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 eleven game slate with early, night and late night which should offer plenty of options.

NHL $8,500 Sniper

We have a nice cheap way to make some quick money in a GPP for tonight.

Enter the NHL $8,500 Sniper – $2 Entry HERE

Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the nature of Saturday’s slate.

______________________________________________________________

Blue Jackets @ Senators

Game Analysis

The Blue Jackets fired on all cylinders in a 7-1 rout of St. Louis that few saw coming. They chased Brian Elliott after four goals and then lit up Jake Allen for three more. Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno ran wild against a Blues team that was clearly winded since they were on the back end of a back to back. The streak really ended in spectacularly bad fashion. Columbus has the horses no question but keep an eye on who starts against Ottawa. Does Anton Forsberg get another shot? As for Ottawa, will Craig Anderson play? He did take shots on Friday so watch morning skate to see if Ottawa makes the decision then. Watch your line combinations in Ottawa and naturally Erik Karlsson as the rover wreaks havoc at any time. When you really think about it, the Senators have some definite weapons, potential 30 goal scorers (or close) like Mike Hoffman for example. Stack Ottawa’s second line may actually be a feasible recommendation here. Again, a lot of this really hinges on lineup decisions. Fortunately the 7:00 start time helps in this decision making process. Questions like do I put in Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris, etc. may have to wait a bit.

Money Line: Senators -160, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Rick Nash, LW, Blue Jackets ($6400)
  • Henrik Lundqvist, G, Blue Jackets ($9000)
  • Eric Staal, C, Sens ($6100)
  • Justin Faulk, D, Sens ($5500)

______________________________________________________________

Stars @ Sabres

Game Analysis

These teams play very different styles of hockey. Buffalo is often trying to keep it together while Dallas has quite the offensive thrust while defense is again a big question mark. Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn as a duo stack would set you back $17000 which is around 30% of your $55,000 cap. Kari Lehtonen is struggling again especially just when it looks like he is struggling a couple pretty good starts. He gave up four goals on 28 shots against Tampa which can happen to anyone but there were a couple goals where Lehtonen just looked a hair off on his angles. It does not take much to scare off a DFS player. Just mention Buffalo and sometimes that is enough too. The Sabres cannot generate a lot of shots on net and yet they are coming off a 3-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens. This ended a 14 game losing streak. Dallas is still a big favorite here and Buffalo often has difficulty against top lines. Watch Patrick Eaves obviously as his value could still be good enough to play without 50% of daily leagues owning him yet. Buffalo’s scoring could come from anywhere in this one partially because it is Dallas. There is a lot of unknown but the fun part is the numbers favoring Buffalo scoring a couple goals possibly.

Line: Stars -220. O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Kari Lehtonen, G, Stars ($7200)
  • Patrick Eaves, C, Stars ($4000)
  • Matt Moulson, LW, Sabres ($4100)
  • Jhonas Enroth, G, Sabres ($6700)

______________________________________________________________

Oilers @ Maple Leafs

Game Analysis

The game that everyone will talk about for all the funny reasons. For DFS purposes, this really could be a mixed bag. Toronto fired 34 shots on New Jersey and if that happens against Edmonton, this should result in that long searched for win (11 losses and counting). Taylor Hall and Benoit Pouillot have been ruled out due to injuries. That will decimate Edmonton a bit more. Toronto had plenty of chances to score against New Jersey. Cory Schneider was just better on this night. Phil Kessel hit two posts before Tyler Bozak tapped the puck home for Toronto’s only goal on Friday. The Maple Leafs must get a lead. Better yet, who do you start? Jonathan Bernier looked bad against Nashville and James Reimer looked good at times but still gave up four goals on 17 shots. There was a puck or two he could have had and needed to shut the door off the first goal. If he had just gotten over all the way….it never happened. The Oilers give up tons of chances and line combinations will need to be monitored later in the morning and in line rushes during warm-ups. Nobody knows what could happen here. Possibilities are endless and maybe just maybe Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will have to carry the weight.

Line: -160 . O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Oilers ($4800)
  • Justin Schultz, D, Oilers ($4000)
  • Tyler Bozak, C, Maple Leafs ($4000)
  • Jonathan Bernier, G, Maple Leafs ($6700)

______________________________________________________________

Devils @ Canadiens

Game Analysis

Here come the New Jersey Devils, who miss the net with reckless abandon. They have 50 shots in their last three games behind and yet have scored three goals a game (all wins). If it were not for Cory Schneider, they might all be losses. However, Keith Kinkaid is the one starting against Montreal. Kinkaid stopped 26 of 27 shots against Florida last week and looks more comfortable in net of late. Carey Price will start for Montreal after giving up three first period goals to Buffalo of all teams. Price is a must start even despite the setback. A goalie cannot always save their team but the Habs should be able to generate quite a few chances against a New Jersey team with an almost bunker type mentality at times. Max Pacioretty becomes a must play also because again the Devils have a hard time with power forwards with speed. This line could rise to -160 to -180 for the Habs, maybe higher yet. P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov could make an impact on the man advantage along with Tomas Plekanec. Montreal is a good bit faster than New Jersey. If they use their wheels, this game becomes a no-brainer. What Jaromir Jagr does in Montreal will be intriguing as the rumors do not go away. Jagr scored on Friday night but do note Adam Larsson had two assists. Larsson is starting to become the two way defenseman New Jersey thought he could be.

Line: NL, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Jaromir Jagr, RW, Devils ($5700)
  • Adam Larsson, D, Devils ($3700)
  • Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($7600)
  • Carey Price, G, Habs ($9600)

______________________________________________________________

Islanders @ Bruins

Game Analysis

I was looking forward to this game just because the Islanders and Bruins can play some pretty frenetic hockey but then they can turn and play a low scoring goalie duel as well. John Tavares has been firing shots at an almost Alex Ovechkin like pace with over 4.5 shots per game in his last seven contests. Anders Lee and Josh Bailey have been pretty good as his linemates. People wonder at what point does Ryan Strome replace Bailey but that has not happened yet. The Islanders must get outstanding goaltending from Jaroslav Halak who has been very ordinary of late with a save percentage hovering around .900 in the last three weeks. Boston has been riding a hotter hand of Tuukka Rask who keeps raising his numbers bit by bit. The blip against the New York Rangers on Wednesday was likely just that. Boston needs points and players like David Pastrnak and David Krejci will need a Milan Lucic influence to give them the space to work. Patrice Bergeron has amazing face-off numbers but his consistent production has been a godsend. Watch Zdeno Chara as his numbers are down and his shot selection has been very poor. Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton are the defensive threats while Johnny Boychuk will be a big weapon for the Islanders.

Line: Bruins -135, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Jaroslav Halak, G, Islanders ($7800)
  • Anders Lee, LW, Islanders ($4100)
  • Milan Lucic, LW, Bruins ($4800)
  • Tuukka Rask, G, Bruins ($9000)

______________________________________________________________

Avalanche @ Wild

Game Analysis

The seven game series last year is a faded memory. These two teams need both points in their quest to climb back into the Western Conference playoff picture. Devan Dubnyk has saved the Minnesota season for now with six wins in his last nine decisions. The three shutouts he has come with a .935 save percentage. Minnesota averages much better metrics at home and Colorado loves to give up scoring chances on the road. Their lunch pail mentality reminds me of New Jersey just that Jersey has less talent. The Avalanche top six has been a huge disappointment. Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay have been their most consistent players. Quietly their higher ice time has been noticed by DFS owners. As for Minnesota, Zach Parise looks finally somewhat comfortable considering everything. He has 43 shots and seven goals in his last ten games. This has led to better chances for Mikko Koivu, who has set that up well. How Ryan Suter and Marco Scandella handle Colorado’s Top Six likely will decide this game. The Avalanche have seen more consistent scoring from Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene but now they need that next gear or two.

Line: Wild -165, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Semyon Varlamov, G, Avs ($8600)
  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($5400)
  • Mikko Koivu, C, Wild ($5000)
  • Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($8200)

______________________________________________________________

Red Wings @ Coyotes

Game Analysis

It does look like the Red Wings will have Petr Mrazek starting in net once again as Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson get closer and closer. Detroit just keeps hanging around in this division race because they keep finding ways to score enough while giving up not as much. There is something about watching goal scorers like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. They really are the future of this Detroit team. Meanwhile, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg just keep on plugging along. Zetterberg has climbed back up to nearly a point a game on the season again with 11 points in his last nine games. Yes the Wings have defensive issues as far as where the points are going to come from. Ironically, Arizona has the opposite problem as Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle more or less offensive thrust most of the time. Mike Smith has almost been Rick DiPietro like at times. Antoine Vermette is a fun pick as possibly the over could come very close to hitting. These teams sometimes play a little wild when the coyote howls.

Line: Red Wings -165. O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Tomas Tatar, LW, Red Wings ($4600)
  • Petr Mrazek, G, Red Wings ($7600)
  • Oliver Edman-Larsson, D, Coyotes ($6000)
  • Keith Yandle, D, Coyotes ($6100)

______________________________________________________________

Penguins @ Canucks

Game Analysis

So how much energy does Pittsburgh have after whitewashing Calgary 4-0? Marc-Andre Fleury posted his eighth shutout of the season so check in the afternoon to see if he or Thomas Greiss winds up starting. Vancouver on the other hand got their lunch handed to them by the San Jose Sharks the other night. They are going to look to come out motivated and ready to push hard against a potentially worn out Pittsburgh team. No one really saw signs of the Pens looking anything but ready to assume their division throne again. Ryan Miller has had some really bad starts following a couple shutouts. This is how Miller has been all year. He jumped from a .900 save percentage to .923 before now coming down to .914. Projected and current league average is right about .917 now (yes it has gone up again). The twins will likely go up against the Kris Letang pairing and that should be a good one. The Crosby line will have or should have an easier match-up. It is difficult to ascertain what may happen here but goals should come.

Line: NL. O/U 5.5  (Expect late movement!)

Players to Watch

  • David Perron, LW, Pens ($4800)
  • Sidney Crosby, C, Pens ($8800)
  • Alexandre Burrows, RW, Canucks ($3400)
  • Ryan Miller, G, Canucks ($6900)

______________________________________________________________

Hurricanes @ Sharks

Game Analysis

At first glance it looks like this will be an easy Sharks win but San Jose has just been so inconsistent all year. They do not just play down to their competition, they let it run right over them too sometimes. Antti Niemi is coming off a shutout again but will he have another clunker right after? Carolina has a very strong penalty kill but a question as to put in net. If it is Cam Ward, the bookies may swing even more in San Jose’s favor which puts at least one stack and possibly two into play as far as the Sharks. Just be prepared to spend. The Sharks have some weird value in their bottom six including Tyler Kennedy who has six points in his last ten games. Everyone knows about Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. They even understand Melker Karlsson too. Lastly, watch and see if Elias Lindholm is still on the first line with the Staal brothers. That has some potential for Carolina. The Hurricanes have to likely score at least three to come away with a point. Good luck!

Line: Sharks -210, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Jordan Staal, C, Canes ($4700)
  • Eric Staal, C, Canes ($5500)
  • Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks ($8500)
  • Antti Niemi, G, Sharks ($8800)

______________________________________________________________

EARLY SLATE

Rangers @ Predators

Game Analysis

Wow, this could have not come at a worst time for the New York Rangers as Henrik Lundqvist is out at least 3-5 weeks with a vascular injury after taking a puck to the throat in the Carolina game. Yes he played in the Florida game but the bottom line is no Lundqvist here. Pekka Rinne returned on Thursday with disastrous results as Anaheim thoroughly roughed Nashville 5-2. It was a humbling experience that did not sit well with Rinne. Will Nashville be able to take advantage of an emotionally spent Rangers team or will New York rally around backup (now starter) Cam Talbot? The Rangers have a lot of speed and so does Nashville. Shea Weber and Roman Josi will have their hands full with the Rick Nash line but obviously Nashville’s depth are going to cause New York’s defense fits. Craig Smith and Colin Wilson will have a key role in playing facilitators and the Rangers do have the wheels with the likes of Chris Kreider. Both teams are near the top of their respected conferences. This game serves as a much needed two points for the winner. Expect more goals than the bookies are thinking perhaps but a good bit of up and down hockey.

Line: Predators -150, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Derek Stepan, C, Rangers ($4900)
  • Chris Kreider, RW, Rangers ($4300)
  • Craig Smith, C, Predators ($4700)
  • Colin Schneider, C, Predators ($4500)

______________________________________________________________

Kings @ Lightning

Game Analysis

This is just a game where you ask when does Los Angeles finally show up on this road trip. That is the biggest problem. Washington had far too easy of a time against Los Angeles and even Florida rallied back to defeat the Kings. Jonathan Quick looked almost shell shocked in the third period. How will the triplets shape up against Los Angeles. Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty will likely be matched up versus the Steven Stamkos line which could set up a decent evening for the triplets. The Kings are going to get their chances but they now know the team will have to score more. Anze Kopitar’s line has responded but now they have to even more. I almost forgot Quick has one win in his last ten decisions and has started seven straight. Martin Jones may have to play for the sake of playing. Tampa’s depth, firepower, and incredible home record all work against LA on this one. Ben Bishop will start this one and has been a steady 6-2-1 in his last nine decisions with a .923 save percentage. Despite injuries, Tampa has been giving up less shots of late.

Line: Lightning -160. O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Anze Kopitar, C, Kings ($5200)
  • Martin Jones, G, Kings ($6800)
  • Tyler Johnson, C, Bolts ($5800)
  • Ben Bishop, G, Bolts ($7900)

______________________________________________________________

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