The NHL Game Breakdown has just three 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 as Tyler Toffoli returns for Los Angeles tonight (mono). Sidney Crosby is questionable but looks probable against Washington. Evgeni Malkin will be out however and could miss more time. There will be extra information coming via Twitter. In the meantime, it’s time for the breakdown!
Maple Leafs @ Devils
Toronto just keeps on losing and losing and losing. Now they did score three goals in their last game against Ottawa but again goaltending could not hold the fort and the 3-0 hole was ultimately too big to dig out of. Dion Phaneuf is also injured to add to Toronto’s injury list. He is week to week with an injured (maybe broken) hand. Who will be in net for Toronto on Wednesday? All signs point to Jonathan Bernier because of James Reimer’s struggles against New Jersey. Bernier did not look much better earlier in the season though in a bad loss. Centers wise, you may look at Tyler Bozak ($3,900) or Nazem Kadri ($4,200). Just temper your expectations for points. Morgan Reilly and Jake Gardiner were torched by New Jersey last time out so Toronto players other than Phil Kessel and maybe James Van Riemsdyk are ones to start. After that, it’s a tough call. As for the Devils, Jaromir Jagr returns after a bout of illness (mumps) but not Travis Zajac is sick and questionable. Patrik Elias has seven points in his last seven games. Even Cory Schneider has to be considered a pretty solid play on a night with very few goaltending options. Just tread carefully and do watch that first New Jersey line.
Money Line: Devils -135, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Jonathan Bernier, G, Leafs ($7400)
- Phil Kessel, RW, Leafs ($7400)
- Cory Schneider, G, Devils ($8600)
- Jaromir Jagr, RW, Devils ($5200)
Penguins @ Capitals
The Penguins come off a comeback win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Kris Letang had five assists and Patric Hornqvist had a multiple point night in his return. Sidney Crosby looks like he should return from the injury that kept him out err was suspended for. Oh, you get the idea! Marc-Andre Fleury will be the starter for Pittsburgh as the Penguins get closer and closer to being healthy. Watch in morning skate for line combinations because that will determine potential value plays. Even Steve Downie is now $3,000 which is a solid price point. As for Washington, they were almost in it against Columbus but lost to a backup goalie 4-3 in a game that again showed real concerns for Capitals fans. Losing four straight means Braden Holtby will have to play again as Justin Peters just cannot be trusted. Can Alex Ovechkin and company up their game in an important rivalry game. Washington cannot keep dropping points like they have because eventually teams will catch up. Nicklas Backstrom continues to just find ways to gather points even when Ovechkin has an off night. He is probably the hottest player in the league. With both teams on the back end of back to backs, goals just seem to be very likely here.
Line: Offline . O/U 5.5 (Expect late movement).
Players to Watch
- John Carlson, D, Caps ($6900)
- Nicklas Backstrom, C, Caps ($7600)
- Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Pens ($8500)
- Patric Hornqvist, RW, Pens ($8300)
Blackhawks @ Kings
Chicago looked a little better heading into the break with two straight wins while Los Angeles still looks in total disarray as they keep losing and now are in real danger of missing the playoffs. At least they get Tyler Toffoli ($4,000) back and that is great news for DFS owners that missed him. Jake Muzzin and not Drew Doughty may be the defenseman of the night for the Kings as Chicago will really try to clamp down on Doughty. The final question is can Jonathan Quick play more like October and November Quick? That will go a long way in determining the fate of this game. Now the Blackhawks feature ridiculous depth as always along with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews as always. Corey Crawford does have some adventures against Los Angeles but with the Kings woes lately, this has to be a little easier, right? That answer is no. This shapes up to be a desperate LA squad looking to upend Chicago. Keep an eye on Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook on the man advantage. The Kings penalty kill has been very weak in the last month. Watch both fourth lines lastly.
Line: Even. O/U 5 (Will be evening movement).
Players to Watch
- Duncan Keith, D, Blackhawks ($4500)
- Corey Crawford, G, Blackhawks ($9200)
- Jake Muzzin, D, Kings ($4300)
- Anze Kopitar, C, Kings ($5900)