Stanley Cup Final PrizePicks: Marchessault, Barbashev Among Game 3 Plays
Pictured: Jonathan Marchessault. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
But first, a quick refresher if you aren’t familiar with PrizePicks: You can combine up to five different player squares to pay out up to 10x your entry.
You can do a Flex Play or a Power Play. A Flex Play gives you lesser odds, but you can win money even if you don't nail every pick. A Power Play is an all-or-nothing endeavor.
Here’s how I would approach Thursday's Game 3 (8 p.m. ET, TNT).
What is PrizePicks? A daily fantasy operator — meaning they’re available in more states (30) than sports betting is! — PrizePicks offers a unique opportunity for action on player picks in which you combine two or more entries together.
Jonathan Marchessault + Aleksander Barkov More Than 0.5 Goals
We just need one of these two to bury the puck for this entry to go green. First, let’s look at Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault, who scored in both Games 1 and 2.
Following a quiet opening series against the Winnipeg Jets, Marchessault has exploded over the past three rounds, tallying 12 goals over the past 12 games. So, we're backing Marchessault to keep the hot hand going in Game 3.
This postseason, he leads the Knights in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at five-on-five. The Aleksander Barbeshev-Jack Eichel-Marchessault line has been — by far — Vegas' most dominating line during the playoffs (the fourth line has also played really well).
That aforementioned first line has generated an xGoals% of 56.7% this postseason and has produced an excellent 3.38 xGF/60.
The biggest concern in backing Marchessault to score is Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who has put together a tremendous string of performances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, he finally came back down to earth in this series and has allowed eight goals on 46 shots for a fade-worthy .826 SV% through the first two games.
Meanwhile, Barkov is also a tremendous threat to score, despite not having done so in each of the past four games. Barkov scored 23 times in 68 games this season and I wouldn't be surprised if he finds himself back on the scoresheet sooner rather than later.
Ivan Barbashev More Than 3.5 Hits
The Barbashev-Eichel-Marchessault line has been dominant this postseason, which is important to keep in mind as coach Bruce Cassidy will certainly keep leaning on this line. Well, more ice time will lead to more opportunities for Ivan Barbashev to rack up hits.
In Game 1, he collected 19 minutes and 35 seconds of ice time, his most in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Therefore, it's not surprising to learn that Barbashev made five hits in that contest.
In fact, if you exclude Game 2, he has had at least four hits in five of his past seven games. I'm excluding Game 2 because Barbashev got the boot following his skirmish with Matthew Tkachuk and only registered 11:11 of ice-time.
Stll, he still collected three hits and was on pace to go over 3.5.
Sergei Bobrovsky Less Than 28.5 Saves
The last play to make is a fade of Sergei Bobrovsky.
Through the first two games, he has surrendered eight goals on 46 shots (.826 SV%). Game 2 was especially ugly for Florida's netminder as he got pulled halfway through the second period after allowing four goals on just 13 shots.
Both his surface-level stats and underlying metrics, which had been incredible throughout the postseason, were unsustainable, so this decrease in production isn't all that surprising. Can he bounce back? Absolutely. However, there's also a chance we are once again seeing the guy who got benched for Alex Lyon in the regular season.
Bobrovsky will be on a short leash if he gets lit up again in Game 3.