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NHL DFS: Picks for 4 Game 5s

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It doesn't get much more exciting than Tuesday's NHL slate. There are four Game 5s, and every series is tied up at two games apiece. All four series switch sites back to the higher seed's home arena. Here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your pivotal DFS lineups based on these four pivotal games.

GOALIE

Mike Smith, EDM vs. LOS ($38): You can't blame Smith for the Game 4 loss. He made 42 saves on 45 shots. Over his last 12 games he has an 1.59 GAA and .956 save percentage. The Kings finished 20th in goals per game and, I mean, is there a goalie in any of these other series you really want right now?

GOALIE TO AVOID

Jonathan Quick LOS at EDM ($27): This is a reality check after Quick posted a shutout in Game 4. He had a 2.59 GAA this year, but with a .910 save percentage. Over the last four seasons he has a .900 save percentage. Edmonton averaged 3.48 goals and 34.0 shots on net per contest. This "vintage" version of Quick likely won't be back for Game 5.

CENTER

Ryan Hartman, MIN vs. STL ($20): Hartman has five assists over his last three games after a regular season in which he notched 65 points. Assuming the Blues go with Jordan Binnington in Game 5, I am expecting he gets a reality check similar to Quick's. The former rookie sensation had a 3.13 GAA and .901 save percentage during the regular season.

CENTER TO AVOID

Sebastian Aho, CAR vs. BOS ($27): Aho's biggest contribution to Game 4 was taking a double minor, and he hasn't had a point in his last two games. The swap to Jeremy Swayman has worked out for the Bruins, and I have a bit more faith in him as he had a 2.41 GAA and .914 save percentage this season. Also, because the Bruins only allowed 28.7 shots on net per contest.

WING

Evander Kane, EDM vs. LOS ($27): After two three-point games in a row, Kane was held pointless in Game 4, but he still put five shots on net. He's been a prolific shooter throughout his career, and he's put 71 shots on goal over his last 15 games. The Kings were great at suppressing shots, but clearly they aren't keeping Kane in check, which puts more of the onus on Quick.

Edmonton Oilers' Evander Kane (91) plays against the Nashville Predators in the first period of an NHL hockey game
Consider Evander Kane in your NHL DFS lineups. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

William Nylander, TOR vs. TAM ($23): Nylander finished the regular season with two two-point games, and he just had two goals in Game 4. He's put 14 shots on net in this series, and he had 256 shots on goal during the regular season. Andrei Vasilevskiy hasn't looked good even in the wins in this series, as he's allowed at least three goals in all four games.

WINGS TO AVOID

Taylor Hall, BOS at CAR ($17): The Bruins reunited the "Perfection Line," which obviously hurt Jake DeBrusk's fantasy upside. You know who else probably is hurt by that? Hall, who no longer gets to share a line with David Pastrnak. Even if Antti Raanta – a solid backup it should be noted – is still starting for the Hurricanes, this is a team that ranked first in shots on net allowed per game and penalty-kill percentage. That defense is a big reason why Raanta had a 2.45 GAA this year.

Alex Iafallo, LOS at EDM ($15): Iafallo was up on the top line for a chunk of the season, but these days he's been down on the third line, which limits his upside. He's also not really a power-play contributor, as he only had six points with the extra man this year. As I noted, Smith has an 1.59 GAA and .956 save percentage over his last 12 outings.

DEFENSE

Tyson Barrie, EDM vs. LOS ($18): The Kings had the 22nd-ranked penalty kill, so I'm going to keep recommending Barrie. He averaged 2:51 per game with the extra man and had 21 power-play points in 73 games. The veteran has added two power-play points in this series as well.

Mikhail Sergachev, TAM at TOR ($14): Sergachev was a secondary source of points on the blue line with 38 in 78 games. He has an assist in each of his last two games as well, as Jack Campbell has slipped up over the last few contests. Going back to the regular season, he has a .909 save percentage over his last 10 games.

DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID

Tony DeAngelo, CAR vs. BOS ($23): This is a matchup between two teams in the top four in GAA and shots on net allowed per game. There's always a chance for a low-scoring game. With Charlie McAvoy in the COVID-19 protocols, I am not looking his way anyway. The Hurricanes have their own points producer in DeAngelo, but even with his good play in this series I am wary, especially since his big game in this series came with Linus Ullmark in net and when he played 8:10 on the power play.

Sean Durzi, LOS at EDM ($15): Durzi stepped up as a rookie when Drew Doughty went down, especially on the power play. He ended up tallying 15 points with the extra man in 64 games. However, he only has one power-play point in his last 12 outings, and none in this series. The recent play of Smith is definitely not in his favor either.