Tuesday is busier for the NHL than Monday was, but to be fair Monday only had one game on the slate. In comparison, Tuesday having three games on the schedule is a veritable buffet. It’s the end of January, and here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your DFS lineups.
Darcy Kuemper, WAS at CLM ($33): In his first season with the Capitals, Kuemper has put up a solid 2.62 GAA and .915 save percentage. Facing the Blue Jackets is a good chance to improve those numbers headed into the break. Columbus is in the bottom five in goals and shots on net per game.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Pheonix Copley, LOS at CAR ($27): Copley has a 15-3-0 record since getting in net for the Kings, and his 2.82 GAA isn’t bad by any means. On the other hand, he has a .901 save percentage, right in line with his career number of .900 through 50 games across five seasons. The Hurricanes may “only” be 11th in goals per game, but they are third in shots on net per contest.
Dylan Strome, WAS at CLM ($18): The Capitals have given Strome the chance to center a line with Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie on his wings. With 36 points in 51 games, a promotion is reasonable. The Jackets are bad offensively, but worse defensively. Columbus has a 3.86 GAA and 35.1 shots on net per contest.
CENTER TO AVOID
Anze Kopitar, LOS at CAR ($19): The Hurricanes are the toughest matchup on the docket Tuesday, which doesn’t bode well for Kopitar. Carolina has allowed a league-low 26.4 shots on net per contest, fewest in the NHL. Plus, since returning from injury Frederik Andersen has an 1.88 GAA and .934 save percentage.
Claude Giroux, OTT at MON ($19): While Giroux’s addition has not bolstered the Senators’ record as much as hope, you can’t blame the former Flyer for that. Giroux has 47 points through 49 games, including three multipoint games in a row. Jake Allen is getting the nod for the Canadiens, and he has a 3.53 GAA and .893 save percentage.
Rem Pitlick, MON vs. OTT ($10): Pitlick’s circumstances are decidedly different than they were to start the year. He’s been moved up to Montreal’s top line due to injuries, leading to a major increase in ice time. In fact, Pitlick even played 4:04 on the power play in his last outing. While Anton Forsberg has had a few good starts in a row, on the season he has a 3.10 GAA and .906 save percentage.
WINGS TO AVOID
Adrian Kempe, LOS at CAR ($17): Kempe is playing well, if shooting a little less. Putting pucks on net is tricky enough as is against the Hurricanes, though, as they have allowed a league-low 26.4 shots on goal per game. Additionally, the Hurricanes have the seventh-ranked penalty kill, and 11 of Kempe’s 34 points have come with the extra man.
Kirill Marchenko, CLM vs. WAS ($17): The rookie Marchenko has impressed with 13 goals in 27 games, but he’s done that with a 26.0 shooting percentage, which is likely to regress. Additionally, six of those goals have come with the extra man. The Capitals, for their part, have the eighth-ranked penalty kill.
Erik Gustafsson, WAS at CLM ($17): Gustafsson has started 67.9 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, third highest on the Capitals. He’s also skating top-pairing minutes with John Carlson out. All those minutes and opportunity will come for Gustafsson against a team in the bottom three in GAA and shots on goal allowed per game Tuesday.
Jake Sanderson, OTT at MON ($17): Sanderson is on a three-game point streak, so it’s a nice time to catch the rookie. Sure, three of his four points in that time have come with the extra man, but there’s no reason to sweat that. The Canadiens have the 29th-ranked penalty kill.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Drew Doughty, LOS at CAR ($17): Doughty is dealing with bad puck luck, but has 28 assists on the season. That being said, Carolina ranks fourth in GAA and first in shots on net per contest, and Andersen has been stellar since returning from injury as well.
Brett Pesce, CAR vs. LOS ($17): The Kings have the 23rd-ranked penalty kill, but Pesce doesn’t really play on the power play. Though he has 20 points, he’s not primed to take advantage of a poor penalty kill. On top of that, Pesce has tallied 88 shots on net through 49 games, and the Kings actually have only allowed 28.8 shots on goal per contest.