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Ducks - Predators preview - 04-12-11

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

(4) Ducks vs. (5) Predators

Ducks Leading Regular Season Scorer: Corey Perry (right), 98 points (50 goals, 48 assists).

Predators Leading Postseason Scorer: Sergei Kostitsyn, 50 points (23 goals, 33 assists).

Ducks Regular Season Statistics

Predators Regular Season Statistics

Ducks with Stanley Cup bling: Ryan Getzlaf, George Parros, Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Francois Beauchemin, Todd Marchant, Andreas Lilja.

Predators with Stanley Cup bling: None.

Something worthwhile about the Ducks: The Ducks averaged 14.4 penalty minutes per game this season, the most among any Western Conference team in the playoffs.

Something worthwhile about the Predators: The Predators had a team goals against average of 2.32 this season, third-best in the NHL.

Something useless about the Ducks that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins captain Randy Carlyle is the Ducks' career leader in virtually every significant statistical category including regular season games (492), wins (266), losses (169), postseason games (56) and playoff wins (56).

Something useless about the Predators that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins forward Adam Hall scored the first postseason goal in Predators history. His goal came in a 3-1 loss during Game 1 of a Western Conference Final against the Red Wings, April 7, 2004.

Former Penguins on the Ducks: Randy Carlyle, head coach; Rick Paterson, director of player personel; Jarkko Ruutu, LW.

Former Penguins on the Predators: None.

Who needs to be the difference for the Ducks: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne. The Ducks barged their way into the postseason despite several question marks in net with regards to health. The main reason for their late season surge was their offense. Perry scored 19 goals in his final 14 regular season games. Additionally, Perry, Getlzaf and Ryan form what might be the best line in hockey. Add in Selanne who hit the 30-goal mark despite being 41, and the Ducks have a pretty potent offense. And when you consider the Ducks issues in net, their going to have to score more than few goals to get by.

Who needs to be the difference for the Predators: Pekka Rinne (above). The Predators might be the exact opposite of the Ducks. Their strength lies in net. Rinne developed into a Vezina Trophy candidate this season and carried the Predators within striking distance of challenging the Red Wings for the Central Division title. Considering they averaged, 2.6 goals per game this season - second-fewest of any playoff team - they'll need to lean on Rinne in the postseason as well.

Best Ducks YouTube Video We Could Find: Teemu Selanne having some fun with former Stars goaltender Marty Turco in a shootout:

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Best Predators YouTube Video We Could Find: Predators forward Patric Hornqvist may have scored the goal of the year earlier this season against the Canucks:

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EN Prediction: This is a tough one. If the Ducks can find some stability in net, they win this easily. That said, their crease is a big question mark. Jonas Hiller has been battling vertigo since the all-star break. Ray Emery and Dan Ellis have been switched in and out of the lineup as replacement and have performed well for the most part. But Emery is dealing with a "lower-body" injury now. With that in consideration, well go with the Predators since Rinne is such a stable element. Predators 4-3.

(Photos: Perry-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images; Rinne-Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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