The Phoenix Coyotes will experience the second round of the playoffs for the first time, as they host the Nashville Predators tonight, Friday April 27th, for Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Coyotes went 2-1-1 against Nashville during the regular season series. NHL oddsmakers have installed the Coyotes as slim -110 moneyline home favorites over the Predators (-105) with the over/under set at 5 goals. Be sure to check the Nashville Predators vs Phoenix Coyotes Game 1 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.
Nashville (4-1, 2-0 V) crushed and eliminated Detroit in five games. The Predators finished the 2011-12 season tied for eighth in the league in team defense with an average of 2.50 goals allowed per game. They were also tied for eighth in offense with 2.83 GPG. Goaltender Pekka Rinne is the last line of defense behind a solid group of blueliners that includes the dynamic duo of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. Gabriel Bourque paced Nashville with three goals in the Detroit series and he tied David Legwand for second on the team with four points. Alexander Radulov posted seven points in nine regular-season games with the Predators this season and then led the team with five points (1G, 4A) in five games against Detroit.
The Coyotes went 2-1-1 against Nashville during the season series, but Coyotes goalie Mike Smith only played in one of those games. Smith’s lone appearance against the Predators in 2011-12 came in Phoenix on March 12 and wound up taking a loss as Nashville won the contest by a 5-4 score in a shootout. Rinne started all four games against the Coyotes and was 2-2 with a 2.71 GAA and .919 save percentage.
Phoenix (4-2, 1-2 H) knocked out Chicago in six games, five which needed overtime. The Coyotes have finally made it into the second round thanks to the stellar play of goaltender Mike Smith. Chicago, which was tied for fifth in the NHL in scoring during the regular season, fired 241 shots at Smith over six games, but only 12 pucks beat the goaltender. Smith, who closed the series with a 39-save shutout in Game 6, had a 1.81 GAA and a .953 save percentage against the Blackhawks.
Phoenix’ has to find more offense, as the club’s top-four scoring forwards (Ray Whitney, Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan and Lauri Korpikoski) from the regular season combined for just two goals and six points in the series against Chicago. Whitney, who paced the Coyotes with 77 points this season, had the best showing of that group with a goal and two assists.
The Bottom Line: I like the Coyotes at home in the second round for the first time ever with a red hot goalie. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best NHL Picks Experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get NHL Picks Free!
Recent Trends to Consider:
Over is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Phoenix.
Over is 6-2-2 in the last 10 meetings.
Favorite is 11-5 in the last 16 meetings.
Road team is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings.
Predators are 4-0 in their last 4 road games.
Predators are 4-0 in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Predators are 7-1 in their last 8 games as a road favorite of -110 to -150.
Predators are 7-1 in their last 8 overall.
Coyotes are 6-0 in their last 6 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
Coyotes are 7-1 in their last 8 games as a favorite.
Coyotes are 5-1 in their last 6 games as a home favorite.
Coyotes are 9-2 in their last 11 overall.
Coyotes are 9-2 in their last 11 vs. Western Conference.
Nashville Predators vs Phoenix Coyotes
When: Friday, April 27th@9:00 PM EST
Pick: Coyotes -110
Point-Spreads recommends you check the Nashville Predators vs Phoenix Coyotes 2012 NHL Playoff Odds before they drop the puck.