Jonathan Quick, LA vs. SJ ($33) – Quick has lost three straight games but his numbers are still very good overall, and in three games against the Sharks this season he’s posted a .944 save percentage and 1.70 GAA. He’s still the top dog among the three California starters, and the Sharks allowed five goals against Arizona on Saturday. The win may not be pretty, especially with Brent Burns regaining his form, but the Kings should be the favorite.
GOALIE TO AVOID
John Gibson, ANH at COL ($29) – It wasn’t too long ago that any goalie playing the Avalanche had an automatic win, but they’re a different team this year. The roster turnover hasn’t been dramatic other than shipping Matt Duchene out of town, but the Avs’ top line with Nathan MacKinnon has been dominant, and they rank third in the conference with 15 wins at home. The Ducks are healthy and winning games, but don’t take the Avalanche lightly. Their offense can be difficult to contain.
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Patrice Bergeron, BOS vs. DAL ($27) – He has scored six goals and three assists during his five-game point streak, and it’s highly unlikely Kari Lehtonen will be able to keep the puck out of the net for an entire game. Bergeron’s line with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak is one of the most dangerous in the league, and Lehtonen is 9-9 with a paltry .906 save percentage in 18 career games against the Bruins.
Jonathan Drouin, MON vs. NYI ($14) – He might be the third best center in this matchup behind John Tavares and Mathew Barzal, but someone has to lead the offense for Montreal. Even if the Habs elect to play Drouin on the wing, they don’t have anybody who’s even close to having the same kind of playmaking ability, and expected starter Jaroslav Halak is only in net because the Isles don’t have anyone else. Drouin hasn’t scored since Nov. 29 and has just three assists in his past 10 games but still has lots of upside.
CENTERS TO AVOID
Ryan Spooner, BOS vs. DAL ($18) – Spooner’s role is increasing with three goals and an assist in his past five games, but three of those points came in blowout wins. He’s a proven scorer in the minor leagues but is struggling to find a permanent role in the NHL, and the Bruins will be leaning heavily on Bergeron’s line all game, especially if the Stars lean on Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Spooner has just 33 shots in 21 games and is riding a shooting percentage (12.1) that’s much higher than his career average (7.8).
Alex Kerfoot, COL vs. ANH ($16) – Kerfoot has four points in his past two games but continues to play a minimal role for the Avs in his rookie season. What he’s been able to do with limited ice time is impressive, but the Ducks have a deep forward corps now that almost everyone is healthy. He was held without a point in a previous meeting with the Ducks, and played a little over 14 minutes. Kerfoot could face any one of Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler or Adam Henrique, and he’d be overmatched by every single one.
Brad Marchand, BOS vs. DAL ($30) – He’s got one of the hottest hands going with three goals and six assists in his past four games, including the game winner against the rival Habs on Saturday. When Marchand and his two linemates are firing on all cylinders, as they are right now, they’re virtually unstoppable. Kari Lehtonen won’t pose much of a challenge, and with last change on home ice, the Bruins will be sure to take advantage of the Stars defense.
Mikko Rantanen, COL vs. ANH ($19) – His three-game point streak was snapped against the Stars, but the talented winger can get right back on track against the Ducks as long as he continues to play alongside MacKinnon. The Avs have won six straight and the production from their top line is a big reason for that. Without Sami Vatanen, the Ducks defense is a little weaker overall, and the Avs have been dominant at home with a 15-7-1 record.
Brendan Gallagher, MON vs. NYI ($15) – Points have not been easy to come by for Gallagher, who has scored 16 goals but registered just seven assists because it seems like no one else on the team can finish. As one of the few shooters in the lineup, Gallagher has 14 shots in his past three games. His limited ice time continues to perplex because he’s one of the Habs most consistent and effective two-way players, but the Islanders' defense and Halak shouldn’t pose much of a challenge. Gallagher has 10 points in 13 games against the Isles in his career.
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WINGS TO AVOID
Anders Lee, NYI at MON ($26) – He’s got 40 points this season but just one goal in his past six games, which speaks to Lee’s streakiness. Carey Price will start, and even though he hasn’t been dominant every game there are still stretches when he can be imposing. Lee is a supporting scorer and not someone who can generate his own offense very easily, so he’ll have to ride the coattails of his center. That makes him a risky proposition, especially when he’s priced like an elite winger.
Ondrej Kase, ANH at COL ($18) – Not only are the Avalanche excellent at home, other than Kase’s three-point performance against the Coyotes he’s been relatively quiet and scored just 18 points this season. His ice time ranges from 13 to 16 minutes, but it’s usually at the lower end of that range. Despite being a scorer, Kase is stuck on the third line with Henrique and Nick Ritchie. For the same price, you can get Jakob Silfverberg instead.
Tyler Pitlick, DAL at BOS ($14) – Pitlick hasn’t scored in four games since potting two against San Jose in a 6-0 win Dec. 31, and he played just 13:15 Saturday against Colorado, his lowest ice time in six games. Pitlick is playing on a third line that may go head-to-head with Riley Nash and David Backes, and in that particular matchup the Bruins have the edge.
Brent Burns, SJ at LA ($32) – He’s worth the premium again because he’s scoring like an elite forward. His plus-minus and defensive play will always be what it is – slightly above average – but his offensive production has been spectacular with a goal and seven assists in his past five games. What’s more incredible? He’s registered at least six shots in each of his past four games and is outpacing Seth Jones by 35 shots for the league lead among defensemen.
John Klingberg, DAL at BOS ($23) – He’s the scoring leader among defensemen with 40 points, so if Burns isn’t appetizing, Klingberg provides similar value at a much lower price. He’s the key to the Stars offense, and tied for the team lead in scoring with Benn and Seguin. Along with Alexander Radulov, the Stars have one of the top scoring units in the NHL, and the Bruins are going to start Anton Khudobin, which will make their job slightly easier than usual.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Nick Leddy, NYI at MON ($20) – Leddy was minus-3 in last Sunday’s 5-4 win against the Devils and just plus-1 in a 7-2 win over the Rangers, so he hasn’t exactly been a top contributor recently. He’s logging tons of ice time because he skates well and moves the puck, but his overall numbers haven’t been pretty with a minus-18 rating. The Habs are not a very good offensive team because their top scorers tend to be unreliable, but Max Pacioretty and Drouin still demand attention, which is where Leddy’s focus will likely be. Leddy hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 24 and has just two assists in his past eight games.
Cam Fowler, ANH at COL ($17) – Fowler’s ability to move the puck efficiently makes him a valuable defenseman on any roster, but he’s not the type to pile up the points. He doesn’t put a lot of pucks on net and will be preoccupied with shutting down the Avalanche’s top line, so more often than not he’ll be trying to take the puck off MacKinnon’s stick rather than carrying it on his own. Fowler has just 15 points this season with a minus-7 rating.