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 offers up eight games in all and check DraftKings for several Micro Millions games but here is one right now!

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Injury Updates

The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the nature of this Thursday slate. Please note if you were to play Matt Martin….don’t bother! He is suspended.

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Flames @ Bruins

Game Analysis

This is a game which it may just be hard to get a read on. However, it is now abundantly clear that Boston has a fight of their lives to hold on to the final wildcard spot. Calgary is also trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both teams are almost mirror images of each other lately. Brett Connolly is out for the rest of the regular season after taking a puck to the hand in practice yesterday. Boston will have to go with what they got. Calgary will not have Mark Giordano as everyone knows but T.J. Brodie is stepping up and he is Calgary’s go to guy from the blueline. Kari Ramo will be named the starter and to be fair he has only given up five goals in his last four starts. An undeniable trend for both teams is hitting the under as both have hit it in a combined six of the last eight games including two pushes from Boston. Tuukka Rask will get the start for the Bruins who simply need wins. Do they have it in them to keep that sense of urgency or will the pressure finally get to Boston? Patrice Bergeron leads the offense but how long can his line keep their hot streak? They should have their chances tonight. Do they convert?

Money Line: Boston -180, O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • David Pastrnak, RW, Bruins ($9000)
  • Tuukka Rask, G, Bruins ($8000)
  • T.J. Brodie, D, Flames ($4900)
  • Jiri Hudler, RW, Flames ($4400)

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Wild @ Capitals

Game Analysis

These teams are both capable of high event hockey. This is going to be an excellent clash of styles. Minnesota loves to possess the puck while Washington likes to sometimes just have it at the right time. How does Minnesota contain Alex Ovechkin’s line and the Washington power play for that matter? Minnesota’s penalty kill has boosted up to 85% mostly due to the goaltending of Devan Dubnyk. Speaking of “The Great 8”, he is at 43 goals on the season. He is like a great ball of fire right now with ten goals and 15 points in his last 10 contests. He is averaging 5.4 shots per game in that span and seven power play points to boot. The Ovechkin one timer is part of the hockey vernacular forever. However, Washington’s complimentary parts are what is helping the left winger become an unstoppable force at the moment. Minnesota will have their work cut out for them but every so often Washington will keep you in the game. Can Minnesota make them pay when that happens? The Wild have some pretty good depth and a top six that can cause problems. Zach Parise needs to pick it up!

Line: Caps -140. O/U 5

Players to Watch

  • Zach Parise, LW, Wild ($7100)
  • Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($8400)
  • Mike Green, D, Caps ($4500)
  • Alex Ovechkin, LW, Caps ($9300)

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Blues @ Flyers

Game Analysis

The game has an odd feel because both teams could fire off some goals and then they could also hardly do a thing. That’s the problem! St. Louis has given up 16 goals in their last five games and is only 2-2-0-1 in that span. The Blues first line has kind of crashed down a little in the last couple weeks. T.J. Oshie and Dmitri Jaskin have been noticeable exceptions with sizable upticks in daily point production (at least 20% above average). Philadelphia peaked into the playoff race and has stayed a bit stagnant. The Flyers have been getting numbers due to guys like Wayne Simmonds riding the confidence wave. Special teams is going to determine this game. St. Louis has a middle of the pack penalty kill on the road while Philadelphia’s penalty kill is just about the bottom of the barrel at 76.6%. This is the type of game that should suit the Blues. Philly will not slow down their style for anyone. It all comes down to converting chances. Brian Elliott is the confirmed for St. Louis as just wait for the Flyers’ confirmed starter.

Line: Blues -140 . O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Alex Pietrangelo, D, Blues ($5500)
  • Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, Blues ($7000)
  • Claude Giroux, C, Flyers ($8800)
  • Mark Streit, D, Flyers ($5100)

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Stars @ Panthers

Game Analysis

Hey the Panthers have to trot out Dan Ellis because of injuries to both Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya. Montoya is believed to be out several weeks (week to week). Luongo is day to day for now at least. Dallas still does not have Tyler Seguin in the lineup and he is probably at least a couple weeks away. Jamie Benn has been a beast since the injury with 57 daily points in his last 11 games. Patrick Eaves may be the one that benefits the most from the Erik Cole trade as a top six role is in his future. This is a game where Dallas knows Dan Ellis well and that may just help them immensely. It is part of the reason why the betting line has been so questionable with this one. Florida is just right there and yet the injury goalie brigade did ultimately lead to a loss despite Florida hitting 40 shots again. Jaromir Jagr has to keep playing like he did last weekend. Kari Lehtonen is the expected starter against the Panthers. If there is one time he should win, this would be it! Consider that Ellis has not played in. Now the real fun begins daily fans!

Line: NL, O/U ?

Players to Watch

  • Jason Spezza, C, Stars ($7200)
  • Alex Goligoski, D, Stars ($4200)
  • Jaromir Jagr, RW, Panthers ($4300)
  • Aaron Ekblad, D, Panthers ($4200)

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Leafs @ Lightning

Game Analysis

I was looking at this and this becomes start your goal scoring! Toronto tends to start out well in Tampa Bay though they usually do not finish in the end as well. Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos really likes to play against the Maple Leafs. After all he has three points in just two games so far against Toronto this year. His home daily points are a full point per game higher at home. Ben Bishop is a bit of an even more dramatic story. Bishop is a Vezina winner at home with an incredible record and .927 save percentage. However on the road, he only has a paltry .893 save percentage. Part of it is Tampa Bay’s defense but part of it is that the Lightning just starts slow and inconsistently erratic. There is no question that this is not only on Bishop. Where is Victor Hedman in all of this? Steady is great but owners need more of that first seven games of the year Hedman, As for the Maple Leafs, does it matter who starts in net? At least they will face a ton of shots. Phil Kessel has ten points in his last 27 games and nothing has gone right despite the slightly elevated amount of scoring chances. Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak will have to be opportunistic in their play as their work will be cut out for them and the Leafs.

Line: Bolts -270, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Tyler Bozak, C, Leafs ($4400)
  • Nazem Kadri, C, Leafs ($4600)
  • Steven Stamkos, C, Bolts ($9000)
  • Ben Bishop, G, Bolts ($8700)

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Islanders @ Predators

Game Analysis

This is a game where both teams have to be a little apprehensive. The Islanders lost a tough OT game to the Dallas Stars. As for Nashville, they took it on the chin again, this time in New Jersey. That make it four straight losses and the real first sign of adversity that Nashville has seen this year. The Predators have even lost two games in a row at home. Can Pekka Rinne and crew stop the bleeding? Can the offense surge and then find itself? Now those Islanders have their own troubles. These two teams have given up six goals per game combined over their last five. The focus should be on the Predators power play up against the Islanders and their penalty kill. That man disadvantage for the New York team is at a woeful 75%. Nashville has been a top five or six team pretty much all season but that power play is still not cutting it. It is great that both teams can score but neither has a true edge in special teams. Also, the Islanders have not won in Nashville in what has felt like forever. This is just one of those games where you just start your normal studs then roll the dice!

Line: Predators -140, O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Josh Bailey, RW, Leafs ($7100)
  • John Tavares, C, Leafs ($7700)
  • Shea Weber, D, Preds ($7600)
  • Craig Smith, C, Preds ($5300)

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Canucks @ Coyotes

Game Analysis

The Coyotes will give up plenty of scoring chances but can Mike Smith stop enough of them? Their penalty kill is also a major hindrance at under 80% and their home power play has dropped too. They have lost ten games in a row and do not look like they are showing any signs of slowing down. In the last five games, the Coyotes have a goal differential of -14 (6 GF, 20 GA). Where will the offense come from? Between the fourth line and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, I guess this has to count for something. As for Vancouver, it looks like Eddie Lack will start because everyone saw what occurred with Jacob Markstrom. With an opposition rank of 30th, Lack becomes a pretty viable play even on the road in Arizona. It’s not a strong start but it is good enough. The Sedin Twins should have ample space to work. Keep an eye on Zack Kassian who will likely return after a bout with the flu but will he be placed on the first line right away or will it be Alex Burrows one more time? There are zero guarantees. Stay tuned! At least Arizona should not get shut out on this night. There is some hope at least.

Line: Coyotes +165. O/U 5.5

Players to Watch

  • Chris Higgins, LW, Canucks ($3900)
  • Henrik Sedin, C, Canucks ($5000)
  • Sam Gagner, C, Coyotes ($4300)
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Coyotes ($8900)

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Canadiens @ Kings

Game Analysis

The game has that feeling of almost being like the game that will also try to crawl along yet be unexpectedly physical. Montreal has lost the first two legs of the California tour though they looked a lot better against Anaheim but John Gibson was just one shot better than Carey Price basically. The Kings are a very odd team that won eight straight games and then has lost in three of their next five contests. They play much better at home and Jonathan Quick has looked much better of late at the friendly confines of the Staples Center. Daniel Tokarski is scheduled to get the start as was part of Montreal’s plan all along. The Canadiens must execute better because they will get eaten alive if they show any kind of weakness against a team like Los Angeles. As for the Kings, Jeff Carter is a reasonable value once again with the refurbished 70’s line. Do not be shocked to see a few Kings player stacked in your tournaments, especially in late slates. Montreal hopes could be on a P.K. Subban-Andrei Markov defensive duo stack. Los Angeles will be likely to pull out a win here.

Line: Kings -140 . O/U 5 (Will be movement)

Players to Watch

  • Daniel Tokarski, G, Habs ($7200)
  • Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($8600)
  • Jeff Carter, C, Kings ($6400)
  • Jake Muzzin, D, Kings ($4200)

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