DON'T FORGET TO GET YOUR PICKS IN FOR THE SECOND ROUND BEFORE THIS GAME STARTS! If you're in the NHL.com Bracket Challenge with the rest of us, and don't want to lose all your ground, get that done now!!!! MAKE PICKS NAOOO!!!!!
(Only) Game of the Night: #4 Nashville Predators at #3 Phoenix Coyotes, Game 1, 9:00 Eastern, NBC Sports and TSN
Round 2 gets underway with an epic defensive and goaltending battle between Mike Smith of the Coyotes and Pekka Rinne of the Preds. They both posted GAA in the first round of 1.81. Smith won the sv% battle with a .950; Rinne's was a Completely Horrible By Comparison .944. However, Smith also faced 80 more shots in 6 games against the Blackhawks than did Rinne in 5 against the red wings Presented By Amway.
The season series looked like this, with the road team winning every game, although be careful about drawing conclusions from it, because, as NHL.com noted, Coyotes backup Jason LaBarbera started 3 of the 4 games.
|Mar 12, 2012||NSH @ PHX||NSH, 5 - 4|
|Dec 6, 2011||PHX @ NSH||PHX, 3 - 2|
|Nov 3, 2011||NSH @ PHX||NSH, 3 - 0|
|Oct 13, 2011||PHX @ NSH||PHX, 5 - 2|
Potentially influential players other than the goalies, based on the season series? Only two guys scored two goals, and that's Ray Whitney and Keith Yandle. Martin Erat led the Preds with 4 points; Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan each had 4 for Phoenix. Although Vermette magically had 7 games against Nashville. Guess he got traded and I didn't notice. Controversial Predators forward Alexander Radulov's Cup chase has resulted in a 4 game points streak (1-4-5). Vermette had 4 Coyotes goals somehow in the first round, three on the power play, and Keith Yandle added 5 assists.
I stole all that info from the NHL.com game preview and stats listings, without the irrelevant canned quotes and stuff you already know. MHH: Cutting through the boring crap so you don't have to.