The NHL Game Breakdown keeps on rolling 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’s focus will be on the five game slate that starts at 5:00 pm ET. The early games will be covered via Twitter.
NHL $3,500 Slapshot
We have a nice cheap way to make some quick money in a GPP for tonight.
The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the nature of Sunday’s volatile slate. Needless to say watch the Twitter beats for news on Derek Stepan (flu), etc.
Ducks @ Lightning
Does anyone have an idea what is going to happen here? Anaheim had a nice road effort but lost 3-2 in a shootout to Washington while Tampa Bay came out flat, gave up three goals to Los Angeles, and lost 4-2 (Ben Bishop got pulled by the way). Ryan Getzlaf news should hopefully be out just after warm-ups, maybe sooner. We will call it the old fashioned game time decision. Frederik Andersen will be the likely starter for Anaheim but admittedly the thought to play Ilya Bryzgalov had to be there after his 32 save performance against Washington. Ben Bishop should be the starter for Tampa as he only played 20 minutes against Los Angeles anyway. Needless to say it was not his finest performance or Tampa’s for that matter as the inconsistency returned again. If Anaheim does play without Getzlaf, Rickard Rakell could move up to the first line again. He was pretty good and really Anaheim played a pretty good road game. Now how does Tampa come out? They have to be pretty pissed. Does that over aggressive mentality bite them in the rear? It depends on the top six and Bishop once more.
Money Line: NL, O/U 5.5 (probable over/under)
Players to Watch
- Rickard Rakell, C, Ducks ($3100)
- Frederik Andersen, G, Ducks ($8400)
- Steven Stamkos, C, Bolts ($7800)
- Victor Hedman, D, Bolts($5000)
Stars @ Rangers
These teams both come off 3-2 losses but in completely different ways and different levels of play. The Rangers lost to the best team in the league arguably by a goal without their top center and goalie while the Stars lost to the lowly Sabres and actually were down 3-0 at one point. When you lose to Buffalo, there is no turning back. However, Dallas definitely got caught looking ahead to their one and only trip to MSG. Tyler Seguin did everything but score a hat trick against the Sabres and his 10 SOG and one goal were nice but not nice enough. A team like Dallas should have been able to score at least three or more goals and not fall behind by three to a team that is in 30th. Yet it happened. Detroit came back but that was different. Buffalo had the confidence of winning a game under their belt and that was just enough. The Rangers on the other hand just kept screening their own goalie too often. Two of the three Nashville goals were due to screens. New York has to get more out of guys like Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin. They just do. Rick Nash can do a lot but not by himself. It will be interesting to see if Stepan does play and also if Dallas shows up with a little pace early. It has to be a lot more than Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Paging Kari Lehtonen!
Line: Rangers -150. O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Kari Lehtonen, G, Stars ($7800)
- Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($8500)
- Rick Nash, LW, Rangers ($8800)
- Cam Talbot, G, Rangers ($7900)
Islanders @ Sabres
The game that everyone will be interested in….NO NOT REALLY! However, any time that John Tavares comes home usually is a pretty good game up in Buffalo. There was that meeting last year where the Sabres came back to win from down 3-0 to a 4-3 shootout triumph. At this point, the Islanders will just need to control that first Buffalo line but can they? Matt Moulson (former Islander) always seems to find a way to torment his old team. That is just how it is. If Jaroslav Halak can make a few key saves early, the Islanders should be fine in theory. Buffalo is going to give up a few goals at least so that plays into the hands of Tavares, who seems to always get two or more points up in Buffalo. The other key for the Islanders will be to draw penalties. Buffalo is an awful team normally on the penalty kill and the best way to make a team pay is on the man advantage. Buffalo will need an incredible goaltending effort and some timely goals from Zemgus Girgensons and company to keep this close and maybe pull off a win.
Line: Islanders -250 . O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- John Tavares, C, Isles ($8000)
- Johnny Boychuk, D, Isles ($5300)
- Zemgus Girgensons C, Sabres ($4100)
- Chris Stewart, RW, Sabres ($3900)
Avalanche @ Jets
Here come the Avalanche and Jets who both literally have had some problems lately. Okay the Jets have had them both on and off the ice but at least they played better against Chicago. Colorado has put up a good fight but there are just too many nights where they just do not have enough in the tank to become yes, a playoff caliber team. Half the time they are usually playing teams in the same position and in those games, they still come up rather small. It is not the fault of Semyon Varlamov, who has faced a bevy of shots and might against Winnipeg too. However it is Colorado’s lack of consistent offense and their penchant for giving up scoring chances galore that has done them in. Paul Maurice might go back to Michael Hutchinson here but no one really knows. This soap opera with the platooning of goalies has hurt the team in ways I don’t think Winnipeg really realized. Now it might be too late. With Evander Kane out for the season, maybe that is one distraction gone that will help. Colorado comes in on the back end of a back to back. Varlamov probably gets the start again. He really could use the rest. Cue up Winnipeg’s Little line as they could have quite an evening.
Line: NL, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Jarome Iginla, RW, Avs ($5300)
- Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($5400)
- Andrew Ladd, LW, Jets ($5800)
- Bryan Little, C, Jets ($5400)
Canadiens @ Bruins
I was looking forward to this game just because the Canadians and Bruins simply play hockey! Tuukka Rask faced 40+ shots against the Islanders again last night. Does Malcolm Subban play on Sunday in a game like this? I highly doubt it but Montreal will have a bit of an advantage in facing an easy New Jersey team on Saturday. P.K. Subban was engaged with three assists and even Dale Weise scored twice late to ensure a 6-2 romp. Usually P.K. Subban and the Montreal power play really thrives against the Boston Bruins penalty kill so Boston is going to have to stay out of the box. Carey Price has to wind up making a ton of great saves but then watches Boston predictably fight tooth and nail for every goal. This really is how it goes in this game. The Patrice Bergeron line will likely get matched up with the checking line of Montreal I would think. Then there is Milan Lucic, a true X factor. If he can keep his head on straight, he might be able to tip the scales to Boston. Either way, this is going to be quite entertaining. Get your popcorn ready and expect some high event hockey!
Line: Bruins NL, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- *Carey Price, G, Habs *
- *Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs *
- Milan Lucic, LW, Bruins ($4800)
- Tuukka Rask, G, Bruins ($9000)