It's another busy Thursday in the NHL with nine games on tap as the NHL approaches the halfway mark of the season. New Jersey is the only tired team, and they are home to St. Louis. In other games, the Kraken are in Toronto, Montreal travels to New York to play the Rangers, Arizona takes on the Flyers in Philadelphia, Carolina hosts Nashville, Edmonton is home to the Islanders, Colorado are in Vancouver, Pittsburgh goes to Sin City to play the Golden Knights and L.A. hosts Boston. Below, you'll find suggested options for crafting an effective lineup.
Juuse Saros, NAS at CAR ($31): Saros has won his last two starts and is 13-10-5 with a 2.76 GAA and a .915 save percentage this season. He's coming off two strong seasons, winning 38 games in 2021-22, while two seasons ago he had a 2.28 GAA and a .927 save percentage. Saros will face the Hurricanes, who are averaging 3.11 goals per game, tied for 19th-best in the NHL.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Alexandar Georgiev, COL at VAN ($31): Georgiev is 15-9-3 with a 2.68 GAA and a .915 save percentage, but he has struggled of late, going 0-3-1 in his last four starts and giving up 17 goals on 111 shots. He played once against the Canucks last season, giving up four goals on 33 shots in a loss while a member of the Rangers. The Canucks' offense is tied for eighth in the NHL, averaging 3.35 goals per game this season.
Elias Pettersson, VAN vs. COL ($26): Pettersson saw his five-game point streak come to an end Tuesday, a stretch in which he had four goals and six assists, giving him 17 goals and 44 points in 35 games this season. Oddly, Pettersson has yet to pick up a power-play goal this season but he does have 12 helpers while averaging 3:41 of power play time per game. He had an assist in his lone game against the Avalanche this season.
CENTER TO AVOID
Nick Suzuki, MON vs. NYR ($13): Suzuki has been slumping of late, with only one assist in his last seven games as well as only nine shots on goal. He was terrific before that, scoring 15 goals and adding 31 points in his first 31 contests. Suzuki has yet to play the Rangers this season, and he had only one assist in three games against them in 2021-22.
Artemi Panarin, NYR at MON ($23): Panarin is having another fine season with 11 goals and 44 points in 39 games. He has goals in each of his last two games. Panarin sees time on the second line with Vincent Trocheck and Vitali Kravtsov and is on the first power play unit, scoring twice and adding 16 assists with the man advantage. Panarin had two assists in two games against Montreal last season.
Pavel Buchnevich, STL at NJ ($18): Buchnevich has three goals and nine points in his last nine games since returning from a lower-body injury Dec. 15. The talented winger has 29 points in 29 games after picking up 30 goals and 76 points in 73 games last season. He has five goals and 13 points on the power play and is seeing almost three minutes per game with the man advantage, the most in his NHL career.
WINGS TO AVOID
Anders Lee, NYI vs. EDM ($19): Lee has six goals and 10 points in 18 games since Thanksgiving. He's having a solid season overall, with 14 goals and 29 points in 39 games plus 115 shots on goal, but his recent production isn't special given his salary. He had a goal in two games against the Oilers last season.
Brock Boeser, VAN vs. COL ($18): Boeser is having an average season in 2022-23, with 21 points in 29 games. He has only six goals thus far, a poor total for a winger who had 111 goals in 354 NHL games heading into the season. Boeser has an assist in his last three games but only three goals and seven points since Nov. 27. He had a goal in three games against the Avalanche last season.
Noah Dobson, NYI at EDM ($19): Dobson has put together a good season with 10 goals and 24 points in 39 games. He set career highs last season with 13 goals and 38 assists, and it certainly looks like he will smash his high in goals. Dobson has been effective quarterbacking the power play, scoring three times and adding six assists while averaging 3:40 with the man advantage, up 1:03 from his career high last season. Dobson has zero points in his last three games but had a three-game point streak before the mini-slump.
Jakob Chychrun, ARI at PHI ($21): Chychrun missed the first 16 games of the season recovering from wrist and ankle surgeries but has been a great addition to the lineup ever since, scoring five goals and adding 13 assists in only 20 games. He has been outstanding with Shayne Gostisbehere on the power play, scoring three times and adding two assists. His name is constantly being bandied about in trade rumors and he is giving other NHL teams every reason to deal for him.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Mattias Ekholm, NAS at CAR ($17): Ekholm had a big game Tuesday with a goal and an assist against Montreal, but he will not have as good a matchup Thursday against Carolina. Prior to Wednesday's action, he had just a goal and two assists in his previous 12 games. Overall, Ekholm has three goals and 13 points in 36 games this season.
Brady Skjei, CAR vs. NAS ($17): Skjei has only one assist in his last six games and has seen his power-play time go down to almost zero. He has six goals and 15 points in 37 games this season with 84 shots on net.