Thursday's two-game NHL slate beginning at 8:00 PM Eastern time encompasses Game 4 between the Lightning and Capitals, as well as Friday's Game 4 between the Jets and Golden Knights. Both home teams are looking to snag 3-1 series leads, but there are value plays to be found on each of the four squads for owners that know where to look. Read on to see which players to target and which to avoid.
Braden Holtby, WAS vs. TB ($32): Holtby remains tied for the cheapest goaltender in this slate even though he's come out on top in two of this series' first three games while allowing only two goals in each of those wins. His 22-7-2 record, 2.41 GAA and .921 save percentage at home in the regular season suggest Holtby's more than capable of doing what it takes to give his team a 3-1 lead in this series.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK vs. WPG ($37): Fleury's picked things up in the past two games, but he's still allowed at least three goals in five of his last eight. That poor stretch is enough to make him a questionable choice considering Fleury costs at least $3 more than any alternative option in net.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, WAS vs. TB ($24): Kuznetsov continues to provide fantastic value this postseason, with nine goals and 20 points in 15 games. Four of those goals and 11 points have come during an active six-game point streak, and Kuznetsov's showing no signs of slowing down after unleashing a whopping 12 shots on goal in Game 3. He's still priced below four other centers in this slate, so there's little reason to look elsewhere at the position.
CENTER TO AVOID
Paul Stastny, WPG at VGK ($19): Stastny's fallen off against the Golden Knights, scoring a combined 3.8 fantasy points in three games this series. Until he proves he can perform against this opponent, Stastny's not worth paying $19 for.
J.T. Miller, TB at WAS ($14): Miller's price has dropped due to a three-game point drought, creating a nice buy-low opportunity. That drought was preceded by a three-game point streak and Miller still occupies a top-six role, giving him significantly greater upside than the typical lineup fillers found in this price range.
James Neal, VGK vs. WPG ($19): Neal's fed off the Vegas crowd this postseason, scoring three goals and three assists in six home games while managing only a goal and two helpers in seven games on the road. Half of his home performances have resulted in 15.9 or more fantasy points, so the veteran's upside makes him worth a look for this home contest in Game 4.
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WINGS TO AVOID
Nikolaj Ehlers, WPG at VGK ($19): Ehlers still doesn't have a goal this postseason, yet his price still climbed by $1 after he missed Game 3 with an undisclosed injury. Even if he's able to come back for Game 4, Ehlers isn't worth his $19 valuation given his output thus far this postseason.
Alex Tuch, VGK vs. WPG ($17): Tuch lit the lamp in Game 3, but he topped 5.0 fantasy points only once in the previous seven contests. He's also failed to reach even 15 minutes of ice time in each of his past five appearances, so Tuch's chances of repeating his Game 3 performance are slim.
Victor Hedman, TB at WAS ($24): Who needs to pour money into elite forwards when you can get almost guaranteed offensive production from Hedman? After delivering a goal and two assists in Game 3, the hulking Swede is now riding an eight-game point streak and hasn't been held off the scoresheet since the conference quarterfinals. Hedman's averaging 10.4 fantasy points per contest over that eight-game stretch, so keep riding him until he shows signs of cooling down.
Tyler Myers, WPG at VGK ($15): Myers' 20:54 of ice time Wednesday was the most he's seen since Game 3 of the Nashville series, and he responded well with five shots on net. Winnipeg's second-highest scorer on the blue line during the regular season (36 points) carries excellent upside relative to his $15 valuation, and he's been more than serviceable with an average of 6.1 fantasy points per game over the past four. If the Jets are to steal back home ice advantage in Game 4, Myers is likely to play a major part.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Jacob Trouba, WPG at VGK ($17): Trouba's ceiling is too low to justify a $17 valuation, as he's scored 6.0 or fewer fantasy points in each of the past five games. With Vegas gaining momentum after winning each of the past two contests, Trouba's floor is also low at the moment.
Matt Niskanen, WAS vs. TB ($17): Niskanen's another blueliner that lacks upside, as he's scored fewer than 6.0 fantasy points in 15 of the last 21 games. While he has assists in each of the past two games, Niskanen's lack of offensive contributions makes it tough to justify dropping $17 on him here.