This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
With only two series left in the NHL playoffs, we are at the point where DFS contests involve multiple days worth of action. For Sunday, we have Game 1 of both Conference Finals, starting with the Stars and Golden Knights and finishing Monday with the Islanders and Lightning. The talent level is high and the stakes are higher, so here are my picks for Sunday's DFS contests.
Robin Lehner, VGK vs. DAL ($30): Lehner posted three shutouts against the Canucks, though he wasn't always terribly busy as the Golden Knights have only allowed 24.7 shots on net per contest in the playoffs. He spent most of the regular season being bombarded by shots in Chicago, but still managed to produce a .920 save percentage.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Anton Khudobin, DAL vs. VGK ($32): Khudobin was also stellar in the regular season, posting a 2.22 GAA and .930 save percentage. The playoffs have been a different beast, as he's only managed a 2.94 GAA and .909 save percentage, and it won't get any easier against a Vegas team that has fired 37.1 shots on net per game during the playoffs.
Brock Nelson, NYI vs. TAM ($19): Unsurprisingly, three of the top four teams in terms of GAA are still alive in the playoffs, so finding stellar options is tough. The Lightning are one of those defenses that have played quite well, but Nelson has a lot going for him by way of a four-game point streak and 15 points across 14 playoff games. In times like this, you can't always find a great matchup.
CENTER TO AVOID
Brayden Point, TAM vs. NYI ($28): Point maintains the highest salary of any center, and that makes total sense. On the other hand, the Islanders have produced a 1.94 GAA in the playoffs and have only allowed 26.9 shots on net per contest. This came after a regular season where they excelled with a 2.79 GAA and .911 save percentage. Barry Trotz knows how to build a defense, and that's daunting for a high-salaried player like Point.
Mark Stone, VGK vs. DAL ($26): In his first full regular season with the Golden Knights, Stone notched 63 points over 65 games, including 17 with the extra man. He's added 15 more these playoffs skating on Vegas's top line. Weirdly, Dallas posted the best GAA of any of these teams during the regular season, but has managed the highest in the playoffs with a 3.50 mark. Given the long break in action, I'm willing to put more emphasis on the postseason numbers.
Reilly Smith, VGK vs. DAL ($22): Given the Stars' 3.50 playoff GAA and those of the other three teams, loading up on Golden Knights makes sense to me. Smith actually scored a career-high 27 goals in 71 games this year and added 27 assists for good measure.
WINGS TO AVOID
Nikita Kucherov, TAM vs. NYI ($30): The issue here is not Kucherov's performance, but his health. He got banged up in Tampa's last game against Boston and could not return. Kucherov has been practicing so he seems likely to play, but how healthy will he be? At this salary, that's too much of a question.
Roope Hintz, DAL vs. VGK ($18): Hintz played quite well against Colorado, but I'm still skeptical about buying into a guy who is primarily a third-line center. During the regular season, he accumulated 33 points in 60 games and didn't register a playoff goal until the Colorado series. Thanks in part to Vegas's defense suppressing shots, Lehner comes in with a 1.99 playoff GAA.
Miro Heiskanen, DAL vs. VGK ($18): I just recommended avoiding one Star, but Heiskanen is a different story. That story includes the fact he's racked up 21 points over 16 playoff games. Heiskanen is also currently on an eight-game point streak. The fact he doesn't offer the highest salary among defensemen means he feels like a good value in any matchup.
Nate Schmidt, VGK vs. DAL ($17): Schmidt tallied 31 points in 59 regular-season games, adding eight more in the playoffs. He's also directed 50 shots on goal in 15 outings. With Khudobin's recent struggles and with the Stars allowing 33.1 shots on net per game in the postseason, Schmidt should be able to stay active and may end up on the score sheet.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Ryan Pulock, NYI vs. TAM ($18): Pulock started the playoffs hot, but only has two points - both assists - in his last nine games. Meanwhile, Andrei Vasilevskiy posted a 2.56 GAA in the regular season and he's looked even better in the playoffs with a 1.91 GAA and .931 save percentage in 13 outings.
Mikhail Sergachev, TAM vs. NYI ($18): Sergachev proved to be a solid secondary offensive option on the power play during the regular season and recorded 10 goals and 34 points. Outside of a three-point game against Boston, he's only registered one point in the playoffs. And 13 of his 34 regular-season points came on the power play, but only two have come with the extra man during the postseason. The Islanders ranked 15th on the penalty kill, which is not daunting but is still solid enough to cause concern for Sergachev's struggles.