This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
Monday's two-game slate features games with two teams on the brink of elimination. Take a look at the daily picks concerning the players fighting for their playoff lives.
Petr Mrazek, CAR vs. WAS ($29)
The home team has won every game in this series and Mrazek's form has essentially followed the same mold – the Czech keeper has allowed just one goal over 49 total shots across the Hurricanes' first two home playoff contests. Mrazek had fared decently well against the high-powered Caps offense in the regular season, so as long as Carolina's offense shows up, this series could be going to seven.
Goalie to Avoid
Braden Holtby, WAS @ CAR ($34)
As mentioned above, the home team has played better in every game this series, so the odds don't favor Holtby here. In general, however, the 29-year-old has not played up to his current asking price during the first round – prior to Saturday's shutout, he averaged three goals allowed per game and showed a mediocre .905 save percentage. You don't want to stretch your budget on this one.
Ryan Johansen, NAS @ DAL ($19)
Expectations have been set pretty low for Johansen, so it's easy for people to forget that he actually recorded the second highest point total of his career this season, even after missing two games in mid-January. The Vancouver native was quiet in this series until Game 4 when he notched an assist and took a whopping eight shots on goal. If he can maintain his current form, he'll be a great value.
Center to Avoid
Evgeny Kuznetsov, WAS @ CAR ($24)
Kuznetsov has fallen on a cold streak at exactly the wrong time, as he has not scored a goal since April 1, the third to last game of the regular season. The Russian's assist numbers are ok, but his inconsistency in creating chances – as evidenced by his zero shots on goal in four games over the last 10 – makes him a riskier play at this price, especially considering he's been following the home-away trend of the series.
Alexander Radulov, DAL vs. NSH ($26)
Radulov has been the motor driving this Dallas offense in the first round, as he now shows four goals and an assist with a plus-6 rating through these first five games. The veteran winger willingness to attack the net is alive and well, and he's averaged five shots on goal per game in this series. Look for him to take advantage on the power play where he is averaging 3:54 of ice time in the playoffs.
Warren Foegele, CAR vs. WAS ($14)
After recording just 15 points and splitting time between Carolina and AHL Charlotte in the regular season, Foegele exploded onto the scene in Game 3 of this series when he posted two goals, a power-play assist and five shots on goal. It would be easy to dismiss this as a fluke, except that the rookie winger is now averaging 3:08 of ice time on the power play, so take advantage while the price is still low.
Wings to Avoid
Viktor Arvidsson, NSH @ DAL ($22)
Arvidsson played more games against the Stars during the regular season than any other team but he did not have a lot of relative success, showing two assists and a goal on 6.3 percent shooting over five games. The Swedish forward has gone cold since the playoffs started as well, as he has yet to record a point and is averaging only 2.6 shots on goal per game in this series.
Roope Hintz, DAL vs. NSH ($17)
Hintz's daily price shot up after his two-goal outing in Game 4, but he still carries a lot of risk with him. The goals he scored were his first since March 15 and in the 14-span preceding that, the 22-year-old managed just seven assists and a minus-5 rating. There are better values to be had at or below this price, so don't take the risk in a game that will see a desperate Nashville come out swinging.
Jaccob Slavin, CAR vs. WAS ($17)
Slavin has done basically everything you could ask for from a defenseman in his situation – the American blueliner is averaging an assist per game in this series, picked up two apples on the power play and has also blocked an astounding 18 shots. His plus-minus figures have been healthy and he'll have plenty of opportunity to get on the scoresheet considering his 2:41 of average power-play ice time in these playoffs.
Mattias Ekholm, NSH @ DAL ($14)
Considering he posted a career-high 44 points in the regular season, it's still surprising to see Ekholm receive this incredibly low daily pricing but here we are. The veteran d-man managed an assist in each of the first two games of this series and seems primed for a scoring reboot considering he still sees substantial ice time with the man advantage. Look for him to get involved early and often with the Preds' backs against the wall.
Defensemen to Avoid
P.K. Subban, NSH @ DAL ($18)
Subban is a popular pick because of his name brand, which means that he tends to have a high percentage of usage in the daily fantasy games especially when his price drops a bit. However, his numbers don't really justify it – the 29-year-old posted one of his lowest point per game marks during this regular season and his shooting percentages, both in the regular season and playoffs, have been poor.
Jamie Oleksiak, DAL vs. NSH ($18)
Oleksiak's daily pricing continues to boggle the mind – the Toronto native has maintained this same asking price since early November despite the fact that he managed just 12 points in the regular season and served as a healthy scratch on multiple occasions. In fact, he didn't play the first two games of this playoff series for precisely that reason. There's no reason to even consider taking on this kind of risk.