The second round of the NHL playoffs gets started tonight in the Western Conference with Game 1 between the Nashville Predators and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Nashville got through the first round after knocking off Detroit in five games. Pekka Rinne was a rock for the Predators in the series posting a 1.81 goals against average and a .940 save percentage.
Rinne had to be solid for Nashville to advance as Detroit outshot the Preds 160-116 in the series.
The Coyotes also leaned heavily on their goalie to get past Chicago in six games. Five of those games went to overtime before Smith took over in Game 6 in a 4-0 Phoenix win. Smith posted a 1.81 GAA and a .950 save percentage in the series.
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The Predators and Coyotes split the regular season series with two wins apiece, with the road team winning every game. Phoenix won three games in Chicago during the opening round but they're a +140 underdog in the series versus Nashville. The Predators are a -160 favorite in the series and a -115 favorite at in Game 1.
In the other Western Conference series two defensive minded team square off with St. Louis facing Los Angeles.
Goals could be at a premium in this series as the Blues allowed the fewest amount of goals in the league this season and the Kings were right behind them in second. Los Angeles was also second last in goals scored this season.
During the season the Kings posted a solid 3-1 record against the Blues, including a 2-0 mark at home. The Under was 3-0-1 in those four games and the Under is 6-0-1 in the last seven matchups. The Blues are a -160 favorite in the series and a -155 home favorite at in Game 1.
Over in the Eastern Conference the Capitals and Rangers face off after both teams went the full seven games in the first round. New York slipped past Ottawa thanks to a big game from Henrik Lundqvist in the final game, a 2-1 Rangers win.
The Capitals got past the Bruins in the first round thanks to net minder Braden Holtby. He posted a respectable 2.00 GAA and a .940 save percentage to outduel Tim Thomas.
The Caps and Rangers split the season series 2-2 with each side picking up a win at home and on the road. The Caps have been strong against the Rangers in recent years with a 4-1 record in their last five at home against the Rangers and they're 6-3 in their last nine at Madison Square Garden.
In the other East series the Flyers will try to keep their high-powered offensive machine rolling against New Jersey. The Flyers blew away the Penguins in the opening round behind a masterful series from Claude Giroux. He had six goals and eight assists for a playoff-leading 14 points.
The Devils went seven games with the Panthers in the first round, winning a tense Game 7 in double overtime. Adam Henrique scored a pair in the clincher, including the double OT winner, while Martin Brodeur made 43 saves.
The Atlantic division rivals met up six times during the regular season and they split the series 3-3. At home the Flyers are a poor 1-3 in their last four versus the Devils, but they're 7-3 in their last 10.