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. Monday is a bit more of a relaxed look as we take a look at just four games.

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Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the short slate, period.

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Capitals @ Sabres

Game Analysis

This is one of those games where you ask….WHY? The only real question is if Justin Peters starts for Washington instead of Braden Holtby. When you look at the numbers, just know that Nicklas Backstrom played and looked fine on Sunday night after battling a head cold/sinus infection. That is going around too. Washington’s defense scored the first two goals against Boston also. The Sabres often play Washington pretty close but now the goalies that kept those games close are gone. It really is an AHL goalie by committee for Bufalo at this point and not much is going to change from here on out. Buffalo has scored six goals in the last five games but have only given up 17. Hey that is progress for them. All kidding aside, Washington has one of the best power plays in the league and Buffalo has a sub 75% penalty kill. There is not really much else to say as Washington has every single advantage. The only thing they have to avoid is taking the Sabres too lightly. Now that is the biggest challenge!

Money Line: NL, O/U 5  (Expect changes!)

Players to Watch

  • Nicklas Backstrom, C, Caps ($6800)
  • Alex Ovechkin, LW, Caps ($9800)
  • Anders Lindback, G, Sabres ($6900)
  • Tyler Ennis, C, Sabres ($5600)

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Canadiens @ Lightning

Game Analysis

This is the big game of the day as Carey Price battles Ben Bishop. Bishop has been a victim of not playing high danger chances well while Price seems to just excel and revel in those situations. That is because he sees them on a nightly basis. Tampa’s big problem is injuries. Ondrej Palat is out a few weeks. Cedric Paquette is out a couple weeks and Braydon Coburn is out 4-6 weeks. Those are significant losses. The hierarchy of the Atlantic has really not changed much to a point. Tampa and Montreal will likely still battle for the division. The Canadiens need timely offense and lucky breaks at times. Let’s be honest. That is how they beat the Islanders on Saturday. Now a problem is this. They will every so often just go lights out on a team unexpectedly. They have tire fired as much as they have fired full blazing. This is one weird PDO wave of a team as they say. When you look at Tampa, the need for their two big centers to lead the way is paramount because Montreal will give up chances. Can they beat Price? If they can, they win. Ottawa’s blueprint needs to be followed or it is a loss.

Line: Bolts -140. O/U 5 (This may change)

Players to Watch

  • Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($8900)
  • Carey Price, G, Habs ($9300)
  • Steven Stamkos, C, Bolts ($9000)
  • Tyler Johnson, C, Bolts ($5900)

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Maple Leafs @ Oilers

Game Analysis

The game that is all about the tank…the tank….no winning. I wish I was kidding but little impresses me with this match-up. Now Vegas had the same problem. Edmonton should be favored but they may not be by the time this game is close to starting. At least Phil Kessel finally scored a goal against a current playoff team although it was a penalty shot and the ref missed the play (never should have happened). Thankfully Edmonton’s next playoff berth might not be for years. The Oilers first line is pretty good and though they take unnecessary risks and cannot always stay healthy, they at least are producing pretty good. However, tough pricing will likely force you to make a duo stack decision one may not want to make. Do you touch the goalies here? That answer is no. This is too much of a risk to even think about. Just be smart, pick your forward options, and move on!

Line: Oilers -115 . O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Nazem Kadri, C, Leafs ($4400)
  • Phil Kessel, RW, Leafs ($8100)
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Oilers ($8600)
  • Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($8400)

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Coyotes @ Kings

Game Analysis

Hey the Coyotes were an awful mess against New Jersey as they gave up four goals to a team that barely can muster two in any contest. Los Angeles gave up two weird goals in the third period against Nashville on Saturday and they lost a game they should have won. Jake Muzzin will have nightmares of that second goal allowed for a few weeks. Arizona really has Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Shane Doan then little else. Nothing much has gone right as they continue to lose for McDavid. Even with giving up less goals, little matters here when you score only five goals in the last five games. Ouch! Los Angeles has scored 13 goals in that span though and at home they score about the same oddly enough. Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik are a pretty good duo stack here with playing Doughty or Muzzin on the side. If you want to be contrarian, maybe try Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Arizona. He is their leading scorer for a reason.

Line: Kings -330 , O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Marian Gaborik, RW, Kings ($7900)
  • Drew Doughty, D, Kings ($4900)
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Coyotes ($4800)
  • Shane Doan, RW, Coyotes ($4100)

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