Sergei Bobrovsky, CLS vs. WAS ($8,200): – Even after Lars Eller’s lucky overtime goal in Game 3, Bobrovsky’s proving he can be a playoff performer with a .925 save percentage in the series. He has been the reason why the Capitals have had trouble scoring all series despite firing a ton of shots, and the funny thing with some goalies is that some feel they play better when they get a lot of work. Surely, the Blue Jackets can still smell blood; one less unlucky bounce and this series would’ve been 3-0. The Bruins-Leafs game could go either way, and so can this one, but Bobrovsky’s the best goalie stepping on the ice Thursday.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLS vs. WAS ($5,200): – People were a little miffed when the Jackets took him third overall ahead of some more high-profile names, but he’s really been excelling and played at least 23 minutes in each of the three games, including 31 minutes in Game 3. Going head-to-head against Nicklas Backstrom has not fazed him at all, scoring a goal in the previous game and currently a plus-3 in the series.
Tomas Plekanec, TOR vs. BOS ($3,400): – Okay, we’re willing to concede that Mike Babcock promoting Plekanec to the second line may be a genius move, so we’ll roll the dice with the guy who’s considered a pretty good coach. If Plekanec played like he did in Game 3, he’s in line to have another big game in Game 4. Of course, playing with better linemates helps, but the 35-year-old also earned all of the 17 minutes he received.
Alex Ovechkin, WAS at CLS ($7,700): – Maybe he really was on to something? The clairvoyant Ovechkin has already lived up to half of his promise that the Caps will even up the series, and after a quiet Game 1 he responded with two goals on 10 shots in Game 2 and two helpers in Game 3. He’s been dominant despite Sergei Bobrovsky’s brilliance.
Artemi Panarin, CLS vs. WAS ($7,100): – The Bread Man had one bad playoff run and people started questioning his ability, but through three games he’s scored two goals and five assists and become one of the most feared one-on-one players in the game. His offensive dominance is easy to see, but it’s also because the Caps goaltending has not been good so far in the series.
Josh Anderson, CLS vs. WAS ($3,500): – He didn’t score in Game 3 but played very well after scoring two points in Game 2, and you know this game’s going to overtime, so the hero might be a guy who throws pucks at the net and gets a lucky bounce. In a lengthy game depth is going to make a difference, so getting a winger who gets to shoot a lot despite playing on the third line could be a smart bet.
John Carlson, WAS at CLS ($5,800): – The Caps need to do everything they can to re-sign Carlson because this series would not be this close without him. He has seven assists through three games, five of which have come on the power play, and showing he can be a shutdown guy and an offensive defenseman. If the Jackets get into penalty trouble in a chippy series, that’s great for Carlson, but even if they don’t Carlson has been excellent and he’s knocking on the door of elite status.
Morgan Rielly, TOR vs. BOS ($4,700): – He’s registered an assist in every single game despite not playing as much as you think he would. After averaging over 21 minutes during the season Rielly has not played over 21 minutes in any of the three playoff games, which is just as baffling as the Leafs’ decision to keep playing Roman Polak. Of his four assists, three have come at even strength, and he often plays against the Bruins’ top line, which showcases how effective he’s been in this series.