Yahoo DFS Hockey: Friday Picks

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  • Anaheim Ducks
    Anaheim Ducks
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  • Chicago Blackhawks
    Chicago Blackhawks
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It's been a wild week in professional sports, so staying on top of the RotoWire NHL news feed is encouraged before finalizing lineups. Friday has six games on the NHL docket with the Penguins and Ducks the two largest favorites. All the rest of the matchups are projected to be close. It's also a tough slate to navigate with all the COVID-19 protocols. It's worth adding the Sabres, Predators and Golden Knights are all playing for the second consecutive night. 

All statistics from Natural Stat Trick and Hockey Reference.

GOALIE

Marc-Andre Fleury, CHI vs. NSH ($34): The Predators won 5-2 over Colorado on Thursday, so they'll be travelling with a slim roster to face the Blackhawks for the second leg of a back-to-back set. Fleury has also turned his season around with an 8-3-0 record, .935 save percentage and 2.06 GAA through 11 starts since the Chicago coaching change in early November.

GOALIE TO AVOID

David Rittich, NSH at CHI ($27): The backup draws the noted tough schedule spot with multiple Nashville regulars unlikely to suit up. He's sporting an underwhelming .880 save percentage and 3.10 GAA through five starts this season, and Chicago has found an offensive groove with nine goals through its past two contests.

CENTER

Trevor Zegras, ANH vs. ARI ($17): Arizona is missing several regulars on top of allowing the most goals per game and sporting a 30th-ranked 70.7 penalty-kill percentage, so this is a plus-matchup for the rookie. Zegras is also in solid form with 18 points -- five goals -- through his past 16 contests, albeit with a number of peaks and valleys along the way.

CENTER TO AVOID

Andrew Copp, WPG vs. WAS ($19): Projected to skate on the third line and in a checking role, Copp's salary is probably too steep. He's missed the scoresheet in four straight contests with just eight shots, too. Washington has also surrendered the eighth fewest goal per 60 minutes at five-on-five in the league.

WING

Rickard Rakell, ANH vs. ARI ($16): A stack candidate with linemate Trevor Zegras ($17), Rakell has gone six games without a goal despite generating eight individual high-danger scoring chances. Additionally, with the noted soft matchup in mind, Rakell, Zegras and linemate Sonny Milano ($15) should fare well considering they clicked for 5.26 goals per 60 minutes this season.

Dylan Strome, CHI vs. NSH ($10): A minimum-salary target skating on the No. 1 line with Patrick Kane ($28) and Alex DeBrincat ($22), Strome warrants a long look Friday with Nashville vulnerable. After all, the trio combined for an elite 6.43 goals per 60 minutes over the previous three seasons. Strome has also recorded a respectable three points -- one goal -- through his past four outings.

WINGS TO AVOID

Max Pacioretty, VGK at NYR ($29): This will be the third road game in four nights for Vegas and second consecutive, so it might not be the best schedule spot to spend up for the surging winger. Pacioretty has scored 10 times with a 24.4 shooting percentage through his past eight contests, so look for his puck luck to regress back to the 11.6 mark he posted through his first three seasons with the Golden Knights. New York also ranks sixth best in both goals against per game and penalty-kill percentage.

DEFENSE

John Carlson, WAS at WPG ($23): With Winnipeg ranking second last in the league in penalty-kill percentage, Carlson lands in a great matchup Friday. He ranks second in points per 60 minutes among defensemen over the past three years and offers respectable secondary statistical coverage through shots (65) and blocks (36).

Kris Letang, PIT vs. BUF ($22): As noted, the Sabres are traveling to Pittsburgh to play the second leg of a back-to-back road set, and this is also Buffalo's third road game in four nights. Letang's in excellent form with seven assists, 19 shots, 11 blocks and a plus-6 rating through the past seven games. He should have a solid night with Buffalo allowing the fifth most goals per game in the league. 

DEFENSE TO AVOID

Roman Josi, NSH at CHI ($27): A high-risk, high-reward option playing the noted tough schedule spot, Josi has been excellent of late with three goals, five assists, 29 shots and eight blocks through the past six games. However, he missed the scoresheet entirely in his three previous outings. 

Nicolas Hague, VGK at NYR ($18): This is an expensive ticket for the third-year blueliner. Hague has only found the scoresheet in two of the past 11 games, and while his counting stats impress during the stretch (34 shots, 15 blocks and a plus-9 rating), this isn't a favorable matchup.