This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
We're truly in the home stretch of the NHL season. After a busy Monday, Tuesday is a little more relaxed on the schedule. Still, there are five games taking place, and this is an interesting day because all five games are the second leg of a back-to-back. That's going to make these recommendations a bit unusual, but here are the players I would target, and avoid, for DFS lineups.
Ilya Sorokin, NYI at BUF ($33): Sorokin was a dominant goalie in the KHL, and that has carried over to the NHL, admittedly in a backup role. The netminder has a 2.18 GAA and .918 save percentage behind Semyon Varlamov. There are four NHL teams that are pretty significantly behind the rest of the league when it comes to scoring goals, and while the Sabres are the "best" of those four, that means ranking 28th in goals scored.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Thatcher Demko, VAN vs. EDM ($26): Demko was busy early in the season, but then the Canucks had a pause in their campaign, and since then Braden Holtby has actually gotten more of the starts. In fact, Demko has only made three starts since the beginning of April, and he's posted a 3.78 GAA and .871 save percentage. Now he has to face an Oilers team scoring 3.22 goals per game and featuring the league's second-best penalty kill.
Brock Nelson, NYI at BUF ($18): Nelson managed 26 goals in 68 games last season, and while he's taken a step down, 16 goals in 52 games is still solid. On top of that, he has three helpers over his last two contests. The Sabres have been collapsing down the stretch defensively, in part due to injuries in net. Buffalo actually is now last in shots allowed per game and second-to-last in GAA.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sean Couturier, PHI vs. PIT ($20): When it comes to players to avoid today, I'm obviously looking toward teams that have a reliable goaltending duo, given that everybody is on the second leg of a back-to-back. While Couturier recently had a five-game point streak, three of those games were against the Devils. Monday admittedly went poorly for Pittsburgh goaltenders, but Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith have both had good seasons.
Kasperi Kapanen, PIT at PHI ($15): Since returning from injury, Kapanen has notched six points in seven games. Speaking of returning from injury, Kapanen should also have Evgeni Malkin back at center for this one, as Malkin finally got back on the ice Monday. Even if that isn't the case, this is still a fantastic matchup. The Flyers have the highest GAA in the NHL as well as the lowest team save percentage.
Nick Ritchie, BOS at NJD ($12): The Devils have the league's worst penalty kill. While a lot of Boston's power-play production comes from big names like David Pastrnak, don't overlook Ritchie. He's averaged 2:53 per game with the extra man and tallied five goals and four assists on the power play. His salary is also definitely more manageable than anybody on the Perfection Line.
WINGS TO AVOID
Patrick Kane, CHI at CAR ($32): With three of the bottom five teams, and five of the bottom eight, in GAA suiting up, I feel like there are matchups you can target to avoid having to shell out for a salary like Kane's. You can spend your money more soundly Tuesday. Plus, this is also a tough matchup. Petr Mrazek may not be able to play and that could mean James Reimer in net, which definitely isn't as imposing. Still, the Hurricanes have only allowed 28.4 shots on goal per game and are in the top five on the penalty kill.
Brock Boeser, VAN vs. EDM ($17): Boeser's shooting percentage has bounced back after he posted a 9.5 percent mark last season, but he only has one goal in his last 10 games. Additionally, the Oilers started Mikko Koskinen on Monday, which means Mike Smith is likely to start Tuesday. The 39-year-old has had an incredible campaign, as he's managed a 2.30 GAA and .924 save percentage.
Darnell Nurse, EDM at VAN ($23): Nurse has kept the Oilers from missing Oscar Klefbom too much, as he's notched 15 goals and 16 assists in 50 games. On top of that, he's tallied 137 shots on net. Meanwhile, the Canucks have given up 33.2 shots on goal per game. Nurse should have plenty of opportunities to pepper Braden Holtby with shots.
Noah Dobson, NYI at BUF ($10): Dobson has started 57.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest among New York defensemen. He's also gotten a bit of power-play time, having averaged 1:57 per game with the extra man. The best-case scenario for the Sabres sees Dustin Tokarski in net, and even though he has a .904 save percentage, he has a 3.42 GAA because of how many shots he's faced.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF vs. NYI ($16): Dahlin has taken a step back, or maybe it's his team that has taken a step back. While the young Swede does have 23 points in 53 games, including 10 with the extra man, mostly he's had to deal with the other team having the puck and scoring on the Sabres, as he is a minus-36 this year. The Islanders have a top-five penalty kill, and they also have a 2.20 GAA.
Duncan Keith, CHI at CAR ($12): Keith has three goals in his last nine games, which is good, but that gives him all of four goals on the season. He also has less assists than usual this year, with only 11 helpers. Even if James Reimer is in net for the Hurricanes, despite his struggles he has a 2.66 GAA due to the strength of the defense in front of him.