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. Monday features five games in all so let’s get cracking!

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Carolina Hurricanes @ Buffalo Sabres

Game Analysis

This is another part in the series of “Tank Wars” battles. Carolina is awful on the road, and Buffalo is better at home. Matt Moulson will be a game time decision due to the flu. Other than the shutout against the Islanders, Buffalo has actually looked pretty good in the last week to ten days. Now, who will be in net? It should be Cam Ward and Anders Lindback, but check for confirmation during the day Monday. Johan Larsson has become a pretty solid threat for Buffalo, along with Brian Gionta, who has found good health and is on almost a point a game run the last few weeks. This game might be ugly and might be an up and down game, so the best bet is to just expect the unexpected. Neither team seems to be able to hold a lead when they play against each other.

Money Line: Hurricanes -160, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Elias Lindholm, C, Canes ($3800)
  • Eric Staal, C, Canes ($7300)
  • Matt Moulson, LW, Sabres ($5000) Game Time Decision – Flu
  • Johan Larsson, LW, Sabres ($3200)

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Columbus Blue Jackets @ New York Rangers

Game Analysis

If Brandon Dubinsky was playing, this would be one crazy game! Then again, it might just be anyway, since Columbus is the playoff caliber team everyone expected, but they are showing this just a little late. Columbus plays an up and down, frenetic game built on speed and power, which can frustrate even the best of teams. As for the Rangers, they do not possess the puck all that much either (21st since the All Star Break). They can push the puck up and down the ice also, but it is only a question of finishing. Both teams have elite goaltenders in Sergei Bobrovsky and Henrik Lundqvist. Yet, both goalies will be fiercely tested, as again, neither team specializes in puck possession. The Columbus power play is more dangerous than the Rangers’, but the Blue Jackets penalty kill is below average, whereas the Rangers are a top five penalty kill unit. This shapes up to have quite a few stacking possibilities.

Money Line: Rangers -200, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Scotty Hartnell, LW, Blue Jackets ($5300)
  • Marko Dano, C, Blue Jackets ($4100)
  • Derek Stepan, C, Rangers ($5200)
  • Keith Yandle, D, Rangers ($5500)

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Winnipeg Jets @ Minnesota Wild

Game Analysis

Can Minnesota help its own cause? Can Winnipeg stay on the good side of the playoff bubble? Remember Dustin Byfuglien is still suspended until the last game of the season, so, unfortunately, he is not an option. Winnipeg has mixed its lines, so be aware of that first and foremost. Minnesota will be waiting word on Mikko Koivu, who missed Saturday’s game with a scratched cornea that did not happen on the ice. This is a fun game in the making because Winnipeg takes quite a few penalties, and Minnesota is just miserable when it comes to the power play. Winnipeg is a hair better on the power play, but without Byfuglien, the unknown exists. The top nine forwards are about equal. This comes down to the top lines, and, of course, Zach Parise is the key. It is likely to be Ondrej Pavelec versus Devan Dubnyk in net. Dubnyk has shown a few signs of wear, but Minnesota is going to go with it until their playoffs end.

Money Line: Wild -160, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Jacob Trouba, D, Jets ($4200)
  • Michael Frolik, RW, Jets ($4600)
  • Thomas Vanek, LW, Wild ($4700)
  • Ryan Suter, D, Wild ($4300)

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Los Angeles Kings @ Vancouver Canucks

Game Analysis

Do we call this a season-defining game or just another important game? Either way, it is going to be a bit crazy, as Los Angeles is on its playoff run of destiny, and Vancouver is trying to get closer to clinching a playoff spot. Vancouver has a very good penalty kill, but for some reason, against Los Angeles, you can take that stat and throw it out the window. The Kings had a rather abysmal road record, but with their recent run they have climbed all the way to near .500. Eddie Lack and Jonathan Quick are the expected goalies in this one. Quick has helped key the run LA is on, and is, in effect, their best penalty killer. Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik are a duo that often give Vancouver a hard time. As for the Sedin twins, Los Angeles typically can bottle them up, but Radim Vrbata is the one player that really worries them. Can the Kings’ penalty kill hold up in a hostile arena? This will be a game that may present limited options, as far as DFS choices.

Money Line: Kings -130, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Anze Kopitar, C, Kings ($5900)
  • Jake Muzzin, D, Kings ($4900)
  • Henrik Sedin, C, Canucks ($4100)
  • Radim Vrbata, RW, Canucks ($8200)

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Dallas Stars @ San Jose Sharks

Game Analysis

Just get ready for goals! Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn versus Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton, among other interesting “battles.” Both teams have some iffy penalty kills, and in the case of San Jose, a rather suspect penalty kill. The power plays for both teams are a little better, possessing the skills to be atop the league. San Jose’s penalty kill has been hampered by both goalies at times, but more so by Antti Niemi. Dallas’s goaltending situation is a rough one, as well, with Kari Lehtonen playing so inconsistent, along with the team defense. 5 on 5 will be like an up and down track meet at times, and that is what will make this game appealing. Top six stacks, especially a Seguin-Benn duo stack, looks likely. San Jose does have a few more options, as well.

Money Line: Sharks -150, O/U 5.5.

Players to Watch

  • Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($9200)
  • Jason Spezza, C, Stars ($6100)
  • Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks ($8300)
  • Brent Burns, D, Sharks ($7500)

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