The NHL Game Breakdown keeps on keeping on here on DraftKings. We take an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines, and defense vs. position match ups. The Friday slate features just five contests on the docket.

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Chicago Blackhawks @ Buffalo Sabres

Game Analysis

This is where we find out how far Buffalo has progressed. Do we think they are going to win? Hey, it is not likely, but one never knows. Anders Lindback has been pretty hot, with a top six that has looked respectable. All it takes is one off night by Chicago and it’s a surprise in the making. The Vegas line and ranks indicate otherwise. Buffalo is still 30th across the board and no blip will change that. Buffalo is full of contrarian plays if you want to go that way, but Chicago again has the stout penalty kill and Buffalo does not. The Blackhawks are the team on the rise again, and Buffalo is Buffalo. You get the idea. However, there is this sense that the Sabres could hang around and at least get you some fantasy points. A guy like Brandon Saad has a little more value tonight, along with some of Chicago’s value forwards. They may be worth the risk. Naturally, a Toews-Hossa stack will be used by quite a few people because they play a skill game that gives a team like Buffalo fits. When you slice right into it, do you look at Johan Larsson at a near value wildcard? That may be the only question when filling out a lineup.

Money Line: Blackhawks -280, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Brandon Saad, LW, Blackhawks ($5000)
  • Jonathan Toews, C, Blackhawks ($6200)
  • Brian Gionta, RW, Sabres ($5800)
  • Matt Moulson, LW, Sabres ($5000)

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Montreal Canadiens @ New Jersey Devils

Game Analysis

This game is vital for Montreal because any cushion on Tampa is good cushion. We are still waiting for Montreal’s defense to produce a little more offensively, along with 3/4 of their team. The problem is, defensively, they have been awfully porous. Carey Price can only save you so many times from the fire. Friday night should see Daniel Tokarksi in net for Montreal, which means an opportunity for New Jersey — albeit a small one. Cory Schneider has deserved better lately, but, honestly, the last couple games have seen some really strange plays end up past him and in the net. Maybe he will get a few bounces eventually. New Jersey often has problems with power forwards and speedy centers. Montreal has that in Max Pacioretty who is a fast power forward. Often the Devils have few answers for him or Tomas Plekanec it seems. The Devils have improved as far as the penalty kill and getting production from their defensemen. Andy Greene and Adam Larsson have led the way in that department.

Money Line: NL,  O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • P.K. Subban, D, Habs ($7000)
  • Tomas Plekanec, C, Habs ($5700)
  • Adam Henrique, C, Devils ($4000)
  • Cory Schneider, G, Devils ($7800)

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St. Louis Blues @ Dallas Stars

Game Analysis

The game looks to be “high-event hockey,” as the Blues are on the back end of a back to back. It is always fun to see two teams play at an up tempo pace with everything on the line. In theory, Dallas has to win out and hope for help, while the Blues are trying to move up the ladder in the Central. Brian Elliott will get the start in this one after Jake Allen started at home last night. Keep an eye on the status of Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen. That will be key, as far as where to go on this game. For Dallas, Kari Lehtonen will be the expected starter, and he has played okay, but not great. There is still lots of potential here for a game that could hit the over. There are some stacks to look into here, so keep an eye on the news as it gets closer to contest start time before locking your lineups.

Money Line: Stars -115, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Kevin Shattenkirk, D, Blues ($5200)
  • David Backes, C, Blues ($5300)
  • Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($9000)
  • Valeri Nichushkin?, RW, Stars ($2500)

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Arizona Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks

Game Analysis

San Jose is not quite dead yet, but they are on the most tenuous of life support systems. When you look at what they need to do, they need to keep playing Alex Stalock because that seems to be working. Now, we all know of San Jose’s home woes and sub-par penalty kill, but Brent Burns has been tearing it up lately. Burns could very well end up with a 60 point season. Yes, defensively he has been an adventure, but for daily fantasy, he has been just what the doctor ordered. His price point is a bit high, however, so it is a risk. Then again, so is Joe Pavelski almost every night. Arizona has Mike Smith, Ekman-Larsson, and a mix of young and old guys just playing out the string. By the way, Smith’s GAA was 2.42 in March, and yet, the record was chateau bow wow. There is little Smith can do about that, but he is in good form most nights, and that always makes these Sharks home games a little scary. San Jose’s power play will be vital against a unit that is not very good at the penalty kill themselves. It could be a fun special teams kind of high-event hockey.

Money Line: Sharks -265, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Sam Gagner, C, Coyotes ($4200)
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Coyotes ($5600)
  • Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks ($8300)
  • Joe Thornton, C, Sharks ($4200)

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Colorado Avalanche @ Anaheim Ducks

Game Analysis

These two teams are going in complete opposite directions. The Colorado collapse against San Jose was not expected. Granted, the Avalanche were on the road, but it just looked like they quit and with that went their playoff hopes. Now that they are pretty much playing out the string, maybe they come out with a little more urgency on Friday night. There is a part of me that thought Anaheim might come out flat in this one. Now, those chances are becoming less and less likely. Anaheim scored three times on Edmonton the other night before some people came back from the bathroom. Colorado is expected to start Reto Berra, and, well, that seems likely to not go all that well. You never do know, but the record is what it is. The Avalanche do not have much of a power play to make the Ducks pay if they are undisciplined, and the Ducks can be very dangerous on their power play even though the numbers do not always show it. It is a reality that might bite Anaheim later, but right now, they have all the advantages in this contest. Can Colorado improve their play by several notches? They need to in order to be more viable for DFS purposes.

Money Line: Ducks -220,  O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Tyson Barrie, D, Avs ($4800)
  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($6100)
  • Ryan Kesler, C, Ducks ($5200)
  • Corey Perry , RW, Ducks ($7800)