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No. 2 Chicago vs. No. 7 Nashville

No. 2 Chicago vs. No. 7 Nashville

Records: Blackhawks 52-22-8, Predators 47-29-6.

Power Play: Blackhawks 17.7% (16th), Predators 16.4% (24th).

Penalty Killing: Blackhawks 86.3% (fourth), Predators 77.1% (28th).

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Leading scorers: Blackhawks: Patrick Kane 30-58—88. Predators: Steve Sullivan 17-34—51.

Outlook: The Blackhawks had a superb season, earning a franchise-record 112 points but losing the No. 1 seeding on the final day of the season. That won’t matter for a while. They’re fast and deep and their defense is as mobile as any, even though Norris trophy candidate Duncan Keith had a post-Olympic letdown. However, they’re going with Antti Niemi in goal, and he has never played an NHL playoff game. Gulp. The Predators are plucky and fast and if Keith doesn’t win the Norris, Shea Weber should. But they gave up as many goals as they scored (225), the worst differential in the West. The Blackhawks are just too deep.

Pick: Chicago in six.

SCHEDULE

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Friday at Chicago, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday at Chicago, 5:30 p.m.

April 20 at Nashville, 6 p.m.

April 22 at Nashville, 5:30 p.m.

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April 24 at Chicago, noon-x

April 26 at Nashville, TBD-x

April 28 at Chicago, TBD-x

x-if necessary; all times Pacific

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