This article is part of our NHL Waiver Wire series.
Many head-to-head leagues have started their playoffs. If you're among those participating, congratulations. If you're not, um, try to do better next year.
With the volatility of a short stretch possibly deciding your fate, extra care must be taken with your lineups. It doesn't matter if you've been coasting for a while. Because the minute you take your eye off the latest updates, you'll end up missing a late injury or a surprise line change/scratch.
In these late stages, every little bit of help can make a difference. That's why we're offering a few widely available players who could move you on to the next round.
(Ownership rates/stats as of March 5.)
Dustin Brown, LA (Yahoo: 27%, ESPN: 32%, CBS: 23%): Brown hasn't produced a lot this season, but he's picked it up of late with six points, 22 shots and 19 hits in seven games. It's no coincidence this streak matches up with Tyler Toffoli's trade to Vancouver, as Brown has enjoyed top-line duties — including a sizable role on the power play — the last two weeks. The Kings will probably be done by early April, but the veteran should provide enough to help you progress deeper into your playoffs.
Nikita Gusev, NJ (Yahoo: 23%, ESPN: 41%, CBS: 43%): Two goals and seven assists from seven outings sounds great. Six power-play points and 18 shots over the same stretch couldn't be much better. Sure, the Devils are destined for another high lottery pick this