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. Saturday is a big ten game slate with early, night and late night which should offer plenty of options. Our focus is on the night and late slates which have nine games in total.

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Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the nature of Saturday’s slate. Just do not expect Tyler Seguin to play or effectively for awhile.

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Blue Jackets @ Islanders

Game Analysis

The Blue Jackets came back to win a dramatic 4-3 OT tilt over the Philadelphia Flyers. However, they face a rested and angry Islanders team that is still working out the kinks from the Kyle Okposo injury. The team from Long Island scored three times against Toronto the other night but again fired almost 40 shots on net. Some more of these shots probably should be going in the net. The Islanders have won four of their last five but you would never know it because all five games have hit the under. They only have 12 goals in their last five contests. Columbus gave up three goals to Philadelphia last night and looked shaky and they travel to face the Isles who still have more dangerous weapons. You might want to unleash the Anders Lee, who scored twice against Toronto and frankly looks to be that first line missing link. John Tavares will not go pointless tonight as there will be food around the corner for him and fantasy owners. Does it matter who Columbus starts? No. However, their power play is formidable, spearheaded by Ryan Johansen. Scott Hartnell and Cam Atkinson flank him but watch for Nick Foligno who may be lower priced but still a little dangerous. Even old Isles nemesis, Artem Anisimov may be a play here. For the Isles, expect at least three goals and 35-40 shots on net.

Money Line: Isles – 240, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Artem Anisimov, C, Blue Jackets ($3700)
  • Jack Johnson, D, Blue Jackets ($4300)
  • Anders Lee, C, Isles ($4800)
  • Johnny Boychuk, D, Isles ($4800)

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Maple Leafs @ Canadiens

Game Analysis

These teams play very different styles of hockey. Montreal tries to ice the puck to death and then hope for timely scoring. Toronto tries to play four or five different styles at once and none of them seem in concert with each other. The difference is Montreal has Carey Price and Toronto does not have Carey Price. Something tells me Toronto might be a good 10-12 points higher in the standings if Price were in net for them. He makes that much of a difference and the reason why he will be widely owned in DFS formats tonight. Just keep in mind, the goalie does have some problems at times for Montreal so if there are better options out there, then go for it. Max Pacioretty feasts on Toronto but then again the goal scorer has been feasting on many teams this year. IT will be intriguing to see how Phil Kessel plays tonight since this really is the first time that the team, the rumors, and him have come to an intersection. Jonathan Bernier is the probable in net for Toronto and he played pretty well against the Islanders aside from those first five minutes. Montreal’s special teams will also be vital as P.K. Subban must lead the charge.

Line: Habs -235. O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Jonathan Bernier, G, Leafs ($6900)
  • Phil Kessel, RW, Leafs ($6100)
  • Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($8500)
  • Carey Price, G, Habs ($9400)

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Jets @ Red Wings

Game Analysis

The game that everyone will talk about for all the funny reasons. For DFS purposes, this really could be a mixed bag. No one knows how Jimmy Howard will play in his first start in over a month. Winnipeg’s goaltenders are ridiculously cheap on DraftKings so whichever one actually starts will have some value in that they are likely to face some shots. Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist are my usual players to watch because almost everyone focuses on the Zetterbergs and Datsyuks of the world. Winnipeg has the Ladd line as always but Mathieu Perreault is still playing very well. Shots and scoring chances are down for him a bit but he is making the most of his opportunities. This game could go in a number of directions and the outcome is very much in doubt. Winnipeg can definitely push the pace but they have serious gap issues on defense and Tyler Myers is not helping that anytime soon. Dustin Byfuglien will wreak his usual havoc but will that be enough to stop Detroit. The answer is questionable at best.

Line: Red Wings -160 . O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Mathieu Perreault, C, Jets ($4800)
  • Dustin Byfuglien, D, Jets ($6700)
  • Gustav Nyquist, RW, Wings ($4800)
  • Jimmy Howard, G, Wings ($7200)

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Hurricanes @ Wild

Game Analysis

Here come the Minnesota Wild with Devan Dubnyk who has a shutout in one of every three starts lately. It is scary how all Minnesota needed was solid goaltending. Remember how they got it in stretches and it served them well until all the injuries kept happening. So far, so good for the Wild. Zach Parise has been playing better but so has Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek and that is essential for future success. The Hurricanes on the other hand have seen Jeff Skinner struggle mightily while the Staal brothers have been effective. Justin Faulk has more defensive points than the rest of his team it feels like but team defense wise Carolina is a wreck on the road. Everyone knows it! The goaltending has to reign supreme for them to have a chance and Cam Ward is still not that answer. Anton Khudobin has resurrected his save percentage to a decent .909 and climbing. Now Minnesota’s defense from a daily perspective is led not by Ryan Suter but possibly by Marco Scandella who has a booming shot and is a good shot blocker. Scandella has the most potential. Now, Carolina gives up three goals a game on the road and Minnesota scores three goals a game at home. If you play the averages, then you just know how this might go.

Line: Wild -185, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Eric Staal, C, Canes ($5600)
  • Justin Failk, D, Canes ($5300)
  • Zach Parise, LW, Wild ($7200)
  • Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($9000)

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Devils @ Predators

Game Analysis

I was looking forward to this but do not expect Filip Forsberg to stay on the third line very long (that was the morning skate lines). Matt Cullen will be a third line left wing before you know it. Aside from that, Colin Wilson and Craig Smith are up to their usual late season tricks but a bit early this season. Pekka Rinne has only give up four goals in his last three starts after giving up four in the first game he was back from injury. No one should be proud to choose a Devils option for daily fantasy because where do you go? Adam Henrique has struggled mightily at times since Adam Oates came on board. Even Travis Zajac has leveled off but someone has to score in this game, right? Maybe it will be Jaromir Jagr? Honestly he looked two steps slow against Chicago and that is the biggest problem. Your talent needs to have some speed somewhere and New Jersey does not have it. Nashville does and that makes a world of difference. Their depth makes this a night where you have to at least stack a few Nashville players. James Neal should have some nice opportunities against a New Jersey team that loves to give up point blank scoring chances. The odds dictate this game is the must stack of the evening. We shall see.

Line: Preds -240, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Travis Zajac, C, Devils ($3300)
  • Adam Larsson, D, Devils ($3200)
  • Colin Wilson, LW, Preds ($3700)
  • Pekka Rinne, G, Preds ($9200)

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Rangers @ Coyotes

Game Analysis

The Coyotes are getting ready for another high pick, this time maybe a second or third or fourth and the Rangers are trying to right their defensive ship. The good thing for New York is that the Coyotes come off a 4-2 loss to the Sharks that definitely left some gaping holes once again. Mike Smith may get a rest tonight but then again he may not. If that is the case then the Rangers may be a good modest stack. Whether you want to pair Rick Nash and Derek Stepan or say take a gamble on Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers have some option. This is going in a New York state of mind. The spread is really high for a road team with a backup goalie who has definitely given up some goals in his stint in place of Henrik Lundqvist. When you get right down to this, if Arizona can get a few goals early then they make this interesting. The problem is they did this against San Jose and then the wheels fell off. If New York stays the course, their overall team speed is just too much for Arizona to handle and that is why the spread is that damn high!

Line: Rangers -185, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Rick Nash, LW, Rangers ($8700)
  • Cam Talbot, G, Rangers ($6700)
  • Keith Yandle, D, Yotes ($5600)
  • Antoine Vermette, C, Yotes ($4200)

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Stars @ Avalanche

Game Analysis

Gone in ten minutes! Yes the Stars won 2-0 against Florida last night but wow was it costly. Patrick Eaves and Tyler Seguin have been already placed on the IR with upper body and lower body injuries respectively. Ales Hemsky is probably not going to be too useful tonight either so the Stars come in limping which is music to Colorado’s ears. Their top six have been huge disappointments almost all season aside from Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla (though they technically drifted around the third line too). Semyon Varlamov has leveled back a bit but to be fair when you start so often, well that is Colorado’s fault too. Reto Berra is still Varlamov’s backup. I rest my damn case here! If Calvin Pickard was up, he might even be getting this start. It is what it is. Someone on Colorado’s top six has to get hot sometime and it just has to start now! Otherwise the Avalanche have to start making tee times now! As for Dallas, they have to keep finding ways to win. Brett Ritchie gets the benefit again and the call-up. See who Dallas puts on the first line first.

Line: Avs -150. O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Jamie Benn, LW, Stars ($7500)
  • John Klingberg, D, Stars ($4200)
  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($5200)
  • Semyon Varlamov, G, Avs ($7800)

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Canucks @ Flames

Game Analysis

So how much energy does Vancouver have in the tank after thrashing Boston 5-2 behind a Shawn Matthias hat trick? We are going to find out quickly. Calgary has hit a bit of a wall with rookie Johnny Gaudreau and maybe the team as well. They have gone 3-2 over their last five but have given up 13 goals in that span and a bevy of point blank chances. The Sedin twins did not figure much in the scoring against Boston as it was more of a bottom six plus Radim Vrbata kind of night. Tonight if Vancouver scores it may just be the top six more because Calgary definitely has some issues with the Sedins but Vancouver at the same token has issues with Calgary’s speed. The problem is the Flames have just looked a step slower of late and teams are catching up to them as far as pace of play. They know the third period push is coming and some teams have pushed back also. Kari Ramo must be more of a brick wall tonight because Jonas Hiller is out and not playing. Calgary may be smart to let them tire themselves out. Something tells me that is not how this game will go. Just expect a lot of unexpected.

Line: Flames -125. O/U 5.5  (Expect late movement!)

Players to Watch

  • Daniel Sedin, LW, Canucks ($6600)
  • Shawn Matthias, C, Canucks ($3500)
  • Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($4500)
  • Curtis Glencross, LW, Flames ($3400)

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Capitals @ Kings

Game Analysis

At first glance it looks like the Capitals should keep on keeping on even in LA but not so fast. Jonathan Quick and Braden Holtby figure to be the expected starters in what could be a pretty entertaining late game. Defensively Los Angeles can be suspect but lately they have been sprinkling in some playoff like performances of late where the timely offense offsets some suspect defense. The injuries and the Voynov suspense have hurt Los Angeles but Jonathan Quick’s drop-off has more. He is thinking too aggressively and opponents are taking full advantage of it. Everyone knows what is coming from Washington. They play a little more defense than they used to but occasionally can get drawn into a high tempo game. The Kings have to stay out of the penalty box as Washington will make them pay on the power play especially with their net front push from guys like Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich. Washington’s bottom six is a good bit better than LA’s right now. The Kings have lots to work on and not a lot of time against a team that is pretty solid in defensive rankings mostly thanks to Braden Holtby.

Line: Kings -140, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Alex Ovechkin, LW, Caps ($9100)
  • Nick Backstrom, C, Caps ($5800)
  • Jeff Carter, C, Kings ($6300)
  • Tyler Toffoli, RW, Kings ($5900)

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This is going to be a crazy set of slates. Good luck and on Twitter, we will have more breakdowns and statistics.