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NHL DFS: Thursday picks and fades

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We're onto Game 2's in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. We were treated to some excellent series openers, and now we have more information to base our DFS positions on. Let's dive into some places where we can find value and some players we should avoid.

GOALIE

Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA vs. WAS ($29): Bobrovsky played well in Game 1, as he stopped 34 of 37 shots, but the Panthers still dropped their series opener. Bob won 10 straight home games with a .917 save percentage heading into the playoffs, so we know he can hold his own, and we should expect the Panthers – the league's highest-scoring offense during the regular season – to turn things around quickly.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Louis Domingue, PIT at NYR ($28): Domingue was excellent when he took over in overtime Tuesday. As good of a story as that is, he hasn't been a reliable goaltender, and he played just three regular-season games at the NHL level over the past two seasons. The Rangers enter this game having scored 3.33 goals per game over their last nine outings.

CENTER

Ryan Strome, NYR vs. PIT ($19): Strome fired eight shots on net during the triple-OT loss in Game 1, and he now has 10 points over the last 13 games. He's getting plenty of playing time next to Artemi Panarin on the second line, and I'm aggressively targeting the Rangers with an intriguing matchup against Domingue.

Ryan Strome #16 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden in an NHL game
Consider Ryan Strome in your NHL DFS lineups tonight. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

CENTER TO AVOID

Elias Lindholm, CGY vs. DAL ($31): Lindholm scored the lone goal of Game 1. He was remarkable during the regular season with 42 goals, but I'm willing to fade him at this salary, as he's the fourth-most expensive center on the slate. Meanwhile, Dallas netminder Jake Oettinger has a .924 save percentage and 2.41 GAA on the road this season.

WING

Roope Hintz, DAL at CGY ($20): This will be a physical series, and that may eventually favor the Stars despite them getting shut out in Game 1. Hintz's line is too talented to stay down long, and he, Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski combined for 125 goals during the regular season. Jacob Markstrom isn't infallible at home, either, as he posted a mediocre .909 save percentage in his own barn over the last 18 games.

Valeri Nichushkin, COL vs. NSH ($19): Nichushkin has earned a spot on the top line next to Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, and he has capitalized on the opportunity recently with 13 points and 40 shots on net over the last 11 games while averaging nearly 21 minutes per game. The Predators are lost without Juuse Saros; David Rittich allowed five goals on 13 shots in Game 1.

WINGS TO AVOID

Bryan Rust, PIT at NYR ($23): Rust is highly underrated, but he grabbed the spotlight with three points and nine shots on net in the Penguins' Game 1 win over the Rangers. He'll likely rise in popularity for DFS tournaments, which typically means it's time to fade. Rust went pointless with just 16 shots on net through the final nine regular-season games.

Mikael Granlund, NSH at COL ($18): Granlund is hot right now with 11 points over the last eight games, but he managed to direct just 13 shots on net during that stretch. He won't provide much of a floor as a result, and his minus-9 rating during the regular season is a concern against the high-scoring Avalanche.

DEFENSE

Devon Toews, COL vs. NSH ($21): Toews posted a goal and four shots on net in Game 1 after stacking up 13 goals and 57 total points through 66 regular-season games. Facing off against Rittich is extremely appealing, and Toews skates on PP2 where he'll face off against the Predators' 18th-ranked PK (79.2 percent).

John Klingberg, DAL at CGY ($13): If I'm going to fire Hintz up in my lineup, I'll happily take Klingberg to create an affordable stack. He plays big minutes on the blue line, and he averaged nearly two shots on net and a blocked shot per game during the regular season. Dropping Klingberg into your lineup allows you to spend up elsewhere.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Kris Letang, PIT at NYR ($24): Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin will win the Vezina Trophy this season, and he's a significant reason that the Blueshirts rank seventh in the league with an 82.3 percent penalty kill. Letang has notched one of three points on the power play, meaning he could run into some difficulty in this matchup.

Noah Hanifin, CGY vs. DAL ($19): Hanifin is teaming up with Rasmus Andersson on the Flames' top pairing, but he hasn't notched a point in three games. That doesn't mean he can't turn things around quickly – he certainly has the talent to do so – but his ceiling is lowered against a goalie of Oettinger's pedigree.