Lace up your skates, because there are 12 NHL games on the docket Thursday. Here are some players I'd recommend you target, and some to avoid as well…
Brian Elliott, PHI vs. BUF ($29): The Flyers have won four games in a row, and in those contests Elliott has a 1.75 GAA and a .946 save percentage. Don't be surprised if this strong play continues, as this is a rather favorable matchup. The Sabres have averaged a league-low 2.16 goals per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Anton Khudobin, BOS vs. WAS ($33): This isn't so much about Khudobin's play, though in his last game he allowed four goals on 14 shots. The Bruins are going to be on the second night of a back-to-back, which tends to not bode well for a team's performance. The Capitals have scored 3.06 goals per game.
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Nathan MacKinnon, COL vs. FLA ($20): MacKinnon has started 57.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, tops among Colorado forwards, and he's averaged 4:10 with the extra man as well. That has helped him notched 33 points and 92 shots on net through 30 games. The Panthers are tied with the Coyotes for a league-worst team GAA of 3.42, and you never want to be tied with the Coyotes in a defensive statistic. Florida has also given up 35.3 shots on goal per contest.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Getzlaf, ANA at STL ($23): Getzlaf has returned from his face injury, but now he's headed into a tough matchup. The Blues have a team GAA of 2.53, fourth-best in the NHL, and they've also only allowed 29.3 shots on net per contest. On top of that, Jake Allen has a 1.67 GAA and a .936 save percentage. Even if Getzlaf is back to full strength after missing extended time, this could be a rough outing.
Jonathan Huberdeau, FLA at COL ($23): Huberdeau has averaged a hearty 8.4 fantasy points per game, and he's averaging a career high in ice time (20:20) and power-play ice time (3:46). On that front, he's tallied 10 points with the extra man in 31 games. The Avalanche have a team GAA of 3.30 and have allowed 32.1 shots on net per tilt.
Ondrej Palat, TAM at ARI ($19): Palat has played well recently, notching nine points in his last 11 games. The Coyotes have a league-worst 3.42 team GAA and also sport a .895 team save percentage. Palat may not be scoring at the same rate as some of his teammates, but he doesn't need to in order to be a nice value at this price.
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WINGS TO AVOID
Johnny Gaudreau, CGY vs. SAN ($28): Gaudreau has had a good year, though his scoring has slowed down a bit (four points in his last nine games). This is all about the matchup, as the Sharks have a team GAA of 2.34 and have only given up 29.1 shots on net per contest. San Jose also has the second best penalty kill, and Gaudreau has done a lot of his damage on the power play.
Anders Lee, NYI at CLM ($23): Lee has 17 goals in 30 games but also has a 23.3 shooting percentage that seems unsustainable. Sergei Bobrovsky has struggled a bit recently, but he has a 2.20 GAA and a .926 save percentage after last year’s 2.06 and .931 marks. Columbus also has the fourth-ranked penalty kill, so don't expect much luck for Lee with the extra man.
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI vs. BUF ($21): Gostisbehere has started 58.9 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, most of any Flyer, and he's averaged 3:47 per game on the power play as well. He already has 13 points with the extra man, and he's had at least 22 in his last two campaigns. Buffalo has a team GAA of 3.32, which is in the bottom five of the NHL, and it has given up 32.0 shots on net per contest as well.
Erik Johnson, COL vs. FLA ($18): Johnson has three points in his last four games, and he's tallied 88 shots on goal in 30 contests. That bodes well, because, as previously noted the Panthers have allowed 35.3 shots on net per tilt. Additionally, Johnson has picked up 64 blocked shots, so he can add a little more fantasy value on that front.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Nick Leddy, NYI at CLM ($21): Leddy is another player who is having a fine year but finds himself in a tough matchup. The Blue Jackets have a team GAA of 2.55, and they have been even better with Bobrovsky in net. On top of that, Columbus has the fourth-ranked penalty kill, and eight of Leddy's 24 points have come with the extra man.
Tyler Myers, WPG at CHI ($18): Speaking of tough matchups, Corey Crawford has been outstanding since returning from injury, and overall this year he has a 2.20 GAA and a .933 save percentage. Myers has five goals this season, but that's with a 10.6 shooting percentage. That would be his best since his rookie season, outside of last year's 11-game campaign. Furthermore, nine of Myers' 15 points have come on the power play, and Chicago has the fifth-best penalty kill.