Last 10 regular season games – Nashville 7-2-1 / Anaheim 7-3-0
Season series – Predators won 3-1
Goals per game – Nashville 2.60 / Anaheim 2.87
Goals against per game – Nashville 2.32 / Anaheim 2.84
Powerplay percentage – Nashville 15.2% / Anaheim 23.5%
Penalty kill percentage – Nashville 84.9% / Anaheim 81.3%
Shots per game – Nashville 28.8 / Anaheim 28.5
Shots against per game – Nashville 30.6 / Anaheim 32.3
Ducks keys to win the series:
The Ducks top line – They must perform, if they lay an egg, the Ducks have a very slim chance of moving to the second round.
Secondary scoring – Obviously the top line of Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry will carry most of the load but if they don’t get some help offensively from other lines, they could find themselves golfing in two weeks.
Ducks goaltending – Whether it is Hiller, Ellis, or Emery in goal, they must provide the Ducks with key saves when they need them.
Predators keys to win the series:
Pekka Rinne – Obviously the Predators don’t want to put much pressure on him, but if he doesn’t play well, the Predators have no chance at winning.
Shea Weber & Ryan Suter – You can bet money that they will be paired against the Ducks top line all series long. If they can limit their production, they will be in good shape.
Timely scoring – The Predators don’t have any superstar forwards, and they score by commodity. If they can all chip in with goals here and there, the Preds will be just fine.
Ducks in 6
The Predators have a very good defense, and arguably the best goaltender in the league, but I think their lack of offensive talent will hurt them.
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