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NHL Roster News: Early Lineup Notes, Key Injury Updates and Situations to Monitor for August 21

Matt Meiselman provides injury news, updates and line combination impacts for Friday’s NHL slate on DraftKings, which locks at 7 p.m. ET.

The Friday NHL DraftKings DFS slate looks just like the Thursday one, with two games that both involve teams on the brink of elimination. The Montreal Canadiens trail the Philadelphia Flyers three games to two, and the St. Louis Blues trail three games to two as well against the Vancouver Canucks. Even with just two games, there’s still plenty of relevant news to discuss as we get ready for Friday night’s 7 p.m. ET start on DraftKings.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $35K Twins [$10K to 1st]

Montreal Canadiens

Brendan Gallagher ($6,800), Joel Armia ($4,200)

The Canadiens rallied back in Game 5 from a second-period deficit and stayed alive in their series against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-3 win. The win came at a vital cost, however, as Brendan Gallagher took a hit to the mouth and suffered a broken jaw, and will reportedly miss the remainder of the NHL Playoffs. Gallagher is arguably the Canadiens’ best player, and losing him figures to severely diminish both their chances of winning this series and making a deeper run in the playoffs.

As for the line combinations, the Canadiens actually kept their top line together for once in Game 5, but that's unlikely to be the case in Game 6 as losing Gallagher will probably result in more shuffling than usual. Joel Armia scored two goals in Game 5 and is the most likely winger to move up in the lineup, but predicting the exact combinations of forward groups was hard enough even when Gallagher was playing. Monitoring warmups here will be key, but the Canadiens have proven throughout this series that their starting lineup isn’t that reflective of their lineup throughout the whole game anyway.

St. Louis Blues

Jordan Kyrou ($2,500), Oskar Sundqvist ($2,900)

The Blues led 3-1 early in Game 5 before surrendering three consecutive goals, and will face elimination in Game 6 tonight after losing that one, 4-3. Like the Canadiens, the Blues have been shifting their line combinations frequently throughout their series, largely because they continue to play without Vladimir Tarasenko ($6,200). In his absence, Jaden Schwartz ($6,000) has moved onto Ryan O’Reilly’s ($5,900) line, with David Perron ($6,400). Brayden Schenn ($4,900) has been paired with Tyler Bozak ($3,400), but the wing spot with those two has been in flux for the last two games.

In Game 4, Jordan Kyrou started with Schenn and Bozak and ultimately Oskar Sundqvist took over, and in Game 5, it was the exact opposite. Fortunately this seems to be the only spot in the lineup that’s getting consistently moved around, so the Blues should still have relatively predictable line combinations.

Vancouver Canucks

Bo Horvat ($6,300), Jake Virtanen ($3,200)

The Canucks used some new line combinations as well to aid their comeback in Game 5, breaking up their trusted first line of Elias Pettersson ($7,000), Brock Boeser ($5,900), and J.T. Miller ($6,600). That group played only a few shifts together at even strength, but unfortunately there was almost no consistency to the lines as a result. The two notable players who took shifts with those three forwards were Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen, but the Canucks really seemed to be trying everything they could in an effort to come back in the game. For tonight’s Game 6, it’ll surely be worth paying attention to warmups, with a best guess being that they return to their normal lines now that they’ve claimed a 3-2 series lead.

Set your DraftKings lineups here: NHL $35K Twins [$10K to 1st]

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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.