200) is the engine that drives the team. The 2018 Norris Trophy winner has gone two games without a point, but he had a 4-3-7 line during a four-game goal streak directly preceding this mini-slump.
Mikhail Sergachev ($6,800) has a respectable 1-2-3 line and nine shots in this series. His presence on the top power-play unit with Point, Sergachev, Palat and Killorn gives the Russian blueliner solid offensive upside relative to his middling valuation.
The Islanders' blue line offers limited fantasy value, but Devon Toews ($6,200) is the most enticing option of the bunch. Toews is tied with Ryan Pulock ($7,800) for the most points by an Islanders defenseman this postseason, as each sports a 1-8-9 line.