By Chris Morgan
Two series will feature a deciding Game 7 on Wednesday. Here are some players to consider for your lineup.
Braden Holtby, WAS vs. PIT ($29): Holtby’s playoffs haven’t been great, but there is no goalie in action Wednesday who has lit it up on that front. Even Marc-Andre Fleury has a 3.17 GAA and a .910 save percentage in his last nine games. During the regular season, though, Holtby was fantastic, posting a 2.07 GAA and a .925 save percentage. He certainly has it within himself to have one good game at home in a do-or-die outing. Holtby is also cheaper than Fleury ($33) and Cam Talbot ($34), making him a little more enticing from a fantasy perspective.
GOALIE TO AVOID
Cam Talbot, EDM at ANA ($34): Talbot’s last start went well, but in the three prior games he allowed a whopping 14 goals. Now he’s in a Game 7 on the road playing behind a young team that is missing Andrej Sekera and may be without Oscar Klefbom. The Ducks were 29-8-4 at home during the regular season, and the Oilers have allowed 34.6 shots on net per contest in the playoffs. Talbot is also the most expensive goalie on the docket.
Leon Draisaitl, EDM at ANA ($24): You probably don’t need to hear more than this: Draisaitl has 13 points, including five on the power play, in this series. Overall, he has 16 points in his last eight contests. Anaheim has the second worst penalty kill of any team in the playoffs, and Draisaitl has had plenty of power-play success. In the regular season, he notched 27 power-play points. No player has been hotter, and it’s not like Draisaitl is a fluke, as he had 77 points this year.
CENTER TO AVOID
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, EDM at ANA ($18): Nugent-Hopkins has only averaged 5.2 fantasy points per game, which is less than even Nick Bonino. While he does have four assists in the playoffs, he hasn’t scored in his last 15 games. Additionally, Nugent-Hopkins started 29.8 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone, fourth fewest of any Oiler. He’s been good defensively in this series, but the offensive performance hasn’t quite been there.
Corey Perry, ANA vs. EDM ($19): Perry is now seemingly entrenched on the top line for the Ducks. He has five points and eight shots on goal, in three games since joining Ryan Getzlaf and Rickard Rakell. Additionally, while Perry only had 19 goals this season, that was fueled by an 8.8 shooting percentage. In his last five full seasons before this year, he tallied at least 33 goals. Perry also averaged 3:15 per game with the extra man, and the Oilers had the 25th-ranked penalty kill after the All-Star break.
Andre Burakovsky, WAS vs. PIT ($15): Speaking of players who have been bumped up to the top line, Burakovsky has four points in his last two games, and 10 shots on net in his last three contests. Fleury, who had a 3.02 GAA and a .909 save percentage during the regular season, has allowed nine goals in his last two games and has a 3.17 GAA in his last nine.
WINGS TO AVOID
Conor Sheary, PIT at WAS ($22): Sheary has yet to score a goal in the playoffs. In fact, in nine of his 10 playoff games, he’s had two shots on goal or fewer. His minutes have also been down in the postseason, as he’s played 13:47 per game, and 0:57 on the power play. Given Sheary’s lack of playoff success so far, it’s hard to trust him at this price.
Justin Williams, WAS vs. PIT ($20): Williams had a great series against Toronto, but he’s come back to earth against Pittsburgh. While he does have three assists, he hasn’t scored, and he’s only put 10 shots on net. Williams is a solid player, but he only put 167 shots on net in 80 games, which isn’t a ton for a forward, and he has a career-high 14.4 shooting percentage to thank for his 24 goals. He’s averaged 6.2 fantasy points per game, and there are players at the same price (or cheaper) available Wednesday.
Kevin Shattenkirk, WAS vs. PIT ($21): Shattenkirk started 42.1 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone with Washington, the most of any Capital. He also saw a ton of power-play time with Washington, and that’s continued in the playoffs. He’s averaged 3:12 per game with the extra man, and he’s notched three points in his last four contests. The Penguins have allowed 35.8 shots on net per game in the playoffs, most of any team, so Shattenkirk should have plenty of opportunities to put the puck on net.
Cam Fowler, ANA vs. EDM ($16): Fowler didn’t play in the first round, but he’s looked no worse for the wear in the second round. He’s notched five points in six games with 14 shots. Fowler also has played 3:41 per game on the power play, notching 15 points with the extra man in the regular season. As previously noted, the Oilers had the 25th-ranked penalty kill after the All-Star break.
DEFENSEMEN TO AVOID
Justin Schultz, PIT at WAS ($22): Schultz is the most expensive defenseman Wednesday, so it’s a little concerning that in his last two games he hasn’t recorded a shot or a point. The playoffs have not gone swimmingly for the Capitals, but they allowed a league-low 2.16 goals per game during the regular season, and that number was an even more impressive 1.63 at home.
Brandon Montour, ANA vs. EDM ($18): Montour only has 27 regular-season games to his name and four assists in the playoffs, but no goals. Talbot has had a few rough games recently, but he has a 2.51 GAA overall in the playoffs and put up a 2.39 GAA during the regular season, so you can do better than Mountour in what will be a pressure-filled Game 7.
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