This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The beginning of May kicks up the intensity of the NHL playoffs. It means that we are closer to the finals, which gives every game a little extra kick of intrigue. That goes for the two games Thursday, as well. We've got a couple of Game 4s, which is always pivotal for a series. Here are my recommendations for who you should target, and avoid, for your daily fantasy lineup.
Sergei Bobrovsky, CLM vs. BOS ($35): Bob is working on ending the narrative that he's not up to the pressures of playoff hockey. This year, he's posted a 1.88 GAA and .937 save percentage in the postseason. At home, with the way he's playing, I have more faith in the Russian netminder than any of the other three goalies in action Thursday.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Philipp Grubauer, COL vs. SAN ($32): The Sharks scored 3.52 goals per game this season, which was tied for the second highest in the NHL. That makes this a tough matchup for Grubauer, and that's proven to be true thus far. The German performed well against the Flames, but he has a 3.39 GAA and .889 save percentage in this series.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, CLM vs. BOS ($16) : Dubois started 67.3 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, third highest on Columbus. That helped him tally 27 goals and 64 points this season, and he's added four more points in the postseason. Tuukka Rask has had issues on the road recently, as he has a 2.88 GAA and .903 save percentage in his last 13 away games.
CENTER TO AVOID
Patrice Bergeron, BOS at CLM ($32): Bergeron has five points in the playoffs, but they all came against the Maple Leafs. In three games against the Jackets he's been held without a point. With Sergei Bobrovsky playing so well, it may be hard for him to get back on track. That's doubly true because the Blue Jackets had the second-ranked penalty kill this season.
Gabriel Landeskog, COL vs. SAN ($24): The Avalanche are a top-heavy team, so you may have to shell out the big bucks for a reliable player. Fortunately, they don't get much more reliable than Landeskog. The Swede had 34 goals and 75 points in 73 games. As for the Sharks, they had real struggles on the road this year, posting a 3.44 GAA in away games.
Colin Wilson, COL vs. SAN ($15): Wilson didn't do a ton during the regular season, but he has five points in his last six games. He's skating on Colorado's second line now, but more importantly he's been on its top power-play unit. That could pay off, especially as the Sharks had the 15th-ranked penalty kill.
WINGS TO AVOID
David Pastrnak, BOS at CLM ($29): I don't want to make this all about steering you away from Bruins players, but it's kind of the name of the game Thursday. Pastrnak has been under some scrutiny recently, as at times he's been dropped from Boston's top line in this postseason. Meanwhile, Sergei Bobrovsky has a 1.70 GAA and .941 save percentage in his last 14 outings.
Evander Kane, SAN at COL ($20): Kane had two points in Game 2 of this series, but with that he only has one goal and two assists in his last eight outings. He also has only two power-play points in his last 21 contests, which means he may not be able to take advantage of the fact the Avalanche had the 25th-ranked penalty kill. Colorado was also better at home this year, posting a 2.80 GAA in its own arena.
Erik Karlsson, SAN at COL ($25): You know who could take advantage of the Avalanche's 25th-ranked penalty kill? That would be Karlsson. He had 20 points with the extra man in 53 games this year, and he's added three more in the playoffs. The Swede is yet to score a goal in the playoffs, but he's put 24 shots on net in 10 postseason games, so that should change.
Cale Makar, COL vs. SAN ($17): Makar's stock is soaring. It was only a couple weeks ago he was winning the Hobey Baker, and now he's skating for the Avalanche in the playoffs. He seems up to it, as the 20-year-old has four points in six games. As previously noted, the Sharks had a 3.44 GAA on the road this season.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Torey Krug, BOS at CLM ($21): Earlier I mentioned that the Blue Jackets had the second-ranked penalty kill this season. Bear in mind some of that came with Sergei Bobrovsky not on the top of his game, or with Joonas Korpisalo in net. A whopping 30 of Krug's 53 points came with the extra man, so this isn't the kind of matchup that bodes well for him.
Zach Werenski, CLM vs. BOS ($18): Werenski played well in the sweep of Tampa Bay, but this series has gone less well for him. In addition to being held without a point, he's only put two shots on goal. Is that a small-sample size? Sure, but most of the pricier defensemen aren't concerning me Thursday. I have minor concerns about Werenski, but that's enough in these circumstances.