This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Hockey series.
A lot of teams - and players - have turned out to be what we expected. Others, though, remain surprises. At this point, we can't really be too surprised. Sure, there will be some regression here and there, but we also need to accept that reality is not necessarily living up to our presumptions. There are six NHL games on the slate Friday. Here are the players to target, and to avoid, for your daily fantasy hockey lineup.
Tristan Jarry, PIT vs. ARI ($33): Matt Murray has been struggling, and Jarry has started to get more starts. For now, I am leaning in the direction of Jarry being the guy for the Penguins. After all, he's posted a 2.02 GAA and a .936 save percentage. This could be the kind of matchup to try and get Murray back on track. But if not, Jarry gets to face a Coyotes team with a mediocre offense on the road for the second game of a back-to-back.
GOALIE TO AVOID
John Gibson, ANA vs. WAS ($26): Last year, Gibson managed a 2.84 GAA despite having a .917 save percentage because he faced a ton of shots. This season, he's registered a 2.86 GAA, but with a .910 save percentage. Now he faces a Capitals' side scoring 3.63 goals per game, which ranks them top-four in the NHL.
Mika Zibanejad, NYR vs. MON ($26): Since returning from injury, Zibanejad has notched five points in five games. The Rangers may be on the second night of a back-to-back, but so are the Canadiens while the Rangers get to be at home. Montreal saved Carey Price for this game, but he's struggled to a 3.13 GAA and .899 save percentage.
CENTER TO AVOID
Anze Kopitar, LOS at EDM ($20): Kopitar has looked good this year, but recently he's been hit by a dry patch. The Slovenian hasn't recorded a point over his last four games, and he's only taken three shots on net in his last five contests. Edmonton enters with a 2.93 GAA, which is middling, but Mikko Koskinen has produced a 2.63 GAA and LA is on the road here.
Kyle Palmieri, NJD vs. CHI ($18): The chaos at head coach hasn't hurt Palmieri, as he tallied two points in his last game. That's not really an important point, though. What really matters is he's fired in at least 24 goals in each of his last four seasons with at least 18 power-play points. The Blackhawks are one of two teams giving up over 35 shots on goal per game, and they are also on the road for the second leg of a back-to-back.
James Neal, EDM vs. LOS ($13): Neal is in one of the most advantageous spots a player can be, as he skates on Edmonton's top power-play unit alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. The Real Deal has averaged 3:17 per game with the extra man, notching 13 of his 19 points during that situation. Since the Kings own a bottom-five penalty kill, this is the perfect matchup for Neal to take advantage of.
WINGS TO AVOID
Rickard Rakell, ANA vs. WAS ($17): The Ducks don't have much in the way of offensive depth, but Rakell has compiled decent stats. Well, except on the power play, where he only has three points. Rookie goalie Ilya Samsonov has looked good for the Capitals, but it's Braden Holtby who has been on fire recently. Over his last 11 games, Holtby has posted a 2.22 GAA and .928 save percentage.
Phil Kessel, ARI at PIT ($17): So far, Kessel hasn't provided the offensive boon the Coyotes were hoping for. He scored twice Thursday, but that only gives him six goals in 30 games - five of which have come on the power play. I don't expect Kessel to get revenge on his former team, given that he'll be on the second leg of a back-to-back and the Penguins have only allowed 29.3 shots on net per game.
Anthony DeAngelo, NYR vs. MON ($18): DeAngelo's shooting percentage is bound to regress, but the fact remains he's racked up 20 points through 27 games. He also has six power-play points, and registered 10 last year in 61 contests. His power-play time could pay off here, as the Canadiens maintain a bottom-five penalty kill.
Jeff Petry, MON at NYR ($15): The Rangers enjoy a great matchup here, but so do the Canadiens - even on the road. After all, the Rangers have given up over 35 shots on goal per game and rank in the bottom-10 in GAA and penalty-kill percentage. Petry has notched three points in his last five contests, and has five power-play points overall.
DEFENSE TO AVOID
Kris Letang, PIT vs. ARI ($23): Letang has looked solid since returning from his most-recent injury, but he's weirdly struggled on the power play. The Coyotes own a middling penalty kill, but boast the second-best GAA in the league. It's not all Darcy Kuemper either. Antti Raanta has also dazzled with a 2.66 GAA and .924 save percentage.
Drew Doughty, LOS at EDM ($16): Doughty doesn't have a point in his last six games. And while six of his 17 points have come on the power play, only two of them have come in his last 16 contests. Don't expect Doughty to find his power-play form in this one, as Edmonton maintains a top-five penalty kill.