Found April 24, 2012 on Inside Smashville:

The Western Conference match-ups are set for the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Nashville Predators will face the Phoenix Coyotes and the St. Louis Blues will take on the Los Angeles Kings.

  Shane Doan #19 Of The Phoenix Coyotes Skates

Both Nashville and Phoenix won twice in their four-game season series, but the Coyotes came out on top because one of the contests that the Predators won was decided in a shootout. Phoenix picked up an extra point for the shootout loss. While the series was split 2-2, the teams met only once after the trade deadline, on March 12th, when the Predators edged the Coyotes by a 5-4 score in the shootout.

The first three contests were decided before the new year. On October 13th, the Coyotes beat the Predators fairly convincingly by a 5-2 score. On November 3rd, the Predators then shutout the Coyotes 3-0. The final meeting before 2012 was on December 6th when the Coyotes edged the Predators 3-2.

The Nashville roster is considerably different since those first three games. Just 10 days before the trade deadline, the Predators picked up Hal Gill from Montreal. On the trade deadline, the Predators traded for Andrei Kostitsyn and Paul Gaustad. Of course, the return of Alexander Radulov also added to the depth of the Nashville roster. Furthermore, first-round standout Gabriel Bourque started the season in Milwaukee.

Phoenix is a different looking team too. The Predators only faced Mike Smith in goal once, when they beat the Coyotes in March. Gilbert Brule was only claimed off waivers from Edmonton in January. Antoine Vermette was also picked up from Columbus at the trade deadline. In 7 games against Nashville this season, Vermette had 1 goal and 3 assists. During the Chicago series, Vermette had 5 points in 6 games with 4 goals and 1 assist.

With the win over the Chicago Blackhawks in six games, the Coyotes won their first playoff series since the franchise was stationed in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is the first time Captain Shane Doan, who has been with the franchise his entire career, has made it to the second round of the postseason.

The hero for Phoenix was, without a doubt, goaltender Mike Smith. Heading into Monday night’s action, Smith had a 2.13 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage. The netminder recorded a shutout in game six to close out the series with the Coyotes 4-0 win over Chicago.

Pekka Rinne is up to the challenge. In five games against Detroit, the Predators goaltender posted an impressive 1.81 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage.

Phoenix ended the regular season as the third seed because the Coyotes led the Pacific Division. As the fourth seed, Nashville will start the series against the Coyotes on the road. The second-round series is likely to begin on either Friday or Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Preds' win could help with re-signing Suter

If the Nashville Predators spent the last 13 seasons chasing the Detroit Red Wings which they did what does it mean now that they have finally caught them? More specifically, what does it mean to their efforts to try and re-sign All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter and what does the series victory mean to Suter? In exactly two months and one week Suter will hit the open market if the...

Nomination for Poile reflects changes that built Nashville into contender

The Nashville Predators’ General Manager, David Poile, has been nominated for the General Manager of the Year Award for the third consecutive season. Poile has been nominated every year of the award’s existence and is the only general manager to accomplish that feat. (Photo: Nashville Predators) “It is a tremendous honor. I say that because the voting is done by the other 29...

Bourque didn’t expect playoff success, promotion to second line

During the NHL postseason, players of all positions need to step up and help out their teams in order for any particular squad to make it all the way to the fourth round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. One of the surprise performances for the Nashville Predators during the first round series against the Detroit Red Wings was the play of rookie Gabriel Bourque. During the five-game series...

Pre-series primer for the Predators and Coyotes

Schedule Game 1 - Predators at Coyotes, Jobing.com ArenaGame 2 - Predators at Coyotes, Jobing.com Arena Game 3 - Coyotes at Predators, Bridgestone ArenaGame 4 - Coyotes at Predators, Bridgestone Arena Game 5 - Predators at Coyotes, Jobing.com Arena, (if necessarily)Game 6 - Coyotes at Predators, Bridgestone Arena, (if necessarily)Game 7 - Predators at Coyotes, Jobing.com Arena...

David Poile named finalist for NHL GM of the Year

It comes as no surprise that Nashville Predators' General Manager David Poile was nominated as a finalist for the NHL GM of the Year.This is the third year that Poile has been nominated for the yet un-named trophy and he is yet to win it. Two seasons ago he lost to Phoenix GM Don Maloney who brought the Coyotes out or rubble and took them to the playoffs. Last season Vancouver...

Franchise player? Predators have 3 in latest run

Any team is happy to find one franchise player to build around. Detroit coach Mike Babcock looks at the Nashville Predators and sees three: goaltender Pekka Rinne, defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. The trio reflects the Predators' approach of building a team from the net out. Rinne, Weber and Sutter are a key reason Nashville will be playing in the second round of the Western...

Pekka Rinne named Vezina Trophy finalist for second year in a row

The National Hockey League announced today that Pekka Rinne was one of three finalist for the 2012 Vezina Trophy that will be given out at the NHL Awards Show at the Wynn Encore Hotel in Las Vegas on June 20.The Vezina Trophy is voted upon by NHL General Managers and goes to the "goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position."The other nominees are Henrik Lundqvist...

Poile named finalist for General Manager of the Year Award for third consecutive season

NEW YORK (April 24, 2012) — Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues, David Poile of the Nashville Predators and Dale Tallon of the Florida Panthers are the three finalists for the 2011-12 NHL General Manager of the Year Award, the National Hockey League announced today. Voting for this award was conducted among the 30 Club General Managers and a panel of NHL executives, print and...

Coyotes' Klesla injured during Game 6

CHICAGO (AP) -- Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Rostislav Klesla had to leave the ice in Game 6 after the first 69 seconds of play Monday night when he was injured in a collision with Chicago Blackhawks wing Brendan Morrison near the net. Klesla headed to the locker room holding a towel to the right side of his head. Klesla has a goal and three assists in the first five games.

Nashville VS Phoenix – A Battle Between Two Identical Teams

Our Western Conference Semifinals break down of the #3 Phoenix Coyotes vs the #4 Nashville Predators VS Who’s better? OFFENSE - NASHVILLE If you’re breaking this down by statistics so far out of the first round results, it would be a near push between both of these teams. Nashville man-handled a veteran Detroit team who had a ton of offensive talent up-front, good defense...

Paul McCann: Midweek Notes - SlapShot Radio Tonight at 6 CDT

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the game one of the Predators / Coyotes series will begin Friday in Glendale. No confirmation on this report yet, but it does make sense. It allows the Eastern Conference to finish their quarter-finals on Thursday. This will also ensure there are no “dark” days, game will be held on every day. The Predators took yesterday off...

Epic NHL Playoff Fan Sign Fail!

Yikes! Come on, Lady. You’re better than that. How can this come as a surprise to anyone? Did you even think Phoenix Coyotes fans were real people? I didn’t. This is actually the first proof mankind has that Phoenix Coyotes fans actually exist. What a terrible day for science!

The Predators will face the Phoenix Coyotes in round two…

With their 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night, the Phoenix Coyotes advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals for the first time since 1987. The Nashville Predators, who disposed of the Detroit Red Wings in five games, will play the Coyotes in the second round. The round will start in Glendale, Arizona for games one and two and then return to Nashville for games...

Wings May Want To Look More Like Nashville

from John Manasso of FoxSports Tennessee, These days, a somewhat typical Detroit player is speedy wing Valtteri Filppula. The Finn had 23 goals in the regular season and 66 points – more than any member of the Preds—but he did not score during the playoffs and had only two assists. That’s because during the playoffs, it gets harder to score and as Babcock emphasized during...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.