This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
The playoffs provide kind of a small sample as it is, but what do you make of a sample size of one game? It's a question to ask after the Lightning dismantled the Islanders by a score of 8-2 in Game 1 of their series. What will happen in Game 2? Who will be in net? Oh, and don't forget the game taking place Tuesday between the Stars and the Golden Knights. On to the picks!
Andrei Vasilevskiy, TAM vs. NYI ($36): Because he had "only" a .917 save percentage this season, some may have overlooked Vasilevskiy even though he's a Vezina winner. In the playoffs he's been reminding us of his skill in goal, as he has a 1.92 GAA and .930 save percentage. The Islanders only scored 2.78 goals per game in the regular season, making them one of the worse offenses to make the playoffs.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Anton Khudobin, DAL at VGK ($34): Khudobin was stellar during the regular season as Ben Bishop's backup, posting a 2.22 GAA and .930 save percentage. That was in 30 games played though, and in the playoffs he's had to play 15 games and has posted a 2.74 GAA and .914 save percentage. The Golden Knights led the NHL in shots on net per game this season (34.5) and have put 36.4 shots on net per contest in the playoffs.
Radek Faksa, DAL at VGK ($13): There's not much depth at center among these four teams, in terms of playoff performance. It's basically Brayden Point and that's it. Faksa has a low salary which gives him some upside. Over his last nine games he's tallied three goals and four assists, including four points with the extra man. That's noteworthy, because the Golden Knights ranked 27th on the penalty kill this year.
CENTER TO AVOID
Mathew Barzal, NYI at TAM ($24): Barzal has been excellent in the playoffs, but racking up points against Florida and Washington is one thing. Tampa is a different story with Vasilevskiy in net. He had a 2.56 GAA in the regular season but a 1.92 GAA in the playoffs.
Reilly Smith, VGK vs. DAL ($21): Smith didn't have a point in Game 1, but he did put three shots on goal. That gives him 16 over his last four contests. Overall, he has 13 points in the postseason. The Stars were a great defensive team in the regular season, but in the playoffs they have a 3.29 GAA and have allowed 32.6 shots on net per contest.
Ondrej Palat, TAM vs. NYI ($20): Palat had five goals on 23 shots against the Bruins, but admittedly I didn't expect him to stay hot. Instead, he scored a goal in Game 1 against the Islanders as well. Semyon Varlamov has allowed at least four goals in his last three games and Thomas Greiss just allowed three goals on nine shots in his last outing as well.
WINGS TO AVOID
Anthony Beauvillier, NYI at TAM ($18): In his first nine playoff games Beauvillier had nine points. Over his last eight games, though, he's only managed three points. Considering that this year he set a new personal best with 39 points that feels more in line with his actual talent level. Don't expect Beauvillier to get hot again.
Denis Gurianov, DAL at VGK ($17): Gurianov has been hot during the postseason, but I don't expect it to continue. After all, he had all of nine assists in the regular season. In Game 1 the Russian rookie only saw 12:45 of ice time. The Stars aren't likely to try to rely on Gurianov in this matchup, and the Golden Knights have only allowed 24.8 shots on net per contest in the playoffs.
John Klingberg, DAL at VGK ($19): Klingberg scored the lone goal in Game 1, but that's not why I'm interested in him. What's more notable to me is that the Swede had 17 power-play points in 58 games. The Golden Knights had the 27th-ranked penalty kill, and even with Robin Lehner around that doesn't bode well.
Kevin Shattenkirk, TAM vs. NYI ($17): Shattenkirk ended the Bruins series with two assists and opened this one with three assists. That's a lot of helpers. While he's not the offensive dynamo he used to be, the 31-year-old did have eight goals and 34 points in 70 games. I don't think the Lightning score eight goals again, but clearly there are issues defensively for the Islanders.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Nate Schmidt, VGK vs. DAL ($18): Schmidt had two points in one game against the Canucks, but those are his only points in his last seven games. He also barely averaged over a minute on the power play this year, and in the playoffs he's averaged 2:07 with the extra man. In the playoffs, with all the penalties that have been called, that's not a robust total.
Ryan Pulock, NYI at TAM ($18): Pulock's struggles continued in Game 1 of this series. He only has two points in his last 10 games, both assists, and he's not shooting the puck a lot (outside of a double overtime game against the Flyers). Vasilevskiy ended the regular season hot, and he's carried that into the playoffs with his .930 save percentage.