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NHL DFS: Plays and fades for Thursday

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The Blues and Kings both head home with 3-2 series leads, while the Maple Leafs and Hurricanes have a chance to close out their series on the road. The Kings are aiming for their first playoff series win since the 2014-15 campaign when they won the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are hoping to end their curse by advancing past the first round for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

GOALIE

Jonathan Quick, LA vs. EDM ($26): Quick has been wildly inconsistent in this series, but the Kings' skaters have held their own thus far, bringing a 3-2 series lead home in the process. If nothing else, I'm countering the notion that 40-year-old Mike Smith at $37 should be the highest-salaried goaltender on the slate. I'll be happy to roll with Jordan Binnington ($26) or Andrei Vasilevskiy ($25) at home, too.

GOALIE TO AVOID

Jack Campbell, TOR at TB ($29): The Lightning often don't have their backs against the walls in the playoffs, but at least they're getting home-ice advantage for this challenge. Vasilevskiy hasn't been great during the postseason. Still, the Lightning are just as good as the Maple Leafs, as the two have posted 2.64 and 2.61 xGF/60 marks respectively. I'm betting on the more experienced Vasilevskiy to come up clutch here.

CENTER

Brayden Point, TB vs. TOR ($24): Point has just one goal and one assist in the series, but he continues to pepper the net with 18 shots in that span. For a player that scored on 16 percent of his shots during the regular season, it's highly unlikely that he stays cold for much longer. After all, Campbell has an .887 save percentage and a 3.71 GAA on the road since the beginning of March.

CENTER TO AVOID

Robert Thomas, STL vs. MIN ($22): Thomas was outstanding during the regular season, but his ice time has dropped to 17:50 during the playoffs. He has just eight shots on net through five games, too. I certainly like other Blues players, but I'd like anyone I roster to be handling more playing time.

WING

Pavel Buchnevich, STL vs. MIN ($21): Vladimir Tarasenko is getting all the hype after posting a hat trick in the third period of Game 5, but while Buchnevich hasn't been as explosive, he skates on the same line, is $6 cheaper and assisted on two of Tarasenko's goals Tuesday. After scoring 30 goals in the regular season, there's no doubt that Buchnevich has slate-winning ceiling Thursday.

St. Louis Blues Winger Pavel Buchnevich (89) lines up for a faceoff during game 2 of the NHL playoffs
Consider Pavel Buchnevich in your NHL DFS lineups tonight. (Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alex Iafallo, LA vs. EDM ($18): Iafallo has recorded four points through five games this series, and he has fired 18 shots on net while playing on the top line with Anze Kopitar. Mike Smith has allowed four goals twice in five games this series. Iafallo's time on the power play will come in handy against the Oilers' 17th-ranked PK (79.4 percent during the regular season).

WINGS TO AVOID

Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at BOS ($23): Svechnikov always has a massive ceiling, but his salary makes him risky. He has just two points this postseason, and the matchup against the Bruins is daunting as goaltender Jeremy Swayman has posted a .924 save percentage through two home games in this series.

Michael Bunting, TOR at TB ($18): Bunting was a Calder Trophy candidate in the regular season after posting 23 goals and 40 points. However, he was battling an undisclosed injury heading into playoffs. In fact he missed Game 1, and he hasn't been the same all series. Through four games, he has averaged 13:08 of ice time while firing just three total shots on net.

DEFENSE

Charlie McAvoy, BOS vs. CAR ($21): McAvoy has been fine this series with two points through four games, and he has delivered much-needed physicality with 18 hits. That doesn't help his value on Yahoo, but he has logged more than 25 minutes of ice time per game while also skating on the top power-play unit. Meanwhile, Carolina goaltender Antti Raanta's home-road splits are gaping, as he has an .891 save percentage and a 3.36 GAA over his last 11 road starts.

Justin Faulk, STL vs. MIN ($17): Faulk and Colton Parayko have hogged the blue line shifts, as they've both averaged more than 27 minutes of ice time per game. In the process, Faulk has posted four assists, 14 shots on net and seven blocked shots. The Wild seemed out of sorts late in Game 5 as Marc-Andre Fleury let up four goals for the third time in the series, and now they'll be in St. Louis.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Jared Spurgeon, MIN at STL ($19): With just seven shots on net and five blocked shots this series, Spurgeon doesn't carry a dependable floor. He did post three assists, but they were all in separate games, meaning he didn't provide any boom performances. Spurgeon is a low-ceiling, low-floor option Thursday, which doesn't mix well with large tournaments.

Mark Giordano, TOR at TB ($18): The Lightning should be a difficult matchup regardless of how Vasilevskiy plays, so fantasy players take on a lot of risk with Giordano, who isn't getting many opportunities on the third pairing. It's rubbing off on his production, as Giordano has posted just two points and 11 shots on net over his last eight games dating back to the regular season.