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NHL Roster News: Early Lineup Notes, Key Injury Updates and Situations to Monitor for August 7

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

Toronto Maple Leafs v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via Getty Images

Several teams are on the brink as Friday brings a slate full of potentially decisive Game 4’s, with hockey games once again spanning from 2:30 p.m. E.T. until early tomorrow morning. It’s all Qualifying Round games today with the Round Robin teams getting the day off, and there are notably a few favorites who are looking to avoid being sent home early. The Predators, Penguins, Maple Leafs and Oilers are all attempting to fend off elimination after opening the round as betting favorites.

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

Montreal Canadiens

Nick Suzuki ($3,700), Phillip Danault ($3,800), Max Domi ($3,900)

The Canadiens continue to cause headaches for DFS players with inconsistency in their line combinations, discarding their new-look lines from the tail end of Game 2, only to go back to their original units to start Game 3. The Canadiens opened up with Phillip Danault ($3,800), Tomas Tatar ($4,500) and Brendan Gallagher ($5,500) on their first line as they had in the prior two games, even though Max Domi ($3,900) had been centering Tatar and Gallagher for the latter portion of Game 2. However, after getting off to a good start with a 1-0 lead in Game 3, the Canadiens quickly fell behind and mixed up their lines again, this time with yet another iteration of forward groups.

Instead of Domi, it was the 20 year-old Nick Suzuki ($3,700) getting the call to move up to the first line and, unlike in Game 2, it led to a comeback victory. Suzuki himself contributed one assist in the 4-3 win, but it’s anyone’s guess if these lines will stick for Game 4. The Canadiens have changed things around in just about every period of this series and it’s probably fair at this point to simply assume that they’ll end Game 4 with different line combinations than they start it with. There’s an edge to be had for whoever can pin this situation down, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear way to be able to do that at this point.

Columbus Blue Jackets

Pierre-Luc Dubois ($5,100), Alex Texier ($3,000), Elvis Merzlikins ($7,000)

The Blue Jackets caused a similar issue to that of the Canadiens, swapping players in Game 2, but then reverting back to their original lines in Game 3. The Jackets closed their Game 2 loss with a top line of Pierre-Luc Dubois ($5,100), Cam Atkinson ($5,300) and Nick Foligno ($4,000), but for Game 3 they went back to Alex Texier ($3,000) as the winger alongside Dubois and Atkinson. In that Game 3, they actually fell behind 3-0 and made a goalie change - from Joonas Korpisalo ($6,800) to Elvis Merzlikins ($7,000) - but surprisingly kept their top forward lines intact.

Columbus rallied back to win the game 4-3, sealing it at the tail end of the first overtime with Dubois’ third goal of the game. Considering how well they played, it would be a big surprise to see new combinations for today’s Game 4, but there’s been so much mixing and matching by coach John Tortorella, both in this series and all season long, that nothing would really be that surprising. The one thing we know for sure is that Merzlikins was named the Game 4 starter after stopping all 21 shots he faced en route to the win.

Chicago Blackhawks

Kirby Dach ($3,500), Patrick Kane ($7,800), Alex DeBrincat ($5,200)

The Blackhawks made things a little easier than the two teams mentioned above, as the new lines they used to close Game 2 wound up sticking for Game 3. Their top line of Jonathan Toews ($5,800), Brandon Saad ($4,700) and Dominik Kubalik ($5,400) has remained intact throughout, but the more dynamic second line was in flux until Game 3. Kirby Dach ($3,500), Patrick Kane ($7,800) and Alex DeBrincat ($5,200) skated together for the majority of that Game 3 win, and the Blackhawks figure to keep the same groups as they look to close out the Oilers in Friday’s Game 4.

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

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