This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Welcome to the conference finals! It's a bit of an unusual situation for daily fantasy players. Carolina and Boston are playing Thursday, but San Jose and St. Louis aren't playing until Saturday. That means Thursday's contests are stretched over three days. Nevertheless, here are my recommendations for who to target, and to avoid, for your lineup.
Tuukka Rask, BOS vs. CAR ($29): Rask has been the best goalie in these playoffs. He leads the way with a .938 save percentage, and he has a 2.02 GAA as well. Despite that, there are two goalies pricier than him in Thursday's contests.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Jordan Binnington, STL at SAN ($32): Meanwhile, Binnington is the priciest goalie, and he has a .915 save percentage in the postseason. The Sharks had a great offense this year, as they notched 3.52 goals per game. That was tied for second best in the NHL, and San Jose is at home and are healthy again with the return of Joe Pavelski.
David Krejci, BOS vs. CAR ($20): Krejci had arguably the best season of his career, notching 73 points, including 16 with the extra man. He's kept that up in the postseason, as he's notched 10 points in his last 11 contests. Petr Mrazek has played well, but he's also missed two games with injury, so if he plays he could be rusty.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sebastian Aho, CAR at BOS ($26): This isn't about Aho's play, of course. There are only four teams left playing, and a lot of strong goaltending, so it's really about pricy players being in tough situations. That's certainly true here. Tuukka Rask has a .938 save percentage in the playoffs, and the Bruins had a 2.44 GAA at home this year.
David Perron, STL at SAN ($17): Perron's scoring has dropped in the playoffs, but he's staying active. The 30-year-old has put 26 shots on net in his last eight contests. Plus, this year he tallied 46 points in 57 games. Martin Jones has been better in the playoffs, but he had an .896 save percentage during the regular season.
Kevin Labanc, SAN vs. STL ($13): Labanc started 58.5 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, highest among Sharks forwards. That helped him notch 56 points, including 20 with the extra man. Jordan Binnington has a .915 save percentage in the playoffs, and he's still a rookie with limited action under his belt dealing with the added pressure of the postseason.
WINGS TO AVOID
David Pastrnak, BOS vs. CAR ($31): Pastrnak picked up his play toward the end of the second round, but there was a period of time when he was scuffling a bit and got dropped from the first line. Additionally, the Hurricanes have only allowed 27.8 shots on net per contest in the playoffs. Pastrnak is as expensive as anybody, so there is limited upside to putting him in your lineup.
Andrei Svechnikov, CAR at BOS ($18): Svechnikov missed a good chunk of the postseason with a concussion issue. He's done well when he played, but he headed into the playoffs cold. Also, he's a 19-year-old rookie getting his first taste of postseason action, and Tuukka Rask has been playing great as I've noted.
Jaccob Slavin, CAR at BOS ($18): Slavin has really picked up his offense in the playoffs. Over his last 10 games he's tallied 11 points. Plus, he's averaged 2:18 per game with the extra man, and the Bruins did rank 16th on the penalty kill. On top of that, Slavin blocked 25 shots in those 10 contests, so he can contribute on that end as well.
Colton Parayko, STL at SAN ($17): Parayko tallied 10 goals on 176 shots this season. In the playoffs he's added seven more points along with 33 shots in 13 games. The Sharks had a 3.15 GAA this year, which is the worst of the four teams left playing by a wide margin.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Erik Karlsson, SAN vs. STL ($25): Karlsson has notched a few point in the playoffs, but they've all been assists. The Swede hasn't scored a goal in his last 29 games, which was way back in December. Additionally, 20 of his 45 points this year came with the extra man, and the Blues had the ninth-ranked penalty kill.
Torey Krug, BOS vs. CAR ($21): Speaking of power-play performers, Krug tallied 30 of his 53 points with the extra man. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes had the eighth-ranked penalty kill. That'll make it tough for Krug to do much damage and earn this price point.