Canucks have the edge against Preds

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:30 PM ET

NASHVILLE PREDATORS (5) vs. VANCOUVER CANUCKS (1)

The Skinny: There might not be two more relieved teams in the second round. The Predators for getting past the opening round for the first time in six tries and the Canucks after finally beating the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time in three straight springs.

It's hard to believe being satisfied could be a trap for either club. The teams split their regular-season meetings while the Canucks hold a 15-8-1-1 record all-time at home and 14-10-1-0 record in the Music City.

The series pits two Vezina Trophy finalists -- Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and Nashville's Pekka Rinne -- head to head, though both came up short of their regular-season level in the first round. Unless Rinne does something special, the Canucks look to have too big an edge in talent among their skaters for the Predators, led by Norris favourite Shea Weber, to overcome.

The Number: 16. That's where the Predators ranked among the 16 playoff teams in penalty killing in the first round. The Anaheim Ducks scored eight power-play goals in just 22 attempts against the Preds.

All the Canucks did was have the league's best power play during the regular season and had the seventh-ranked unit in the first round (4-for-18). If the Predators don't find a way to either a) not take any penalties or b) seriously upgrade their penalty killing, special teams will decide this in favour of the Canucks.

The Prediction: CANUCKS in 6.


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