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. Sunday has several different slates but we will break down all four games anyway!
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The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the early game at lunchtime East Coast time for Sunday.
St. Louis Blues @ Detroit Red Wings
This is where you say hey at least Brian Elliott should be fresh after facing only 16 shots and getting pulled after giving up four goals. That is the problem where you see two teams near the top of the division. For whatever reason, St. Louis had a couple good shifts early against Minnesota then gave up four straight goals before responding. Detroit should be well rested after losing a tough one to Tampa Bay. Eventually wins would be nice for the Red Wings but this is a tough, old Norris Division battle. It should be a lot of fun. Also, which line will score for St. Louis? Can Detroit stop Tarasenko or slow down that line at all. Even against Minnesota, they were quite a handful. Will Pavel Datsyuk play? That’s a big question too. Jimmy Howard should be in net for Detroit. This is going to be a clash where you will want to watch for the defensemen as well. Early games on Sunday can be either very nauseating or very exciting.
Money Line: Red Wings -135, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, Blues ($7800)
- Brian Elliott, G, Blues ($7700)
- Gustav Nyquist, RW, Wings ($5000)
- Henrik Zetterberg, C, Wings ($7900)
Boston Bruins @ Tampa Bay Lightning
This is the second stop on Boston’s tour of Florida. Tampa has one of the best records at home in the NHL. Boston has been inching around .500 in their last six and is not exactly scoring all that much. David Krejci is still out by the way. Will Tuukka Rask play or Niklas Svedberg? It is definitely apparent that Boston is having problems defensively and Tampa has a lot of speed and depth that will cause Boston to have more fits. It is going to have to be Patrice Bergeron’s line and then the Spooner-Pastrnak combination for the Bruins to find a way to eek out a win. Tampa Bay’s key to success is running a top nine that can keep the opposing team on their heels. Steven Stamkos has been white hot of late. Again anything over five DraftKings points is pretty much elite production for forwards. Do not sleep on the rest of the team as they enjoy a tired Boston team. At some point, the Bruins need to get off the mat or they really are in trouble.
Money Line: NL, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- *Patrice Bergeron, C, Bruins ($6300)
- Zdeno Chara, D, Bruins ($4500)
- Steven Stamkos, C, Bolts ($9200)
- Ben Bishop, G, Bolts ($8300)
Anaheim Ducks @ New York Rangers
The game could be a real low scoring snoozer but could be highly entertaining. The Rangers are having god awful trouble scoring and even a game against Carolina one way or another does not change the prevailing reality. Rick Nash has gone ice cold over the last five or six games and so has Derek Stepan. Maybe the Martin St. Louis injury has hurt a little more than expected. When a majority of your players struggle all at the same time, that is a huge problem that can mushroom. The power play has gone barren also. Now Anaheim has some problems too. However, they have won four of their last five games and are getting just enough goaltending from Frederik Andersen and John Gibson. The penalty kills are pretty good but the power plays are rather average for two playoff teams. Maybe it is a theme among these top teams. 5 on 5 is where both excel and that is where the game will be won or lost. Cam Talbot figures to start one more time for New York.
Money Line: NL, O/U 5 (may change)
Players to Watch
- Keith Yandle, D, Rangers ($4800)
- Derek Stepan, C, Rangers ($4500)
- Ryan Kesler, C, Ducks ($7200)
- Sami Vatanen, D, Ducks ($4500)
Vancouver Canucks @ Arizona Coyotes
Hey could Arizona show up for this one? It is possible considering that Vancouver has a tendency to have clunkers against the bottom teams of the league. Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the key to the Arizona offense. Their penalty kill is abysmal and that is something the Sedin Twins can absolutely exploit. Arizona is a young team with some mixed parts that do not seem to work at all. They are very likely getting closer and closer to the worst record in the league. Again, Vancouver even had a little trouble with Buffalo. While Eddie Lack has been rather good, his save percentage in danger areas is 46th which is unsustainable to his overall success. At some point it may go south and in a hurry. In the meantime, the Canucks are holding on and have just enough depth. The Sedins could be a stack with Edler or Alex Burrows perhaps. Arizona on the other hand is a tougher sell but maybe going defensive would be a possibility and then gamble for points.
Money Line: Canucks -175, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Daniel Sedin, LW, Canucks ($6000)
- Alex Edler, D, Canucks ($4500)
- Martin Erat, C, Coyotes ($8800)
- Shane Doan, RW, Coyotes ($4200)