This article is part of our DraftKings NHL series.
Welcome to the Stanley Cup Final! It's June, and we've got hockey emanating from Las Vegas and South Florida. Hey, maybe ice isn't traditionally associated with those areas, but who cares? The Panthers and Golden Knights are an interesting matchup, and history will be made one way or another. For Saturday's Game 1, you get $50,000 for your DFS lineup comprised of six players. Your Captain earns you 1.5 times the points, but also has an elevated salary. The puck drops at 8 p.m. ET. Here is the lineup I landed on.
Carter Verhaeghe, FLA at VGK ($11,400): Considering the elevated salary required for your Captain, I decided to go with Verhaeghe. This is a nice salary for a 40-goal scorer. In the playoffs, he's picked up six goals on 43 shots on net, plus nine assists, in 16 games. Verhaeghe is second on the Panthers in postseason points, and so I found the most potential bang for my buck with the winger.
Jonathan Marchessault, VGK vs. FLA ($9,000): After suffering some tough puck luck, Marchessault turned things around and became the hottest player for Vegas. He picked up a goal in four of the last five games against the Stars, and in the game where he didn't score he tallied two assists. It's just not his 17 points in 17 games, but also his 62 shots on net to lead the Golden Knights. His activity has been paying off.
Aleksander Barkov, FLA at VGK ($8,200): Barkov is known for his defensive acumen, but he's also a first-line center and a member of Florida's top power-play unit. Let's not overlook the fact he had 78 points in 68 games this season, including 30 with the extra man. Vegas' biggest issue in the playoffs has been killing penalties, having only successfully killed 63 percent of the power plays they've faced, which ranks 14th in the playoffs.
Sam Bennett, FLA at VGK ($7,800): Bennett is centering Florida's second line, which means he's next to Matthew Tkachuk. He has 11 points in 15 playoff games, but he's also second on the team with 55 shots on net. That's a lot of shots, but he also has a 7.3 shooting percentage, so maybe his puck luck could turn around in the finals.
William Karlsson, VGK vs. FLA ($7,000): Karlsson has been the inverse of Bennett, as he leads the Golden Knights with 10 goals, though admittedly with a 27.0 shooting percentage. On the other hand, he has 10 goals in 17 playoff games, including five in the Western Conference Finals. He's a one-time 40-goal scorer, so let's see if he can stay hot.
Reilly Smith, VGK vs. FLA ($6,600): I'm evenly split on Golden Knights and Panthers, which made sense to me. This is the first game of a new series, and both teams have goalies who have been at the top of their games. As part of the feeling-out process, I'm diversifying. Smith has racked up nine points in the playoffs, including two in his last game. However, he also has a 5.3 shooting percentage in the postseason, so this is a swing at a change in his puck luck.