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Sasha Yodashkin
Chris Morgan kicks off his picks for the second night of the playoffs with Caps netminder Braden Holtby against the Canes.
Chris Morgan kicks off his picks for the second night of the playoffs with Caps netminder Braden Holtby against the Canes.

Friday's 7:00 PM Eastern time NHL slate features only two games, but that doesn't mean there aren't value plays to be found. Read on to see which players to target and which ones to avoid in the Wild-Capitals and Sharks-Ducks matchups.


Braden Holtby, WAS vs. MIN ($32): The Sharks have the weaker opponent of this slate's two favorites, but they also have more uncertainty surrounding them in the second leg of a road back-to-back. Holtby is thus the safest option in net given his own credentials (6-2-1 in his last nine starts) and the Wild's recent lack of success (2-4-2 in their last eight games).


Devan Dubnyk, MIN at WAS ($30): Dubnyk has just one win in his past five starts, and he's averaged a meager 7.4 fantasy points over this poor stretch. He'll have a hard time righting the ship against a Capitals club that's scoring 3.53 goals per game at home -- sixth-most in the league.


Ryan Getzlaf, ANH vs. SJ ($17): Getzlaf has slowed down significantly this season, with 46 points and a career-worst minus-20 rating through 64 appearances. On the bright side, the veteran pivot is much more affordable than he used to be. At just $17, Getzlaf should provide nice bang for the buck considering his recent form -- seven points in his past six games, including five points in the last three. The Sharks aren't exactly a shutdown defense on the road, ranking among the 10 most generous teams in terms of goals allowed per road game. 


Joe Thornton, SJ at ANH ($17): Thornton's 39-year-old legs are unlikely to respond well in this second leg of a back-to-back. He's played on consecutive nights 11 previous times this season, averaging just 4.2 fantasy points in the second legs of those back-to-backs.


Ryan Donato, MIN at WAS ($17): Even as the Wild are watching their playoff hopes slip away, Donato's doing all he can to earn his team a postseason berth. The trade acquisition from Boston has been terrific for his new club, notching four goals and 13 points in 14 games. Considering he's also averaging three shots per game with Minnesota and converting at a 9.5 percent rate that's actually below his career 10.6 mark, the 22-year-old's success seems to be sustainable rather than luck-based.

Kevin Labanc, SJ at ANH ($17): Labanc has benefited tremendously from skating on San Jose's star-studded top power-play unit, with 18 of his 49 points this season coming with the man advantage. He gets a nice opportunity to add to that power-play success against a Ducks penalty kill that ranks among the league's 10 most generous at 79.0 percent.


Joe Pavelski, SJ at ANH ($23): Pavelski has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury and totaled minus-4.1 fantasy points in the two games preceding the absence. Even if he suits up for this one, the veteran forward is best avoided until he shows himself to be operating at close to 100 percent.

Jason Zucker, MIN at WAS ($18): Zucker has failed to build on his March 7 hat trick in Tampa Bay, totaling one goal, one assist and a minus-4 rating in six subsequent games. Finding his mojo won't be easy against Holtby and the Capitals.


Brent Burns, SJ at ANH ($32): This is the type of matchup in which Burns is worth paying up for. The Ducks own the league's second-worst goal differential, so they're unlikely to stop a guy with such an elite combination of ability and opportunity. Burns leads all defensemen in points, shots and assists while ranking eighth in average ice time. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more reliable lineup centerpiece across the entire NHL, let alone in a tiny two-game slate.

Matt Niskanen, WAS vs. MIN ($15): Niskanen could see some more minutes with Michal Kempny sidelined by a lower-body injury, and even if his playing time stays around the usual 22 minutes, the veteran blueliner's due to break out offensively. The five-time 30-point scorer is mired in a seven-game point drought, but his 26 shots in that span suggest he's generating chances and just getting unlucky. Niskanen has also made up for his lack of points with 16 blocks in these past seven games.


Dmitry Orlov, WAS vs. MIN ($15): There's little reason to pick Orlov over the identically priced Niskanen. While Niskanen seems to be on the verge of a breakout offensive performance, Orlov's stuck on three goals this season and isn't likely to budge from that mark any time soon considering he's flung more than two pucks on net in just six of his last 56 appearances.

Jared Spurgeon, MIN at WAS ($18): Minnesota's most expensive healthy blueliner is a risky pick here given his recent defensive struggles. Spurgeon has a minus-6 rating over the past six games, with three performances under zero fantasy points and another with 2.6.

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