This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
A back-to-back in the NHL playoffs? It's true! The Lightning and Panthers are squaring off in Game 4 of their series after playing Game 3 on Sunday. However, it was a 1:30 p.m. ET start, and they didn't have the change arenas. This isn't your typical back-to-back. On top of that, the Lightning could sweep the Panthers out of the playoffs Monday. Don't forget about the Avalanche and the Blues as well. Here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineup.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. FLA ($29): Vasilevskiy has allowed only one goal in his last four games, all of them wins as well. That, of course, includes the first three games of this series. Why bet against things changing all that much at this point, especially with how this series has been going?
GOALIE TO AVOID
Darcy Kuemper, COL at STL ($32): I would go with Kuemper over Ville Husso or Sergei Bobrovsky, to be fair, but also I wouldn't really want to go with Kuemper as well. The Blues scored 3.77 goals per game this season. That was third most in the NHL. Kuemper on the road against this top-three offense? I don't find that something to get too enthused about.
Nazem Kadri, COL at STL ($27): Kadri got overshadowed by Nathan MacKinnon to some degree, but he had 87 points in 71 games. Since returning from injury he has 10 points in his last 13 outings, including two points in Game 3 of this series. While Husso was better than Jordan Binnington during the regular season, in the playoffs he has a 3.38 GAA and .891 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Robert Thomas, STL vs. COL ($22): It's been a tough postseason for Thomas. He has only three points, all assists, and zero in this series. At this point, with only four teams in action, you can't really trust players that have gone cold.
Nikita Kucherov, TAM vs. FLA ($33): Yes, Kucherov has a high salary. He's also totally worth it. The Russian has seven points in this series alone. Over his last 15 contests he has 30 points. Kucherov is absolutely on fire, and his track record makes me believe he can keep this going, especially at home with the Panthers facing elimination.
Vladimir Tarasenko, STL vs. COL ($27): Tarasenko averaged 2:40 per game with the extra man during the regular season, notching 22 power-play points. He's added three more points on the power play in the playoffs. The Avalanche, for their part, had the 15th-ranked penalty kill.
WINGS TO AVOID
Pavel Buchnevich, STL vs. COL ($22): Buchnevich has been moved to the second power-play unit, which will mean less time against the Avalanche's 15th-ranked penalty kill. He only has one power-play point in his last 15 games. Kuemper had a .921 save percentage during the regular season, and he has a .926 save percentage in the playoffs.
Carter Verhaeghe, FLA at TAM ($20): Verhaeghe was uncertain to play in Game 2 of this series, and then put zero shots on net. In Game 3 he was held without a point again and only had one shot on goal. Few players are fully healthy at this juncture of the season, but Verhaeghe is producing like he's being held back, and Vasilevskiy has not allowed more than a goal in any game in this series.
Ryan McDonagh, TAM vs. FLA ($17): McDonagh had three points in the first round, and just had an assist in Game 3 of this series. He's been more active on the defensive end of the ice, as he's blocked at least three shots in his last six outings. Bobrovsky had a .913 save percentage this season, and the Panthers attempted a ton of shots this season, which could mean more block opportunities for McDonagh.
Bowen Byram, COL vs. STL ($11): It's deeply unfortunate that Samuel Girard is out for the rest of the playoffs, but somebody is going to step into his role. That will likely be Byram, a 20-year-old defenseman who was drafted fourth overall in the 2019 NHL Draft. During the regular season, he had 17 points and 49 shots on net in 30 games.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Aaron Ekblad, FLA at TAM ($24): Ekblad looked good in the first round after he missed the end of the regular season, save for a lack of power-play production, but in this round he hasn't registered a point yet. Florida's power play has gone ice cold, and 20 of Ekblad's 57 points came with the extra man. Can he turn it around on the road with the way Vasilevskiy is playing? I doubt it.
Colton Parayko, STL vs. COL ($19): Parayko scored a goal in Game 3, but on his only shots on net. He's not using as involved offensively, as he had 135 shots on net in 80 regular-season games. Parayko also had all of one power-play point this season, so he's effectively not going to face Colorado's penalty kill.