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. Saturday is a huge 13 game slate and we focus on the ten game night slate for the DFS players.

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Injury Updates

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

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Boston Bruins @ Florida Panthers

Game Analysis

This is where Boston is in must win mode. The loss to Ottawa can be a real wake-up call or a continual spiral downward as they play two in Florida and the first is against the Panthers. Both teams are capable of high event hockey and the problem is high anxiety as far as the fact that Boston has been giving up far too many scoring chances (15+ chances in 5 of the last 7 games). Now the Panthers can create a ton of events quickly. Their problem lies in the fact that can they execute consistently. Ottawa definitely was on to something that other teams have noticed. Boston is gassed as far as their team defense. There were long periods of time where the Bruins could easily be cycled on over and over and over. Tuukka Rask has had to make far too many saves and has at least recovered from the illness/soreness. Boston and Florida normally score about the same in their home/road splits but lately both teams have had trouble scoring aside from a game here and a game there. It is going to be a high stakes game for both teams as neither can afford to lose a game in regulation.

Money Line: Bruins -115, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Jaromir Jagr, RW, Panthers ($4400)
  • Roberto Luongo, G, Panthers ($7700)
  • David Pastrnak, RW, Bruins ($4000)
  • Ryan Spooner, C, Bruins ($4500)

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New York Islanders @ New Jersey Devils

Game Analysis

This is a game where the Islanders obviously need this game way more than New Jersey. That is obvious. However, Cory Schneider is arguably one of the best three goalies in the NHL, period. That alone can make the Islanders uneasy but at the same time New York has beaten New Jersey every time this year. The talent gap alone is enough that even with New Jersey at home, it matters little. Keep in mind, the Devils were out shot on Friday night by the Buffalo Sabres. This is the Sabres we are talking about which is a team that is one of the worst in the last 5-10 years. Needless to say John Tavares and the Islanders top six have to be licking their chops at facing this Jersey team one more time. When the offense that cannot stack up against the New York Islanders or much of anyone is forced to try and keep up, it is not pretty. Shot projections could easily be Islanders 37 Devils 21. That may even be generous but some will disagree. It will be a test for Jersey and the Islanders definitely will have urgency here.

Money Line: New York Islanders -145, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • John Tavares, C, Islanders ($8900)
  • Anders Lee, C, Islanders ($4600)
  • Adam Henrique, C, Devils ($4800)
  • Cory Schneider, G, Devils ($8300)

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New York Rangers @ Carolina Hurricanes

Game Analysis

The game could really be yet another low scoring game for the New York Rangers. This is a team who has now seen the under hit in eight straight games. There again was a pondering of an under/over of 4.5. It is very rare for bookies to do during the regular season. Carolina cannot really score that much either. Their games have seen the under hit four times in a row. Both teams have scored less than two goals a game over the last five contests. Players are struggling all over the place. Cam Talbot is not struggling but his time as starting goalie is slowly dwindling as Henrik Lundqvist should return in the next 5-10 days or so. Even Rick Nash has found scoring tough of late. Really the whole Rangers team has and even shots in dangerous places have dipped for New York. There are concerns as scoring chances given up have edged upward also. New York and Carolina have nice penalty kills but their power plays have left much to be desired in the last several weeks. At some point the Rangers depth has to start winning out and scoring, otherwise the second season might be a nightmare.

Money Line: New York Rangers -155, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Ryan McDonagh, D, Rangers ($4900)
  • Derek Stepan, C, Rangers ($4500)
  • Elias Lindholm, C, Hurricanes ($3500)
  • Justin Faulk, D, Hurricanes ($5200)

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San Jose Sharks @ Montreal Canadiens

Game Analysis

Hey could this be the theoretical end of the San Jose Sharks season? Montreal realizes they have to keep winning as Tampa Bay continues to rack up points after a big win against Detroit. The Sharks are a better road team and yet they did humble Montreal 4-0 in a previous home meeting. This time the game is in Montreal and that should make all the difference. Carey Price is still firing out shutouts and wins like it is too easy. Price will come close to 45 wins and may have 10+ shutouts when the season is done. He is a must start in cash leagues and some may even stomach the price to take him in a few GPP’s. Can Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton stay their season’s end longer? Montreal does have the tendency to clam up sometimes as no one would be surprised with a Montreal clunker here. This will now be the question. If the Canadiens put their minds to it, this is an easy game. However, nothing really comes easy with Montreal. Relying on Carey Price and Max Pacioretty’s line is often how they roll. Get ready!

Money Line: Canadiens -160, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($8900)
  • P.K. Subban, D, Habs ($6400)
  • Joe Pavelski, C, Sharks ($8800)
  • Tommy Wingels, RW, Sharks ($4500)

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Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators

Game Analysis

Rivalry games often mean throw everything out the window but now there are two new variables entered into this equation. Toronto is in full tank mode trying to drop as much as they can for a better draft pick. Ottawa is now in the position of controlling or beginning to control their destiny as far as the second wildcard spot. Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone are two reasons why the Senators stay young as they enjoy their time on the top six. Andrew Hammond beat Boston and became 12-0-1 in 13 decisions. Ottawa has won their last five games while Toronto has lost four of their last five while giving up 21 goals in that span. Goals should be plentiful in this Atlantic Division rivalry. Phil Kessel now has the worst +/- among all forwards. That is another sign the tank is full steam ahead. It does not really matter who is in net for Toronto as the goals go past anyway. People will not be happy but the over/under is rather likely to hit. A template is definitely in place to defeat Ottawa. Can teams execute it?

Money Line: Senators -220, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Dion Phaneuf, D, Leafs ($4700)
  • Phil Kessel, RW, Leafs ($6900)
  • Mike Hoffman, LW, Senators ($4200)
  • Andrew Hammond , G, Senators ($8900)

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Washington Capitals @ Winnipeg Jets

Game Analysis

This game has potential to be a true study in frustration. Winnipeg commits a lot of penalties and yet Washington gets almost as undisciplined. Both teams are 3-2 in their last five games and have really been middling when it comes to scoring and giving up goals. Braden Holtby should face Ondrej Pavelec. It does seem Paul Maurice is determined to ride their fortunes with Pavelec. This game also features dangerous top lines and that Alex Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom combination which is the best in the NHL. Washington does have some issues defending and keeping gap integrity as they say. Barry Trotz definitely is in a bit of panic and so is Paul Maurice. That is why this game can go in so many different directions. Think of this as a game where maybe a Michael Frolik is a real dangerous player. Someone unexpected is going to make the impact that leads to two points. This is a must win for both teams, who are trying to boost their playoff chances. Basically, it comes down to goaltending, defense, and discipline. Oh no! We said too much!

Money Line: Even, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Ondrej Pavelec?, G, Jets ($7100)
  • Andrew Ladd, LW, Jets ($5700)
  • John Carlson, D, Caps ($6800)
  • Alex Ovechkin, LW, Caps ($9400)

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Buffalo Sabres @ Nashville Predators

Game Analysis

These teams could put up a real stinker as Buffalo still has to lose some more games and Nashville literally fell so much that they are trying all sorts of different lines on what feels like  a god awful trap. Looking at the new lines and one just has to think that Nashville is definitely starting to panic some. Pekka Rinne even has fallen off a good bit. People forget that when the goalie first returned, he really struggled to find his rhythm. This is not the case as the goalie just does not have the confidence he should right now. Neither does the team really. as what the solution actually is has eluded the coaching staff and management. Buffalo has covered in two of their last three games and came very close to making it 3 for 3. Who will start for Buffalo and it may just be Matt Hackett which explains the line going way up. At some point, Nashville has to get this going, right? Where is Filip Forsberg and Mike Fisher? What happened? Where did the offense go? Will James Neal play again this regular season? The law of averages has to end and so does the futility. In case, just stay safe with the money line and a couple possible duo stacks in Nashville. Choose them wisely as Buffalo will not go easily here.

Money Line: Predators -450, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Tyler Ennis, C, Sabres ($5100)
  • Brian Gionta, RW, Sabres ($3800)
  • Craig Smith, C, Preds ($4900)
  • Mike Fisher, C, Preds ($4300)

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Chicago Blackhawks @ Dallas Stars

Game Analysis

The Blackhawks and Stars have the possibility of scoring the most goals combined on this night. They have scored nine goals together in their last meeting and no matter how good the saves that pucks are going to wind up in the net enough to keep the offenses happy. Toews has been pretty hot and even had a four point game. He also made the Islanders look like an AHL team honestly. The Chicago captain had 11 points in ten games but again so few power play points. Again and again, the Chicago power play just misfires way too much to consider them a Stanley Cup contender. Despite this, they always find a way to be close to perfect. Corey Crawford should be up against Kari Lehtonen. Needless to say with the speed of the two teams, can either ultimately keep up the pace? With Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, Chicago really does have their hands full. Will John Klingberg be 100%? That’s another great question. Stacks can be used here and are encouraged. Goaltenders are likely not however so finding them somewhere else would be very smart.

Money Line: Blackhawks -130, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Jonathan Toews, C, Blackhawks ($6000)
  • Marian Hossa, RW, Blackhawks ($5200)
  • *Jamie Benn, LW, Stars ($7800)
  • Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($8500)

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Pittsburgh Pengins vs.Arizona Coyotes

Game Analysis

Hey this game should just be the shut the hell up and win game! People have genuinely grown tired of all the Pittsburgh antics as far as game play and locker room posturing. There is still no Evgeni Malkin or Patric Hornqvist. Pittsburgh has lost four of their last five and basically the Metropolitan Division really has turned into the Rangers division to win or lose. So many Penguins have gone cold as they have only scored eight goals in the five game span. When a team just seems to give up backbreaking goals consistently like Pittsburgh has, it is almost a matter of if and not when. That just creates an unhealthy environment no matter who is or is not in the lineup. This is a very crucial stretch for Pittsburgh as they must right the ship soon. The question is can they really? Arizona may be cure Pittsburgh is looking for as nothing is really scary other than Oliver Ekman-Larsson and maybe Shane Doan. After that it does not take long for things to spiral out of control. Pittsburgh will literally have to improve within themselves. That is the key.

Money Line: Penguins -220, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Sidney Crosby, C, Pens ($6400)
  • Kris Letang, D, Pens ($3000)
  • Kyle Chipchura, C, Coyotes ($3700)
  • Mike Smith, G, Coyotes ($7800)

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Philadelphia Flyers @ Edmonton Oilers

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. Philadephia just has to keep its head above water. Edmonton is going to try and come at them but the thing is defensively the Oilers are just too damn awful to be able to answer the Flyers top six when it is on its game. Yes Benoit Pouillot has been incredile and has made this team a lot better where it is okay to say goodbye. Who starts in net will go a good way in deciding this one so hopping on the Edmonton part will be a good strategy for stackers. Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl could be an unusual duo stack in this game if you do not want to spend the big dollars. Spending them is definitely an option here. They seem to do real well against Edmonton while they have zero answers. As for the Oilers, the options are limited and that opponent’s position rank. Ouch!

Money Line: Flyers -125, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Flyers ($6500)
  • Mark Streit, D, Flyers ($5200)
  • Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($4000)
  • Ben Scrivens?, G, Oilers ($7400)

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