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 has a surprising seven games on the docket.

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Injury Updates

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.

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Chicago Blackhawks @ Carolina Hurricanes

Game Analysis

This is going to be a game to keep an eye on. Chicago and Carolina can both possess the puck and that eventually leads to quality shots and chances. In the last five games, neither team has actually lit the lamp with regularity (especially Carolina). The Hurricanes only have six goals in their last five contests. Chicago was given the bagel by Dallas of all teams. There just cannot be a scenario where that happens to Chicago again. Whether Cam Ward or Anton Khudobin actually starts in net does not matter much. This comes down to Chicago being able to minimize long bouts of sustain play driven by Carolina. The Hurricanes and Blackhawks both have strong penalty kills of over 85% but have power plays that get a little suspect in streaks. Chicago is clamping down and playing playoff hockey while Carolina just plays clamped too often at home. A low scoring game is very likely so goaltending options may be viable and a player or two but stacks would be tough.

Money Line: Blackhawks -160, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Jonathan Toews, C, Hawks ($6100)
  • Corey Crawford, G, Hawks ($9000)
  • Elias Lindholm, C, Hurricanes ($3700)
  • Eric Staal, C, Hurricanes ($5300)

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Los Angeles Kings @ New Jersey Devils

Game Analysis

This is on track to be a low and slow game. Los Angeles has not exactly scored and their home woes have been well documented. Then there is New Jersey who does not set offensive records on a nightly basis. Forgive my sarcasm! The goaltenders should be Jonathan Quick and Cory Schneider barring something unforeseen. Where do you go offensively? Probably Anze Kopitar and Marian Gaborik would be a decent start. Perhaps you mix in a little Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter for the reason that they still seem to torment New Jersey as if it was still the year 2012. However, the Devils have few options themselves though Steve Bernier could be a wildcard along with Adam Henrique. After that, there is too much unknown to really quantify the data. The game reeks of skating in circles with some point blank chances, maybe a few goals, and little else. This really could be ugly!

Money Line: Kings -150, O/U 4.5

Players to Watch

  • Anze Kopitar, C, Kings ($5300)
  • Jonathan Quick, G, Kings ($8800)
  • Adam Henrique, C, Devils ($4600)
  • Cory Schneider, G, Devils ($8800)

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Minnesota Wild @ Toronto Maple Leafs

Game Analysis

The game could have been another 4 1/2 if not for Toronto’s lack of ability to protect goals. Minnesota has had some weird up and down games and the fact the Wild just are not as potent on the road. Those Maple Leafs have given up 23 goals in their last five games. See where I am going here? There is a contradictory point for every affirmative here. Now do you take Devan Dubnyk here? He is starting to give up some goals a little more frequently. Toronto really does not have a care of who starts clearly because high risk shots seem to come in firing from all angles anyway. Even their penalty kill has dipped with the Maple Leafs as the tank has taken a hold all its own. Who would you even play from Toronto? The reality is you just throw darts at the board. As for Minnesota, it is a Zach Parise line kind of stack and maybe a defenseman or two, possibly Matthew Dumba. It is that time of year where relatively easy match-ups are never what they seem. Let’s see what the heck happens.

Money Line: Wild -200, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Marco Scandella, D, Wild ($3300)
  • Mikko Koivu, C, Wild ($4300)
  • Tyler Bozak, C, Leafs ($3900)
  • Dion Phaneuf, D, Leafs ($4800)

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San Jose Sharks @ Ottawa Senators

Game Analysis

Hey could you spare a win? Both teams obviously need one and yes Ottawa has the unfathomable chance of rising to the eighth seed with a win while San Jose is trying to just survive on the playoff bubble. Where do you go here? Literally the reality is both teams have the propensity to give up some goals of late. So far it has not cost Ottawa at all but at some point they are not going to keep firing up high goal totals. Andrew Hammond is already coming down to Earth a bit but does he bounce back a bit? It is a question not asked. Could he play better and still lose because the team stops scoring? San Jose could put that theory to the test. Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton together against Erik Karlsson will be worth the daily price of admission. After that, Ottawa’s depth and being at home are still advantages that cannot be ignored. San Jose has a lot of pressure from all angles. IF they respond, this shapes up to be one of the best games of the night.

Money Line: Senators -150, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Patrick Marleau, LW, Sharks ($4900)
  • Brent Burns, D, Sharks ($6500)
  • Kyle Turris, C, Senators ($7600)
  • Bobby Ryan, RW, Senators ($5600)

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Buffalo Sabres @ Dallas Stars

Game Analysis

This is just incredulous. Buffalo has played better in the last week at least but here we go with another game and a crazy spread for Dallas. Ultimately the Stars are very likely to cover but can Kari Lehtonen string together back to back performances? Again, he may or may not see a lot of shots on goal (20-25 perhaps?). Dallas will generate a ton of shots, however and remember our shots per goal theory. It does take more for most teams to put pucks in the net but the Tyler Seguin line is going to be one to watch. Do you stack them though? That may be more of a duo stack with Seguin and Jamie Benn. Then maybe you take your goalie pick elsewhere unless you are in cash games. The GPP risks are still a little too dicey. Buffalo does not offer a lot of offense but all it takes is a few breakdowns for Dallas to revert back to bad form. People still should tread a bit carefully before settling in. We will get a better idea before game time.

Money Line: Stars -400, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Tyler Ennis, C, Sabres ($4800)
  • Matt Moulson, LW, Sabres ($4500)
  • Tyler Seguin, C, Stars ($9100)
  • Kari Lehtonen, G, Stars ($8400)

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Colorado Avalanche @ Calgary Flames

Game Analysis

The game that shall be better known as the PDO Battle Royale. Yes we expect to take a lot of heat for this but it is true. Last year’s champions in Colorado face this year’s like champs in Calgary. The Flames have no Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie vanished so what happens? Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman go to another level. Then Sean Monahan gets paired with Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau and they have led the league in points as a line over the last four weeks. The goaltending has been iffy along with the defense at times. It looks a lot like Colorado Avalanche circa 2013-14. This year’s Colorado has looked pretty damn good of late but it is too little, too late now. Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog have helped lead the way as Colorado has figured it out. They are still going to give up goals because the team defense is patchwork bad at times but it is what it is. This is still going to be a fun game to watch with a lot of good saves and a decent number of goals very likely.

Money Line: Flames -140, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Kris Russell, D, Flames ($5200)
  • Johnny Gaudreau, C, Flames ($5300)
  • Matt Duchene, C, Avs ($7100)
  • Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Avs ($6300)

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Winnipeg Jets @ Edmonton Oilers

Game Analysis

Hey Ondrej Pavelec has done what lately? Yes the goalie everyone loves to go crazy over has a 2.02 GAA and .931 save percentage in his last ten appearances. The 5-3-1 record is not great but he has won four straight games. That is the bottom line. When you win, you gain value and the goalie has helped his team as they have clawed their way back up the bubble. When Winnipeg gets a completely 100% Dustin Byfuglien on defense, they could be one scary team to play. Yes Bryan Little has been banged up but Mark Scheifele has stepped in nicely. Maybe he was not such a fantasy reach after all. He still has work to do but his hot streak has been nice to see. The Oilers have a good first line and Benoit Pouillot. After that, it is totally hit or miss even with Anton Lander. That is the thing. Winnipeg has more depth here and that is why they come in as the favorite and those opposition rankings are very good for stacking but remember Winnipeg can have the case of the yips really quick. Be careful here and be picky!

Money Line: Jets -160, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Mark Scheifele, C, Jets ($5300)
  • Jacob Trouba, D, Jets ($4500)
  • Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Oilers ($8000)
  • Jordan Eberle, RW, Oilers ($8500)

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