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(3) Coyotes - (4) Predators preview - 04-27-12

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

(3) Coyotes vs. (6) Predators

Coyotes Leading Postseason Scorer: Antoine Vermette, five points (four goals, one assist).

Predators Leading Postseason Scorer: Alexander Radulov (below), five points (one goals, four assists).

Coyotes Expected Starting Goaltender: Mike Smith, 4-2, 1.81 GAA, .950 SV%.

Predators Expected Starting Goaltender: Pekka Rinne, 4-1, 1.81 GAA, .944 SV%.

Coyotes Postseason Statistics

Predators Postseason Statistics

Coyotes Injuries: The Coyotes are repoting no injuries. Left winger Raffi Torres is suspended.

Predators Injuries: The Predators are reporting no injuries.

Coyotes with Stanley Cup bling: Ray Whitney (above), LW.

Predators with Stanley Cup bling: Hal Gill, D.

Something worthwhile about the Coyotes: The Coyotes have the best penalty kill percentage in the postseason with a success rate of 94.7.

Something worthwhile about the Predators: The Predators have taken the fewest shots per game of any team in the postseason with 23.2.

Something useless about the Coyotes that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The first shorthanded goal in the postseason for the Jets/Coyotes was scored by former Penguins defenseman Moe Mantha in a 6-3 loss to the Oilers in Game 3 of 1983 preliminary series.

Something useless about the Predators that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The first penalty shot attempt in the Predators' postseason history was by current Penguins left winger Steve Sullivan in a 3-1 loss to the Red Wings in Game 1 of a 2004 Western Conference semifinal series.

Former Penguins on the Coyotes: Paul Bissonnette, LW; Michal Rozsival, D; Dave Tippett, head coach.

Former Penguins on the Predators: Hal Gill, D.

Who needs to be the difference for the Coyotes: Ray Whitney, Mikkel Boedker, Radim Vrbata, etc. The Predators allow shots, albeit not a ton of quality ones. The Coyotes' offensive weapons will need to take advantage of them.

Who needs to be the difference for the Predators: Rinne. He's easily the Predators' most valuable player. He'll need to continue to be that for this team to succeed.

Best Jets/Coyotes YouTube Video We Could Find: Coyotes center Jeremy Roenick scoring a goal from outside the blue line in a 3-2 win against the Red Wings in Game 3 of 1998 Western Conference quarterfinal series:

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Best Predators YouTube Video We Could Find: Predators center Mike Fisher scoring on a no-look pass from right winger Sergei Kostitsyn in a 4-3 win against the Ducks Game 3 of a 2011 Western Conference quarterfinal series:

{youtube width="465" height="266"}6-hGOZIk6wc{/youtube}

EN Prediction: Like the other Western Conference semifinal series, these play defense. But they have a little bit more skill up front. The Predators' have a very, very slight edge in goaltending. Rinne will get the Predators to their first conference final.

(Photos: Whitney-Christian Petersen/Getty Images; Radulov-Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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