NHL Betting Preview: Canucks at Nashville Predators

By: Brad Young | Monday, May 2, 2011

Vancouver (59-21-6-5) and Nashville (49-30-7-4) continue their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series tied at a game apiece.

The top-seeded Canucks posted a solid 28-11-4-1 road record this season en route to the Presidents’ Trophy. The fifth-seeded Predators went 26-10-5-3 on their home ice. Vancouver is 6-2 its previous eight outings in Nashville.

Don Best's Real-Time Odds show the Canucks as a 125 road ‘chalk’ over the Predators, with the total set at five ‘over’ (-130). Versus will provide coverage of Tuesday’s matchup beginning at 6:05 p.m. PT from Bridgestone Arena.

Nashville’s double-overtime, 2-1 victory over Vancouver Saturday as a 189 road underdog tied the series. The combined three goals failed to topple the five-goal closing total, helping the ‘under’ cash the sixth consecutive contest between these teams.

The Predators tied the game with just 67 seconds remaining in regulation when defenseman Ryan Suter lit the lamp. Matt Halischuk scored the game winner 14:51 into the second overtime, while goaltender Pekka Rinne recorded 18 of his 32 stops after regulation.

Nashville finished the game with advantages in faceoffs won, 51-38, and shots on goal, 46-33.

Vancouver’s lone goal occurred in the second period when Alex Burrows scored on a short-handed attempt. Goaltender Roberto Luongo had a scoreless streak of 126 minutes and 11 seconds snapped when he conceded the late goal. That marked the longest game in Predators history, and the third longest for the Canucks.

Vancouver opened this series Thursday with a shutout victory as a 192 home favorite, 1-0. Luongo only had to stop 20 shots on goal during the entire game, nine in the third period.

The only goal of the game occurred when Christopher Higgins lit the lamp in the second period.

Rinne stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced to keep the Predators in the contest. The Canucks finished the game with advantages in faceoffs won, 40-26, and shots on goal, 30-20. Both teams were 0-for-5 on the power play.

Vancouver advanced to this stage of the postseason for the fourth time the past five years, but the franchise has not reached the Western Conference finals since 1994.

These two teams split their four meetings during the regular season, with the Canucks prevailing Jan. 26 as 180 home ‘chalk,’ 2-1, and March 29 as a 108 road selection, 3-1. Nashville won Feb. 17 as a 117 home favorite, 3-1, and March 3 as a 169 road underdog, 3-0.

Vancouver has seen the ‘under’ go 19-6-1 its previous 26 games against Central Division opponents. Nashville has seen the ‘under’ go 15-5-3 its last 23 outings versus Northwest Division teams.

Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo (leg injury) has been upgraded to ‘probable’ for Tuesday’s Game 3 versus the Predators, while center Rick Rypien (personal) is ‘out’ indefinitely. Nashville center Cal O’Reilly (fibula) is ‘doubtful’ against the Canucks.

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