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. Thursday features ten games which should guarantee some pretty good plays out there.

NHL Wrist Shot $12,000

We have a nice way to make some money in a GPP tonight for the beginners.

Enter the NHL $12,000 Wrist Shot – $3 Entry HERE

Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the big Thursday slate. Injuries are just rolling along and the flu is just lurking!

______________________________________________________________

Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins

Game Analysis

This is the game of the night and maybe the game of the week. Andrew Hammond will start for the Senators now that Craig Anderson is out for at least a week after hurting his hand again. This is the clash everyone will be talking about. David Krejci will be out until the weekend so do not worry about trying to start him. Keep an eye on David Pastrnak however. He should be able to play but just in case something happens, be ready to act. Is this finally the night someone finds a way to solve Hammond for three goals or more? The thing is at some point the 27 year old is going to hit the wall. Yes Boston lost to Buffalo the other night in a shootout but they peppered Anders Lindback to the tune of 45 shots. If they come anywhere close to that against the Ottawa goalie, something tells me Boston is going to find the net several times. People will enjoy this game and so will DFS owners. Look at Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone from Ottawa because after all, the young guns have nothing to lose. Ottawa is essentially playing on house money here.

Money Line: Senators -110, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Bobby Ryan, RW, Sens ($5100)
  • Andrew Hammond, G, Sens ($9000)
  • David Pastrnak, RW, Bruins ($3800)
  • Ryan Spooner, C, Bruins ($3800)

______________________________________________________________

Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadiens

Game Analysis

This is a game where Montreal should be able to get their game back on track. Carolina can be brutal on the road and with the flu ravaging their team, players are recovering or are still pretty sick. Just be careful if you pick anyone from the Hurricanes but more than likely most should be recovered enough. This is just a precaution. Prices other than the usual suspects are pretty reasonable but that is mostly because people think Carey Price is going to have a very good game against Carolina. He does seem to bounce back very well after sub-par performances. Yes you have to spend a lot to get the Montreal goalie but it may be worth it if he gets you six or seven points at least. Carolina does have Elias Lindholm who has been pretty good of late and Justin Faulk has been quite steady all year. The problem and the frustration is the goaltending for the Hurricanes has just not been good enough all year. When you are looking at save percentage near .910 and lower, you have to consider looking somewhere else. Carolina also cannot score enough on the road usually to scare opponents. Montreal should be able to squeak three goals by in this one.

Money Line: Montreal -210, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($8600)
  • Carey Price, G, Habs ($9500)
  • Eric Staal, C, Canes ($5600)
  • Justin Faulk, D, Canes ($5600)

______________________________________________________________

Detroit Red Wings @ Florida Panthers

Game Analysis

The game has the feel of high event hockey written all over it. Those wheels started to fall off for Dan Ellis who gave up three goals the other night against Montreal. Meanwhile Florida, was shooting from all angles. They will likely do it again against Detroit but at a slightly lesser scale. That Jaromir Jagr line with Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau is a Corsi’s paradise (or SAT as they call it). Pavel Datsyuk is being held out for the next two games with a lower body injury but Darren Helm is poised to return after an injury himself. That would still be a downgrade for Detroit. Detroit likes to suppress shots but if Pittsburgh can fire 43 shots on Petr Mrazek then Florida can fire at least 30+, perhaps around 40 themselves. Brandon Pirri has been on fire of late. He has been firing 4.5 shots per contest and has seven goals in his last nine games. That is why his value has shot up to just below DraftKings average. It may go up even more. As for Detroit, expect Henrik Zetterberg to try and pick up the slack and keep an eye on Marek Zidlicky who has seven points in seven games since being acquired by the Red Wings. A lethal Detroit power play has gotten that much better.

Money Line: Red Wings -120, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Niklas Kronwall, D, Wings ($4400)
  • Darren Helm, C, Wings ($3400)
  • Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers ($4000)
  • Dan Ellis, G, Panthers ($7100)

______________________________________________________________

San Jose Sharks @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Game Analysis

Hey the Maple Leafs just gave up another goal….again! This is the problem with breaking down games. Toronto is blatantly tanking and now Nazem Kadri is on a four game vacation. This almost sets up too easy for San Jose but thankfully they do not have to play this at home where they are a .500 team. Again when facing tanking teams, you have to find the line to pick on and it will probably be Bozak-van Riemsdyk-Kessel if they are put together. The reality is the Maple Leafs right now are Buffalo and Arizona bad, as a DFS player you have to treat them as such. It may even be a halfway decent night for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Antti Niemi should start for San Jose and it probably will be a toss-up for Toronto. Honestly does it even matter unless you go contrarian to the max here? There will be a good bit of action and some decently high ownership rates because of the awful opposition ranks Toronto possesses. This might be a night where the Melkar Karlsson’s and Tomas Hertl’s of the world kick in a few points too.

Money Line: Sharks -160, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • James van Riemsdyk, LW, Leafs ($5900)
  • Dion Phaneuf, D, Leafs ($4500)
  • Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks ($8400)
  • Tommy Wingels, RW, Sharks ($4200)

______________________________________________________________

St. Louis Blues @ Winnipeg Jets

Game Analysis

If this is anything like the last game these two played, just hide the men, women, and children because the goals will come! The last meeting was a 5-4 no holds barred extravaganza with poor goaltending abound. This may not be quite the same but there are going to be shots that go in the net. Alex Steen has been on fire again of late with five points in his last three games after a decent slump. Brian Elliott has looked better since that Winnipeg clunker but really goaltending may not be a good idea to trust in this scenario. I still do not think Vegas bookies watched this game the last time. Though it may not be high event hockey, it may be high anxiety hockey. With both teams battling for seeding, the intensity is going to be there. Do check on the off chance Dustin Byfuglien does play because he is no doubt a game changer in all of this. Again, Ondrej Pavelec might start and he might get most of the starts from here on out much to the chagrin of some. Winnipeg is ready to take this ship to its appointed destination whether anyone likes it or not. Michael Frolik is a player to watch for Winnipeg while Jaden Schwartz is on my radar for the Blues.

Money Line: Blues -120, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Jacob Trouba, D, Jets ($4500)
  • Michael Frolik, RW, Jets ($4600)
  • Alex Steen, LW, Blues ($7100)
  • Brian Elliott , G, Blues ($8800)

______________________________________________________________

Washington Capitals @ Minnesota Wild

Game Analysis

This game has potential to be a true study in contrasts. Yes Minnesota can push it up and down the ice but they do it with possession. Washington does not exactly play it that way. Things tend to be faster which might feed into the hands of the Wild. Minnesota is favored for a reason and that starts with Devan Dubnyk who has one of the best save percentages in the league since February 1st. Both teams are pretty similar when it comes to goals for and goals against in their last five. Their records are identical. Washington has to take advantage of its edge on the power play. Minnesota is actually a hair below 15% and that is putrid in this day and age. Yes times have changed! Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom will be a handful for the Wild’s PK1 unit. However, if Minnesota survives that, they have three or four lines than can drive Washington batty and with the Capitals playing a little sketchy of late, that might be good enough. Zach Parise is the type of player who could thrive in this game and pot a goal or two on Braden Holtby. Hey if Buffalo can score three on this team, Minnesota could too. That is the thinking anyway. John Carlson and Ryan Suter are your defensemen to keep an eye on for the respective teams but I am interested in seeing what role Matthew Dumba has in this game.

Money Line: Wild -145, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($8500)
  • Zach Parise, LW, Wild ($8100)
  • John Carlson, D, Caps ($6600)
  • Alex Ovechkin, LW, Caps ($9300)

______________________________________________________________

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Dallas Stars

Game Analysis

These teams could put up a real stinker as Marc-Andre Fleury faces Kari Lehtonen. Either it is a goalie stinker or a forwards stinker. Pittsburgh was frustrated again against New Jersey and shutout. Clearly things are getting to them to the point where even officials are whispering. No one should be surprised by this. The Penguins have always hemmed and hawed with officiating. They talk and talk and talk. Why this is news is a bit astounding. They are going to lose their most favored power play chance status if this keeps up. I am really not kidding. Sidney Crosby is again mysteriously ill but “should” play. He may or may not be 100% but bet on the first and not the second scenario anyway. Tyler Seguin has not really hit the mark to a point but the timing is coming back. Everything, including production, is about a quarter to a third off at the moment. Hey it is correctable so all hope is not lost. Vernon Fiddler has been pleasantly good of late too. He has five goals in his last nine games. Pittsburgh just has to shut up and play. It is time or else!

Money Line: Stars -110, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins ($9200)
  • Steve Downie, RW, Penguins ($3100)
  • Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($8800)
  • Vernon Fiddler, C, Stars ($4300)

______________________________________________________________

Philadelphia Flyers @ Calgary Flames

Game Analysis

The Flames normally do their beat work in the third periods of games but they are starting to find life on the bubble a little tough as teams are adjusting strategies to deflect the thrust of the Flames in the final stanzas of games. Philadelphia is one strange team to figure out and if anyone can, you are a better person than me. At some point, Claude Giroux is going to get going again and a team like Calgary with bottom five possession numbers has to be considered a good starting point. By the way Giroux only has five points in his last 11 games. The Flames are fighting for their playoff lives and it seems both goalies are having their share of issues. This comes down to can that Monahan line provide the thrust of scoring needed to get the other lines at least generating chances and maybe scoring goals. DFS’ers really could look to this game for late value and high event hockey. High chances and high quality ones could be the theme of the match-up here and then there is the wrinkle of Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell up against Philly’s penalty kill. Again, there are lots of variables. At any rate, stay away from the goaltending to be safe.

Money Line: Flames -145, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($5600)
  • Jiri Hudler, RW, Flames ($5200)
  • Michael Raffl, RW, Flyers ($3400)
  • Claude Giroux, C, Flyers ($7200)

______________________________________________________________

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Vancouver Canucks

Game Analysis

Hey the problems with this game are many. Eddie Lack has one of the weirder save percentages out there and has served really well for fantasy owners but one thing is unsustainable. He is 46th among goalie in high danger chance save percentage. That is 46th and yes there is enough of a sample size to worry. Columbus can score goals when it wants to whether it is at home or on the road. However, their penalty kill is bottom five in the league so the Sedin twins can attack this and often. Sergei Bobrovsky and Brandon Dubinsky are both out which puts another wrinkle on this on top of the others. This is just going to be a crazy game, isn’t it? Parts of the top six are struggling for the Blue Jackets but they do just enough with that top ten power play to make it work (3-2 in the last five). Vancouver can beat the best of teams and lose to the worst so this is a buyer-beware. However, Vancouver’s top six is going to cause problems for a defensively deficient team like Columbus. Take Eddie Lack if you are really desperate but that is a risk even for goalie plays.

Money Line: Canucks -165, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Scott Hartnell, LW, Blue Jackets ($6400)
  • David Savard, D, Blue Jackets ($3000)
  • Henrik Sedin, C, Canucks ($3700)
  • Eddie Lack, G, Canucks ($7800)

______________________________________________________________

Colorado Avalanche @ Arizona Coyotes

Game Analysis

Holy good god it is another game with a tanking team! So naturally you are going to try and exploit this then see who is starting as maybe a backdoor possibility. That is just a way of saying the Avs are favored for a reason, Arizona is one bad team with a few bright spots and little else. I really cannot recommend anything from Arizona but sneaking Tobias Rieder is always an option. Gabriel Landeskog finally had the alarm clock go off in his head and the 10 points in the last 10 games goes to show you the potential of what could have been. He is still at a pretty reasonable price and has 5+ DraftKings point potential written all over him. People should also look at playing Landeskog with say Jarome Iginla and even Tyson Barrie. It is a different way to stack but could be effective on a night like this. Arizona and their power play is slowly falling to 20% and the penalty kill keeps getting worse so again Colorado has another avenue to work the Coyotes over on. This is a late match-up that DFS’ers can clean up on. So many of Arizona’s opposition ranks are 26th, 28th, 29th, or 30th. Yikes!  Arizona’s goal differential at home is -1.31 goals per game. That is not a misprint, period!

Money Line: Avalanche -165, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($6500)
  • Tyson Barrie, D, Avs ($5200)
  • Shane Doan, RW, Coyotes ($4000)
  • Mike Smith, G, Coyotes ($7400)

______________________________________________________________