Introducing the Preds

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:55 PM ET


 SEASON SERIES:

 The teams split the series 3-3, with the Predators winning the first three and the Red Wings winning the last three.

 LAST PLAYOFF MEETING:

 The two teams have never met in the playoffs.

 THE SKINNY:

 The Predators embark on their first NHL post-season with a series against the odds-on favourite to win the Stanley Cup. Nashville's playoff debut comes in its sixth year of existence and after its first winning season ... The Red Wings are chasing their 11th Stanley Cup title and are trying to avenge last year's surprise four-game sweep in the opening round by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim ... Both teams had players acquired for the stretch run finish atop their respective rosters in scoring. C Robert Lang topped all Red Wings at year's end with 79 points, which slotted him ninth in league scoring. For the Predators, RW Steve Sullivan finished the season tied for 16th in league scoring with 73 points. LW Scott Walker was next on the Predators with 67 points and finished tops on the team in goals (25), while C Pavel Datsyuk was slowed by sprained ankle but still finished second on the Wings with 68 points in 75 games ... The league's best penalty kill belonged to the Wings in the regular season (87.6%). They were also second best on the road (86.3%). Meanwhile, the Predators finished last overall on the kill among playoff teams (81.7%) and worst among all NHL teams on the road (77.1%), which could hurt them against the Wings' top powerplay on home ice (23.6%).

 HURTING:

 LW Rem Murray (neck), one of the few Predators with playoff experience, is out indefinitely. The Red Wings are just welcoming back C Kris Draper (torn rotator cuff) but they'll be without G Dominik Hasek (groin) for the entire playoffs and D Jason Woolley (back), D Mathieu Dandenault (foot) and D Niklas Kronwall (ankle) for the early part of the playoffs. G Curtis Joseph (ankle) and C Mark Mowers (foot) could be available for the start of the series.

 POSSIBLE PLAYOFF HERO:

 Wings G Manny Legace or Predators G Tomas Vokoun could make life difficult for opposition shooters.


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