Happy New Year! 2023 begins with a Sunday, the NFL's day, so the NHL has gotten out of the way a bit with three evening games. Let's start the year off right. Here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Ilya Sorokin, NYI at SEA ($37): Four of six teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back, with only the Islanders and Kraken not having played Saturday. Martin Jones hasn't done much in net, but Sorokin enters with a 2.26 GAA and .926 save percentage. Truly, this is a process-of-elimination decision.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Craig Anderson, BUF at OTT ($31): Both clubs will be on their second straight night, and Ottawa has been mediocre offensively. Anderson will be facing his former team and currently carries a .922 save percentage, but he's also 41 years old. And his .902 save percentage across the last six seasons hint that regression could be coming.
Logan Couture, SAN at CHI ($17): Couture's goal scoring has curtailed a bit even though he's potted 14 goals this year, though he's still racking up assists. Goals and assists are on the table in this matchup. Petr Mrazek will be most likely be in net for Chicago, and he's posted a 4.12 GAA and .881 save percentage. The Blackhawks also maintain the 27th-ranked penalty kill, and Couture has produced 12 power-play points.
CENTER TO AVOID
Matty Beniers, SEA vs. NYI ($18): The Islanders are the clear matchup to avoid here based on all the goaltending stuff mentioned earlier. Sorokin is clearly the top netminder on Sunday. Beniers might win the Calder, but he's yet to become an offensive force as he's only put 68 shots on net this season.
Jeff Skinner, BUF at OTT ($24): Skinner has been on fire with eight goals and nine assists in his last 10 games. With both clubs on a back-to-back, Anton Forsberg will likely be in net and comes in with a 3.24 GAA and .906 save percentage for a team that's averaged over 33 shots against.
Tyler Johnson, CHI vs. SAN ($10): Two tired teams, but the Blackhawks will be at home. They'll also likely face Kaapo Kahkonen in net for the Sharks with his 3.83 GAA and .870 save percentage. Johnson has missed some time with injury, but he's looked good when healthy having managed eight points in 13 outings. He's also not reliant on the power play, but the Sharks boast the league's top penalty kill.
WINGS TO AVOID
Jared McCann, SEA vs. NYI ($17): McCann has registered 16 goals, but with a 25.0 shooting percentage that will surely regress. You know what could help on that front? Sorokin with his 2.26 GAA and .926 save percentage.
Josh Bailey, NYI at SEA ($12): Bailey has notched eight points from his last 11 games, but there's reason to think he may have issues in this matchup. He's only directed 42 shots on net, and the Kraken have only allowed 28.2 shots per matchup. Seattle's big issue is their 31st-ranked penalty kill, and Bailey has only picked up two power-play points.
Noah Dobson, NYI at SEA ($19): The Kraken's poor shorthanded situation? Dobson can take advantage of that! He's averaged 3:44 with the extra man to go with nine power-play points. In his breakthrough campaign last year, he managed 22 PPPs, so he's a proven commodity there.
Owen Power, BUF at OTT ($15): In his return from injury, Power got back on track with two assists. The rookie logs a lot of minutes and has no goals on 44 shots, so eventually he's going to light the lamp. With both clubs on a back-to-back and with Forsberg and his .906 save percentage likely starting, Power could be in for a favorable matchup.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Vince Dunn, SEA vs. NYI ($16): Once again, Sorokin and his .926 save percentage are in the way for Dunn. The Islanders also maintain a top-eight penalty kill, and seven of Dunn's 19 points have come on the man-advantage.
Seth Jones, CHI vs. SAN ($13): I mentioned the Sharks have an elite penalty kill. Jones has dealt with injury this year, but he's also been reliant on the power play when healthy as six of his 10 points have come while up a man.