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. Thursday gives us seven more games to hopefully help make you some more money.

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Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because something always comes in at the last minute and now let’s get to work ladies and gentlemen.

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Rangers @ Sabres

Game Analysis

Buffalo really drags Philadelphia into the abyss like few teams can. They may ultimately lose but Buffalo usually does not beat the Rangers, at least lately. The Rangers speed is usually too much for a team that at times skates slower than sludge. New York does come off a high scoring, high flying game against the Canucks so at least both teams are on the back end of a back to back. Keep an eye on if the Rangers play their backup or not to finally give Cam Talbot a rest. These are the worst kind of match-ups because you really do not know which teams/players/lines have the juice and which do not until the game starts. Rick Nash should have a really good game here and so should Chris Kreider but after that, who the heck knows. Buffalo really does not have much in the DFS tank but maybe you go first line and possibly Brian Flynn perhaps and a side of Zach Bogosian perhaps. The Rangers will be fired up after blowing that lead to Vancouver. Even at 3/4 energy, the Rangers should easily be a -225 favorite or greater. The only prayer Buffalo has is if again, the Rangers go backup at last or Talbot is really cursed to keep giving up three goals in every contest.

Money Line: Rangers (NL yet), O/U likely 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Zemgus Girgensons, C, Sabres ($4200)
  • Zach Bogosian, D, Sabres ($3300)
  • Rick Nash, LW, Rangers ($9000)
  • Martin St. Louis, RW, Rangers ($4900)

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Maple Leafs @ Hurricanes

Game Analysis

These teams do not like each other at all! Sadly Dion Phaneuf will not be playing in this one much to Eric Staal’s amusement. It is going to be touch and go as far as what could happen with this game. The Leafs have one win in their last 15 games and Carolina usually plays much better at home. The Hurricanes only score 2.08 goals per game at home but they only give up 2.16 per contest. The Leafs are a brutal 10 under .500 and give up nearly three goals a game away from the ACC. They have point slumps galore and now that Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli are gone, Toronto will continue to blow things up. Cam Ward and Jonathan Bernier are the probables and really this game comes down to how the top sixes play against each other. Needless to say this game may be more about the old “Burn Before Reading” mentality or is that burn before watching. Either way, this is a game where shot attempts for should be higher for Carolina than for Toronto. This seems like a 3-2 type of game.

Line: Canes -160. O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Nazem Kadri, C, Leafs ($4700)
  • Phil Kessel, RW, Leafs ($7900)
  • Eric Staal, C, Canes ($5400)
  • Justin Faulk, D, Canes ($6100)

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Canucks @ Devils

Game Analysis

The game that few will probably actually want to watch since Vancouver is on the back end of a back to back and New Jersey may try to “pace itself” with another home game the next night. It was shocking New Jersey even had a 30 shot night since this felt like forever since the last time it actually happened. Cory Schneider has been incredible and won again against Buffalo the other night, only giving up one goal on a shot that pinballed in. Vancouver comes off an impressive 5-4 shootout win over the New York Rangers as the Sedin Twins put on a show in Gotham. How much do they have in the tank. Eddie Lack will be the Vancouver starter. Do not expect New Jersey to score more than three goals or even three as the Devils history against backup goaltenders is just brutal. If you try to look into Devils players then maybe you concentrate on the top six and little else. Maybe Marek Zidlicky or Eric Gelinas contribute from the blueline. Adam Larsson is currently questionable with an illness. He is likely to be a morning practice or game time decision. Alex Burrows could be a wild card player for Vancouver.

Line: Canucks -115. O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Eddie Lack, G, Canucks ($7000)
  • Daniel Sedin, LW, Canucks ($6000)
  • Jaromir Jagr, RW, Devils ($3800)
  • Cory Schneider, G, Devils ($8500)

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Bruins @ Blues

Game Analysis

Here come the Bruins into St. Louis and my god, they are only one point ahead of Florida in the race for the final playoff spot in the East. The Blues gave up three goals in short order to a team without Tyler Seguin. The Stars would go on to win that game fairly easily. Suddenly St. Louis is in a stretch where the defense is a little more porous and shot suppression has not been quite as good. Boston lost Kevan Miller again to injury and he has been placed on the IR. Tuukka Rask has looked rather good lately but the team in front of him just has not been able to hold leads or play well late in games. Boston overall has lost five straight games. St. Louis has a top nine most teams would die for and yet something does not add up with this contest. It really is hard to explain. Boston has given up 20 goals in their last five and St. Louis is pretty much even in goals in that time frame. This really could go in so many ways.That is the thing and the first 20 minutes may be an indication of what will happen in this tilt.

Line: NL, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Tuukka Rask, G, Bruins ($8000)
  • Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins ($5800)
  • Alexander Steen, LW, Blues ($7700)
  • Brian Elliott, G, Blues ($7600) — Wait for confirmation!

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Avalanche @ Blackhawks

Game Analysis

I was looking at this then realized just how important this game could be for both teams. Chicago is chasing down Nashville and St. Louis while Colorado tries to haul in a playoff berth. Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog are waking up at the right time after what felt like a season long slumber. The thing is Colorado needs wins and so does Chicago. Marian Hossa has seven goals in his last eight games. Patrick Sharp is undervalued in daily formats because of the drought he is in right now. After that Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane pretty much have the offense run through them. Now Semyon Varlamov will start yet again and you have to wonder what might happen here. A deeper Chicago team versus a goalie who can stand on his head. Gee I have seen this before. This game could be a middle of the road score with high event hockey. It has the look like it will be lots of fun. The winner will have to really want these two points because it will not be easy to say the least. Colorado should give up three goals at least. They have a 75% chance of doing so. Can Chicago give up less?

Line: Hawks -240, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($6700)
  • Nick Holden, D, Avs ($2800)
  • Patrick Sharp, LW, Hawks ($5100)
  • Corey Crawford, G, Hawks ($9000)

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Ducks @ Flames

Game Analysis

The Flames are in a fight for their playoff lives while Anaheim is just tumbling through the motions as they say. The Ducks have unraveled in the last five games giving up 21 goals while the Flames have given up almost three goals a night themselves. Anaheim literally was throttled in the second period by a Tampa team on their west coast trip. Tampa looked more the home team than Anaheim for vast periods. Jonas Hiller faces his former team and John Gibson is the likely probable for a Ducks team who just gets opened up like a can opener too often lately defensively. Ben Lovejoy and Cam Fowler have struggled mightily. Sami Vatanen is still out and that is just a recipe for disaster. Now the Flames can be quite vulnerable themselves. However, Hiller will be more than dialed up for this game and the thing is can John Gibson keep this together long enough until Anaheim can start finishing some opportunities. Honestly, no one knows!

Line: NL , O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Corey Perry, RW, Ducks ($8000)
  • John Gibson, G, Ducks ($7000)
  • Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($5000)
  • Jonas Hiller, G, Flames ($7300)

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Wild @ Oilers

Game Analysis

Gone to the battle for a playoff spot is where the Wild find themselves. They had a tough loss to Eddie Lack and the Canucks the other night but at least they draw the Oilers which should be cake in theory. However, Minnesota just is not as good on the road as they are at home though their road goal differential of late has improved and as a result, their season road GD is around a negative third of a goal per tilt. Minnesota’s road power play is still hovering around the bottom third of the league but is in the top half over the last 15-20 games. They must take advantage of a team who has a penalty kill in the lowest five. Can Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville deliver the second line to glory? The Oilers are a better team with Benoit Pouillot in the lineup and they have started to slowly play better defensively. It may not be big steps but Edmonton is almost near three goals a night allowed at home. The Oilers will need a very good night from Ben Scrivens to nail down a win here and that will be no easy task against a Minnesota team that can suppress and possess extremely well. This is going to be one compare and contrast battle that Minnesota should be able to eventually win. Recommend a Wild stack but maybe not a full line stack.

Line: Wild -170. O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Mikko Koivu, C, Wild ($4800)
  • Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($8800)
  • Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($6300)
  • Ben Scrivens, G, Oilers ($6900)

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