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NHL Line Rushes: Early Lineup Notes, Key Injury Updates and Situations to Monitor for August 6

Matt Meiselman previews Thursday’s NHL slate on DraftKings with injury news, updates and line combination impacts.

Minnesota Wild v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

The Qualifying Series and Round Robin games continue on Thursday, with only the New York Rangers being eliminated to this point and everyone else still vying to proceed deeper into the playoffs. Today’s slate once again locks at 2:30 p.m. ET, with Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks moving to the early slot for the first game. There are a few injuries to monitor today, and some roster shakeups to analyze as well.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $50K Twine [$10K to 1st]

Minnesota Wild

Zach Parise ($4,700), Eric Staal ($4,900), Kevin Fiala ($7,200)

The Wild struggled throughout their Game 2 loss against the Canucks on Tuesday night, and as many teams in this year’s playoffs have already done, they started mixing up their line combinations to generate some offense. Most notably, the Wild moved Jordan Greenway ($2,900) off of the top line with Staal and Fiala, replacing him with veteran Parise. The results of this were actually quite good, as the Wild rallied from a 4-1 deficit to cut the score to 4-3, with the new-look first line tallying both of the goals.

The common thinking is that when switching line combinations leads to goals being scored, those lines will stick for the next game. Even if the overall result of said game was a loss. That was clearly the case in Game 2, so it seems reasonable to expect a first line of Staal-Parise-Fiala for Game 3. This is the first game of today’s slate at 2:30 p.m. ET, and it’ll be important to pay attention to warmups to see what the Wild decide to go with.

Washington Capitals

John Carlson ($6,800), Dmitry Orlov ($3,600)

John Carlson missed the Capitals’ first Round Robin game earlier this week against the Lightning, and he’s listed as a game-time decision for Thursday’s contest against the Flyers. The Capitals actually fared pretty well against the Lightning without their best defenseman, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to wind up losing 3-2 in a shootout. Carlson is a hugely important player for the Caps, as one of the most offensively talented defensemen in hockey, and his absence would substantially hurt their offensive capabilities today.

If Carlson does sit, expect heavy reliance on Orlov, who filled in as the point-man on the power play against the Lightning. He’s clearly the biggest beneficiary if Carlson doesn’t play, and he’ll have plenty of opportunities to produce as there isn’t a much better power play spot for a defenseman than setting up one-timers for Alex Ovechkin ($8,200).

Additionally, the Capitals will be without center Lars Eller today, who left the bubble due to the birth of his child. Eller is a key depth player, and his absence from the lineup will probably go overlooked as he’s not the same kind of household name as some of the team’s other players. A Capitals team without both Eller and Carlson will probably struggle to control the puck in the same way that they’re accustomed to, and it would make things a lot easier for the opposing Flyers.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Cam Atkinson ($5,400), Nick Foligno ($4,100), Pierre-Luc Dubois ($5,200)

The Blue Jackets are yet another playoff team that’s experimented with new lines, but unlike the Wild, it didn’t amount to much as they were still shut out 3-0 by the Maple Leafs in Game 2. The Jackets mixed and matched to try to get something going, putting Dubois, Atkinson, and Foligno together, while demoting Alex Wennberg ($3,300) off the top line. If this change sticks, it would make for a more top-heavy approach and give DFS players an easier line to target than they’ve had to this point. Columbus tends be pretty evenly spread out offensively, but uniting arguably their two best playmakers in Dubois and Atkinson would make for a more obvious line to focus on. It’s unclear what they’ll do in Game 3 tonight, so this situation bears monitoring leading up to puck drop at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $50K Twine [$10K to 1st]

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