This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Wednesday's NHL slate consists of the one-game showdown contest for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Avalanche and the Lightning after 8:00 p.m. EDT. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
After a 4-3 overtime win for Colorado in Game 1, the two teams exchanged blowouts over the next two games, with the Avalanche winning 7-0 in Game 2 before the Lightning bounced back with a 6-2 win in Game 3. The home team has won all three games heading into Game 4 in Tampa Bay, which is a toss-up with an over/under of 6.0 goals. Your lineup will consist of six players, including a Captain spot that costs 1.5 times as much and scores 1.5 times as many fantasy points.
Darcy Kuemper, COL at TB ($9,800): Kuemper hasn't been particularly great this postseason, but he still has some appeal given the dominance of the team in front of him. Coming off a 16-save shutout in Game 2, Kuemper allowed five goals before getting pulled in the second period of Game 3. That was only Colorado's third loss of the entire playoffs, so Kuemper will likely get a shot at redemption in Game 4, though Pavel Francouz ($9,600) is also an option in net for coach Jared Bednar.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB vs. COL ($9,400): Vasilevskiy has been busy throughout the series, having faced 35.7 shots per game thus far. That's unlikely to change in Game 4, so Vasilevskiy continues to have a high ceiling and should be in your lineup if you think Tampa Bay will win Wednesday. He can also sink lineups due to a low floor, though, as was the case in Game 2.
Mikko Rantanen, COL at TB ($8,800): Rantanen has been outstanding in this series, racking up multiple assists in every game for a total of seven after scoring a goal in every game of the Western Conference Final. He does significant damage on the top power-play unit – four of Rantanen's seven assists against Tampa Bay have come on the man advantage – so don't hesitate to lock in the highly productive Avalanche forward despite his second-line deployment away from Nathan MacKinnon at even strength.
Corey Perry, TB vs. COL ($5,400): Perry should continue to feature on the top power-play unit with Brayden Point (undisclosed) ruled out for this one. The veteran winger capitalized on that usage with a power-play goal in Game 3, and Perry brings an element of affordability while still sharing the ice with the top scorers on Tampa Bay's top-heavy offense.
FORWARD LINE STACKS
Lightning vs. Avalanche
This top line continues to produce the majority of the Lightning's offense, and its members have been especially effective on home ice. Stamkos has managed to light the lamp seven times in his last six games at Amalie Arena, and he had a goal and an assist in Game 3. Kucherov has a 3-8-11 line over his last 11 games overall, including a pair of helpers in Game 3. Palat has kept pace with his superstar linemates, producing a 5-5-10 line over his past seven games.
Avalanche at Lightning
If you aren't going to build around Tampa Bay's top line, you will probably want to do so around Colorado's. Putting MacKinnon in your Captain spot while still affording a competitive lineup is tricky, but doing so could pay off, as he has a 6-5-11 line in his last nine games along with a whopping 50 shots on goal over that span. Landeskog scored both of Colorado's goals in Game 3 and has a 4-3-7 line over his last four games. Nichushkin has three goals in this series, which has him tied with Landeskog for the team lead.
Cale Makar, COL at TB ($10,200): With all the talent these teams have up front, it might just be Makar that makes the most sense to deploy in your Captain spot. With two goals in Game 2 followed by two assists, five shots and four blocks in Game 3, Makar's coming off consecutive games with at least 25.0 fantasy points. The productive blueliner has remarkably reached that threshold in eight of 17 games this postseason, displaying an unparalleled ceiling.
Ryan McDonagh, TB vs. COL ($5,600): McDonagh's shot-blocking ability continues to give him a high floor at an affordable valuation. He has blocked at least three shots in every game this series and has 16 blocks over the past four games. The former Rangers captain can also chip in offensively on occasion – he had a helper in Game 1 of this series and a three-game point streak back in the first round against Toronto.