The NHL's original intent wasn't for the Bruins and Hurricanes to have to play on back-to-back days. However, after the Lightning and Blue Jackets decided to play a five-overtime marathon, Boston and Carolina had to play Wednesday. Granted, the teams played at 11:00 a.m. ET yesterday, and Thursday they don't play until 8:00 p.m. ET. Plus, it's not like there was any travel involved. There are four playoff games Thursday overall, and here are some players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineup.
Cam Talbot, CGY at DAL ($30): I'm trying to avoid either goalies on a back-to-back or goalies who recently had to play effectively two full games in one day, and that brings me to Talbot. The playoffs have been fun for the former Oiler so far, as he has a 1.61 GAA and .941 save percentage in his former home arena. Dallas only scored 2.58 goals per game in the regular season, so I don't expect a lot of offensive firepower in this series.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Joonas Korpisalo, CLM at TAM ($32): Korpisalo shattered the NHL record by making 83 saves in Game 1. That's impressive, but I do wonder about fatigue being a factor in Game 2. If that's not enough, the Lightning scored 3.47 goals per contest, highest in the NHL.
William Karlsson, VGK vs. CHI ($20): Karlsson didn't come close to scoring 43 goals again, but he did notch 46 points in 63 games. He's the first-line center for the Golden Knights, and that gives him a lot of golden opportunities. That's certainly true against the Blackhawks, who allowed 35.1 shots on net per contest, highest in the league.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sean Monahan, CGY at DAL ($20): Monahan had a big series against the Jets, but he was held without a point and only had one shot on goal in Game 1 against the Stars. That's a small sample size, but the Stars had a 2.52 GAA this year. If Anton Khudobin is in net again, he had a 2.22 GAA and .930 save percentage.
Alex DeBrincat, CHI at VGK ($17): Nobody had more power-play goals on the Blackhawks than DeBrincat, who lit the lamp 10 times with the extra man. That's despite the fact his shooting percentage puzzlingly tumbled down to 8.7, while his previous low over a season was 15.5. Regression toward the mean, and a matchup with Vegas' 27th-ranked penalty kill, could pay off for DeBrincat.
Ondrej Palat, TAM vs. CLM ($16): The number one thing Palat has going for him is that he's on Tampa's top line with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov. That's a great place to be if you want to get points, and Palat did score 17 goals in 69 games this season. There is a little bet on Korpisalo being fatigued here, but also the Finnish netminder only had a .911 save percentage in the regular season.
WINGS TO AVOID
Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at BOS ($27): Svechnikov had a point in all three games of Carolina's sweep of the Rangers, but it's one thing to score on Henrik Lundqvist. It's quite another to try and get on the score sheet against the Bruins, who had a 2.39 GAA to lead the league. No other team's GAA was lower than 2.52.
Jamie Benn, DAL vs. CGY ($17): Once upon a time Benn won an Art Ross, but this season he only notched 39 points. He also only played 2:24 per game with the extra man, his lowest average since the 2011-12 season. The Flames also have the eighth-ranked penalty kill, so Benn may not find luck there even with more minutes. Throw in Cam Talbot's 2.63 GAA and .919 save percentage and things look foreboding for the whole Stars offense.
Shea Theodore, VGK vs. CHI ($22): As I mentioned earlier, the Blackhawks allowed 35.1 shots on net per game, highest in the NHL. Meanwhile, Theodore put 219 shots on goal in 71 games. He's also been quite active recently, as he has 14 shots on net over his last three contests. If he keeps that up, points seem likely to follow.
Zach Werenski, CLM at TAM ($18): Sure, Werenski just logged over an hour of ice time in a game, but I still have some reasons to believe in him. For starters, the fact he averaged 2:44 per game with the extra man and notched 13 power-play points in 60 games this season. The Lightning had the 14th-ranked penalty kill, which isn't bad but is also not overly concerning. And who is more likely to suffer from fatigue, a player on the power play or a guy having to try and kill a penalty?
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Mark Giordano, CGY at DAL ($20): I feel like Giordano has come up a lot in this section, but that's what happens when you follow up winning a Norris Trophy with five goals and 31 points. The 36-year-old hasn't exactly picked it up in the playoffs either, as he has only one assist. Given the Stars' 2.52 GAA and excellent pair of netminders, I don't think he turns it around in this series.
Jaccob Slavin, CAR at BOS ($17): Slavin is known for his skill at both ends of the ice, but he's not usually a big part of the power play. While Dougie Hamilton was hurt he did get some minutes with the extra man, but Hamilton is back now and so Slavin will likely be seeing little to no power-play time. Even if he does, the Bruins have the third-ranked penalty kill.