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. Sunday features an eight game slate with early and night slates which should offer plenty of options. Our focus is on the night slate which has six 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 Sunday’s slate. Just expect even more injuries tonight. It seems like they really have gone gangbusters.

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Panthers @ Penguins

Game Analysis

Those evil 6:00 pm ET starts will be the death of DFS player. No, I am joking. All kidding aside, Malkin and Crosby’s prices both jumped right back up despite some pretty low ownership rates. That is interesting.  Florida is so close to a playoff berth and now the question is we know Marc-Andre Fleury will start for Pittsburgh but who will start for Florida? The Panthers are going to be inclined to use Al Montoya but stay tuned. Pittsburgh has struggled mightily lately and the line when it comes out will reflect that. The problem is Florida has been just as inconsistent but a few more points has put them in a pretty good position on the bubble. Nick Bjugstad has to play better than he did against Ottawa. The other thing is this. How do Florida and Pittsburgh respond on the back end of back to backs. Watch out for value plays in this game and maybe Steve Downie will play in this game after being a healthy scratch against St. Louis. Sometimes coaches make weird decisions and this could be a fun game to watch and again remember what the line is first and then the plays will come. Look for line 2 in Florida against the second line of Pittsburgh.

Money Line: NL, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers ($3500)
  • Aaron Ekblad, D, Panthers ($3800)
  • Evgeni Malkin, C, Pens ($8600)
  • Sidney Crosby, C, Pens ($8900)

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Predators @ Sabres

Game Analysis

These teams are going to play one game of very gritty hockey on Sunday. Nashville was asleep for most of their game on Saturday against Philadelphia before squeezing a point out of it. Buffalo is well out of everything. This is more of a test for Nashville than people think. Now if Carter Hutton plays then Buffalo may have a shot at this. Pekka Rinne did face a lot of rubber against Philadelphia in the first 40 minutes in particular. We took a look at Nashville’s offensive lines because of Filip Forsberg and yes he has been moved back up to the line with Craig Smith and Mike Fisher. That also means Forsberg is more or less back to his customary power play time while Mike Santorelli is now on the third line with Matt Cullen. Buffalo lines are exactly the same and at least Nashville’s defensive pairings have not changed either. This all comes down to the game now and with the Predators as a heavy favorite, bookies figure their speed and balance will overcome playing on the road at Buffalo easily. Stacks potentially including mixing either Weber or Josi and then the Smith/Forsberg duo or tossing in James Neal and Mike Ribeiro.

Line: Predators -250 . O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Shea Weber, D, Preds ($8500)
  • Mike Ribeiro, C, Preds ($4000)
  • Matt Moulson, LW, Sabres ($4500)
  • Michal Neuvirth, G, Sabres ($7100)

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Canucks @ Islanders

Game Analysis

The Islanders gamely fought back but only could get a point in their game against Washington yesterday. The Islanders have a really nice first line in Anders Lee, John Tavares, and Josh Bailey but the problem becomes at times what the other lines will do since there can be a bit of inconsistency. As for Vancouver, the Sedin Twins and Zack Kassian put on a heck of a show against the New York Rangers in a 5-4 shootout win. People may not realize this but Kassian has five goals and eight points in his last nine games. He may not play 16-18 minutes but 12 or 13 effective minutes is all the Canucks need. The Islanders have more depth and honestly Vancouver took some lumps against New Jersey so imagine what it could be like playing on Long Island against a rather angry team that feels like it deserved two points on Saturday. It should be Jaroslav Halak versus Ryan Miller in this one and I have to say, I like the Islanders offense, defense, and odds in this time. Everything but that penalty kill is pretty damn good.

Line: Isles -150 . O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Ryan Miller, G, Canucks ($8000)
  • Radim Vrbata, RW, Canucks ($5000)
  • Travis Hamonic, D, Isles ($4000)
  • Jaroslav Halak, G, Isles ($8800)

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Lightning @ Avalanche

Game Analysis

Hey the Lightning played an unexpectedly tough game against the Coyotes on Saturday and now make their way into Denver (probably passing a pretty big snow storm along the way). Tampa did what they had to do as they held off Arizona 4-2. The Avalanche are well rested and are finally seeing some consistent offensive production. Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene, as expected are leading the way and that is great news for DFS people who still have loyalty to them. Can Semyon Varlamov do it again as they say? Will Patrick Roy and the Avs ever find a way to keep Calvin Pickard up as a backup to Varlamov? I had a dream too. The Avs power play will have to click in this one as the Bolts are going to get a few goals at least. That would be what one would think. Both teams will be tested defensively and in net. This could be a very fun one to watch for fans and DFS owners alike. Maybe mixing and matching players from this tilt would be the better way to go as opposed to sticking with a line stack.

Line: Bolts -120, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Tyler Johnson, C, Bolts ($5700)
  • Victor Hedman, D, Bolts ($5100)
  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($8400)
  • Matt Duchene, C, Avs ($5700)

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Blue Jackets @ Rangers

Game Analysis

I was longing for a Brandon Dubinsky  versus the Rangers versus a Gatorade bucket. Now the Rangers played a wild one against the Vancouver Canucks and then followed that with a better effort against the Buffalo Sabres. Rick Nash against his former team is just something a prospective DFS’er cannot pass up. This will not be an easy game for the Rangers however as Columbus is kind of playing a rope-a-dope style that has been somewhat effective. Then of course Montreal put the clamps on that last night as Carey Price stopped 31 shots. The Blue Jackets had 32 shots on net and 15 scoring chances. Now New York is going to play a bit more up tempo simply because that will tire out Columbus. They have to as there is no other way here. If the Rangers play even a little slow, Columbus will be able to exploit it. The problem is the injuries and the Rangers just can roll line after line after line. Even Martin St. Louis may be rising from the ashes again. This should be a good game to watch and expect some goals!

Line: Rangers -210, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Ryan Johansen, C, Blue Jackets ($5900)
  • Cam Atkinson, RW, Blue Jackets ($5000)
  • Rick Nash, LW, Rangers ($9200)
  • Cam Talbot, G, Rangers ($7500)

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Stars @ Wild

Game Analysis

The Stars had one of the strangest games I have ever seen where three two goal leads were just obliterated. Ultimately Dallas lost in heartbreaking fashion….7-6 in overtime to Detroit. So the offense is definitely there…check! The goaltending is well questionable along with the team defense which has been brutal! Jhonas Enroth likely will start against Minnesota who is definitely going to play Devan Dubnyk who gets a shutout once every three starts, it seems. Even better, Minnesota should be licking their chops at the prospects of facing a team that cannot find itself at all defensively right now. Dallas has a team defense that represents paper and cardboard right now. Dallas is just going to have to score and hope to get lucky while Minnesota just has to play its possession and drive play game. That should be enough and Zach Parise will be the player to watch as something tells me he is going to make quite the difference from the get go. This will be one hell of a game to watch in the total contrast of styles. Will Minnesota get drawn in at all? Hmmmm.

Line: NL, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Mikko Koivu, C, Wild ($5200)
  • Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($8700)
  • Alex Goligoski, D, Stars ($3800)
  • Jamie Benn, LW, Stars ($9400)

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