The Nashville Predators started their Stanley Cup Playoffs run on a hot start, a 4-0 sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks. Now that the rest of the first-round series are finished, the Preds find out who they will face next. The Preds will face another common Western Conference opponent in round two- the St. Louis Blues. As the Blues were able to defeat the Minnesota Wild, 4 games to 1, to advance and face Nashville.
St. Louis holds home-ice advantage for the round-two matchup, although, that has not held back the Predators yet. Nashville was able to keep Chicago from scoring a single goal in their two matchups held in Chicago.
The Predators and Blues have had a very competitive rivalry throughout their history, yet they have never met in the NHL playoffs. During the regular season, Nashville won three of their five games against St. Louis
For Nashville, Pekka Rinne’s stellar goaltending will continue to be big against the Blues shooters. For St. Louis, their power play and penalty kill will be vital, especially when Nashville’s first line is on the attack.
Predators’ head coach Peter Laviolette commented on the Preds matchup with the Central Division rival, the Blues, by saying, “We’ve played teams in our division pretty well. Every time it seems like we play somebody in our division, we have to play a certain way. I think we understand how that is against them (the Blues) so we’ll work at it this week and try to get the guys prepared for that.”
Nashville’s extended rest-time after round one will be key in the matchup, as the Preds will get about a week of rest. St. Louis only finished their series on Saturday, and will only get four days before taking on the Predators in St. Louis.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs round-two matchup will begin on Wednesday at 7:00 P.M. CST. Game two of the series will take place on Friday, April 28th, in St. Louis. Nashville will get two guaranteed home games during the series. Those games will take place on Sunday, April 30th, and Tuesday, May 2nd. From there, if need be, the series will rotate back to St. Louis for game 5, Nashville for game 6, and, if necessary, in St. Louis for game 7. All games during the series will be broadcast on the NBC family of networks.