The NHL Game Breakdown has six games on the night slate for a Hump Day 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.
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The news is coming in as always but just keep in mind to watch the status of Kris Letang in particular after the Zac Rinaldo hit. Pittsburgh would be smart to rest him tonight. There will be more information coming via Twitter. In the meantime, it’s time for the breakdown!
Maple Leafs @ Senators
Two goals have been scored by Toronto in five games! While shots and scoring chances have improved a little, puck luck has plummeted to the point where jerseys (three of them) were thrown on the ice in a 4-1 loss to Carolina. Jonathan Bernier was pulled on Monday after giving up three goals on 13 shots. Phil Kessel only has four points in ten games. The strange thing is again that slight uptick. Two posts and a crossbar were hit by the Maple Leafs. Ottawa is a hair better but not much really. They win, they lose, they win, they lose. Ottawa had a nice win then followed it up by a deflating overtime loss to the New York Rangers. You have to be able to string together wins and though Craig Anderson played well, it was not enough. Ottawa has the edge in goaltending but in the “Battle Of Ontario”, it is a very odd series. Can Erik Karlsson, Chris Neil, and the Bobby Ryan line combat the Phil Kessel push that is expected? Ottawa has a slight advantage here but Toronto should manage a few goals.
Money Line: Senators -145, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Jonathan Bernier, G, Leafs ($6600)
- Phil Kessel, RW, Leafs ($6100)
- Bobby Ryan, RW, Sens ($5700)
- Erik Karlsson, D, Sens ($7600)
The Penguins come off a tough overtime loss and may have lost Kris Letang for at least Wednesday. Check the Pens’ beat writers for further details. The Battle Of Pennsylvania was expected to see a lot of goals and it ended up in a 3-2 final. Pittsburgh had over 30 shots and had many chances. Were they looking ahead to Chicago or just played down to their competition? It looked to be the latter. Marc-Andre Fleury will start for the Penguins and he has been tagged for 4+ goals in his last two appearances. Now he faces the Blackhawks. Chicago finished a 6-1 win but gave up 36 shots. They did fire 51 shots on Mike Smith in the win. It was a balanced scoring effort with Andrew Shaw leading the way with two goals. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews also appeared on the box score. Corey Crawford will be starting for Chicago and he is going to have to look better than he has in the last week. Since everything shapes up to be a high scoring game, this could end up being only 3-2 or 4-3. It should still be up and down hockey.
Line: Even . O/U 5.5 (Expect late movement).
Players to Watch
- Jonathan Toews, C, Blackhawks ($6200)
- Duncan Keith, D, Blackhawks ($4200)
- Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pens ($8400)
- Evgeni Malkin, C, Pens ($8800)
Blue Jackets @ Jets
Columbus is a hurting team but James Wisniewski had quite a three point night in a clutch win over the Minnesota Wild. Can Sergei Bobrovsky do it again? He is going to face a Jets team that is flying right now. Michael Hutchinson is the probable in net for the Winnipeg Jets as Paul Maurice continues to rotate his goalies up till the break. The top lines facing each other could be a tough battle for the Jets but Winnipeg has a little bit of a speed advantage on paper. Winnipeg has better shot suppression numbers and a goalie who has allowed almost a full goal a game less. Injuries have hurt but both teams have felt that pain. The Jets have no matter gone 4-0-0-1 while racking up 21 goals in their last five. The Little line has rolled and Dustin Byfuglien has six points in his last three games. Ryan Johansen keeps getting points along with Nick Foligno. Columbus will need Brandon Dubinsky and depth to get them past a very tough opponent who does not budge easy.
Line: Jets -160. O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Ryan Johansen, C, Blue Jackets ($6900)
- Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Blue Jackets ($7600)
- Dustin Byfugglien, D, Jets ($8300)
- Michael Hutchinson, G, Jets ($8300)
Bruins @ Avalanche
Colorado did play a little better but ultimately lost again to St. Louis. However, they get a Bruins team that is on quite the roll and just humbled Dallas 3-1. Boston is finally playing like the team many thought they would, just in a bit of an unconventional way. Boston has won 4 of 5 while doubling their opponent’s goals (14-7 in the last 5 games). Dougie Hamilton scored against Dallas and Tuukka Rask stopped all but one shot. It was a great team effort for Boston. Will Rask start against Colorado? That will be confirmed later. As for Colorado, goals have to come from their top six and their top four D. The problem is their new lunch pail mentality has led to more wins but they still have a long hill to climb. They are 1-2-2 over their last five and scoring two goals a game is not going to cut it. Semyon Varlamov is going to have to play over his head yet again. The under seems strong here but Colorado occasionally breaks out and this might be a decent night to do so. They do score three goals a night at home and have been over three a game in their last 11 home games.
Line: Avs -105, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Erik Johnson, D, Avalanche ($5000)
- Semyon Varlamov, G, Avalanche ($8500)
- David Krejci, C, Bruins ($5000)
- Dougie Hamilton, D, Bruins ($3900)
Flames @ Ducks
I do not quite get the over/under set at 5 in a way and yet I do. It’s odd because Calgary played a close to the vest game but usually Anaheim gives up a couple goals even at home. Give Denis Wideman credit, he fired a laser of a shot in overtime that clonked the camera inside the net. The Flames have a magic in the third period and overtime this year that makes you think they may just ride the wave to a playoff berth. It’s funny both teams have scored 16 and given up 11 goals in their last five games. They even have gone 4-1 each in their last five contests. Calgary has 14 road wins and Anaheim has 17 home wins. It gets better. Anaheim wins one goal games like no other (22-0-6). Do you get the feeling this could be a one goal game, decided by Anaheim’s depth? Frederik Andersen is the probable goalie for Anaheim. It will be interesting to see Ryan Kesler’s line up against Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau. Also, Anaheim does have a bit of a tough time against mobile defensemen. Calgary has a few of those (Giordano, Brodie, Wideman). This game could feature a few more offensive fireworks than people think. Do not forget Sami Vatanen of Anaheim either.
Line: Ducks -185, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($5300)
- Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Flames ($4500)
- Ryan Getzlaf, C, Ducks ($8600)
- Corey Perry, RW, Ducks ($8900)
Kings @ Sharks
Everyone remembers the playoff series from the Sharks and Kings. They nearly killed each other over seven games that saw a little of everything. Los Angeles came back from a 3-0 series deficit to do the unthinkable and blew out San Jose. The tendency in the regular season is that San Jose plays well against LA at home. Neither team has been inspiring over their last five games (both at .500). They both have lost multiple games too so something has to give. One of these goalies has to step up, right? Jonathan Quick is 2-3-4 in his last nine decisions with under a .900 save percentage and Antti Niemi is just as bad with a sub .900 save percentage. Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture may be the keys to success as they were a big part in San Jose going up 3-0 in that series last season. Unfortunately they disappeared late in that series. Los Angeles has its own problems. After the Anze Kopitar line, it has been a little helter skelter as far as offensive production. Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin have buoyed the offense from the blueline. The problem has come down to getting numbers from the depth. Without Slava Voynov, Tanner Pearson, and Tyler Toffoli, that is not easy. This is a tough game to gauge. However, it will be anything but dull.
Line: Sharks -130, O/U 5.
Players to Watch
- Anze Kopitar, C, Kings ($6400)
- Jonathan Quick, G, Kings ($8100)
- Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks ($8100)
- Antti Niemi, G, Sharks ($7300)