This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
More than half the NHL is in action Saturday night. We've got nine games beginning at 7 p.m. EST or later. It's nice when you can bring in a bit of cash on the weekend, especially from DFS winnings. Here are my players to target, and to avoid, for your lineups.
Igor Shesterkin, NYR at WAS ($34): Shesterkin won't end the year with a .911 save percentage. Perhaps his .935 save percentage in his Vezina campaign proves an outlier in the long run, but he had a .916 save percentage in his two other NHL seasons with more than 12 appearances. The Capitals have averaged 2.35 goals and 27.9 shots on net per contest. A matchup like this should help Shesterkin boost his numbers.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Ilya Sorokin, NYI vs. LOS ($31): Elsewhere in New York, Sorokin also has a .911 save percentage, and he too should improve. However, the issue for him is that his team ranks 31st in shots on net allowed per game, making it much harder on him to turn things around. The Kings have averaged 3.87 goals per contest, so if you are looking for a Russian goalie from the Big Apple, there's one to roster, and one to avoid like eye contact on the subway.
Casey Mittelstadt, BUF vs. MON ($19): Mittelstadt was already benefiting from being moved to the first-line center role for the Sabres, but then Alex Tuch hit injured reserve just as Tage Thompson returned from his own stint injured. Instead of being reinstalled as center, Thompson was placed into Tuch's spot, which mean Mittelstadt now gets to skate next to Buffalo's best player. Montreal is pulling off an unfortunate trifecta. It is in the bottom six in GAA, shots on net allowed per game, and penalty-kill percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Sebastian Aho, CAR at VAN ($25): Aho will be happy to get out of Canada, and it's not because of the winter weather. He was hot before a road trip across the Great White North began, and the Finn has now been held without a point for three games in a row. I think that could become four. Thatcher Demko has had a couple tough starts recently, but he still has a 2.46 GAA and .918 save percentage.
Alexis Lafreniere, NYR at WAS ($17): I've been a big Lafreniere fan ever since he managed to score 19 even-strength goals in his age-19 season. He doesn't need time with the extra man to produce, and over his last 14 games he has 12 points and 45 shots on net. The Capitals' GAA is a bit of a mirage thanks to Charlie Lindgren having a .924 save percentage. He has a .906 save percentage over his last four outings, which is his career number.
David Perron, DET vs. OTT ($15): He was already en route to such a role, but Perron is fully a power-play specialist now. Though he doesn't even average 15 minutes a night in ice time he's played 3:52 per game with the extra man and has seven points on the power play. Ottawa's defensive weak point has been killing penalties, as it is in the bottom five on that front.
WINGS TO AVOID
Mikko Rantanen, COL vs. PHI ($34): When you carry a steep salary, the math is different. Rantanen has been picking up assists recently, but he doesn't have a goal over his last eight games. At times, he's even been skating on the second line, and being away from Nathan MacKinnon is not conducive to success for anybody. The Flyers have only allowed 28.0 shots on net per game, and when Carter Hart has been in net that has made this team substantive defensively. I know Hart has ebbed and flowed his entire career and may be hard to trust, but he has a 2.45 GAA and .916 save percentage, and I like him a lot more with sturdy defense making his job easier.
Anders Lee, NYI vs. LOS ($16): Lee has been moved up to the first line, i.e. the only viable line the Islanders have, and four of his five goals have come in his last 10 outings. The fun stops Saturday. Los Angeles is doing the thing title contenders do, as it not only leads the league in goals per game, but also GAA. You don't want to mess with the Kings this year.
Torey Krug, STL at CHI ($18): The Blues are the one team on the second leg of a back-to-back, but Krug is on the first power-play unit, and those minutes tend to be easier on the legs. Also, Chicago is in the bottom 10 in penalty-kill percentage, part of the reason why they have a 3.52 GAA. Krug also only has one goal on 61 shots on net, so maybe some puck luck can come his way Saturday.
Matt Roy, LOS at NYI ($15): "Surely Drew Doughty leads Los Angeles defensemen in shots on goal," you say. Bad news, Shirley. It's actually Roy, who has put 44 shots on target in 23 games, but has yet to light the lamp. Opportunity may abound against the Islanders. They have allowed a whopping 35.8 shots on net per contest.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Noah Dobson, NYI vs. LOS ($24): Dobson has been more productive than the bulk of New York's forwards, but I'll delve into the Kings' defensive bona fides once more. They've allowed only 26.7 shots on net per game and rank second in penalty-kill percentage. Even before you get to Cam Talbot's .933 save percentage, this team is making it tough on offenses.
John Carlson, WAS vs. NYR ($22): October 18 was quite a while ago. It's also the last time Carlson scored a goal. He's had assists since then, but that's a concern for a guy who used to be good for double-digit goals every year. Even his usual prowess on the power play may not matter here, as the Rangers rank eighth in penalty-kill percentage.