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Predators vs Canucks: Side With Vancouver in Series

The Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks will go head-to-head for the first round of the playoffs starting on Sunday. After the Predators snuck in as the first Wild Card toward the end of the season, they’ll be looking to pull off the first-round upset against the Pacific Division winners in Vancouver. However, NHL playoff odds favor the Canucks to carry their strength into the postseason. After sweeping Nashville in the regular season, they should pick up the series win as well.


Predators vs Canucks: Side With Vancouver in Series
The Vancouver Canucks/Derek Cain/Getty Images/AFP

Canucks Getting Healthy at Right Time

A pair of Vancouver’s top forwards appear ready to return to the lineup after missing its last game to get healthy and rested. Both JT Miller and Brock Boeser, who lead the Canucks in points and goals, respectively, are expected to be back for the series opener against the Predators.

Miller has had his most productive season to date with the Canucks, scoring a career-high 103 points and 37 goals. He was on an 11-game point streak to end the regular season prior to missing the last game. Boeser has also had a career year with 40 goals and 73 points. If he and Miller are healthy for the playoffs, Vancouver should be able to continue its strong offensive season after averaging 3.40 goals.

The Canucks also got their star goalie back just in time for the playoffs. Thatcher Demko returned to the lineup for the penultimate regular-season game against Calgary. Demko had been dealing with a knee injury since early March, but he looked ready for the postseason with 39 saves and a .975 save percentage in a 4-1 win.

Demko is in the top five in both goals allowed and save percentage in the NHL, and getting him back for the playoffs is key for Vancouver.


History Between the Teams

This isn’t the first time the Predators and Canucks have met in the first round of the playoffs, having met in 2011 as well. After both Nashville and Vancouver missed the postseason last season, they’ll meet again in a similar situation. Just as in 2011, the NHL series odds have the higher-seeded Canucks favored to take down the Preds. Vancouver won the series in six games in 2011.

Nashville will also be trying to get more success against the Canucks in the postseason after being dominated in the regular season. The teams met three times and Vancouver swept Nashville, outscoring the Predators 13-6.


Predators vs Canucks Series Pick: Vancouver Gets Edge

This should be an exciting series to open the postseason for both of these teams. Although the Canucks won the division and are the favored team by NHL lines, the Predators aren’t to be overlooked after battling at the end of the season to secure a Wild-Card berth.

However, despite Nashville doing so, Vancouver should still pull out the series win. The Canucks, with Demko in net and potential Norris Trophy winner Quinn Hughes leading the defense, have one of the top defenses this season, giving up 2.70 goals a game for fifth in the league. With a bit more depth on the offensive side, take the Canucks in another six-game series in NHL picks.


Series Pick: Vancouver Canucks 4-2


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Questions Of The Day

What was the Canucks’ regular season record?

Vancouver finished with a 50-23-9 regular-season record.

Who leads Nashville in scoring?

Filip Forsberg is the Predators’ leading scorer with 94 points and 48 goals.

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