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This series will be the first time that the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars will play one another in the playoffs. The Predators finished first in the Central division with 100 points and the Stars finished in the first wild card spot with 93 points. This first round tilt starts on Wednesday night and theBRKDWN sports will be all over it.

Schedule

Game 1 Wed., April 10, Dallas @ Nashville, 9:30 p.m. ET

Game 2 Sat., April 13, Dallas @ Nashville, 6 p.m. ET

Game 3 Mon., April 15, Nashville @ Dallas, 9:30 p.m. ET

Game 4 Wed., April 17, Nashville @ Dallas, 8 p.m. ET

Game 5* Sat., April 20, Dallas @ Nashville, TBD, TBD

Game 6* Mon., April 22, Nashville @ Dallas, TBD, TBD

Game 7* Wed., April 24, Dallas @ Nashville, TBD, TBD

*If necessary

The Predators will have home ice advantage in the series and that could play a major factor in this all-central division matchup. The Preds fans in “Smashville” are absolutely nuts with their chants, traditions, and support for their hockey team, that is definitely a Cup contender. It will be a tough task ahead for the Dallas Stars to suck the life out of the arena in game one but it could be done with players like Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Alex Radulov.

What it takes to Win

Nashville won the season series 3-2

Nov 10th: 5-4 OTW for NSH

Dec 27th: 2-0 W for DAL

Feb 2nd: 3-1 W for DAL

Feb 7th: 3-2 OTW for NSH

Feb 19th: 5-3 W for NSH

Like the New York Islanders, the Dallas Stars have a great defensive core that have clearly got the job done during the season as they sit in second in the entire NHL with just 200 goals against. This is a great sign for the Stars but… in fourth place in this category is the team they go head-to-head against –  the Nashville Predators – who have allowed 212 goals against this season. If you are a big fan of defensive games then this is the series you are going to want to watch in round one of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Another reason why this series will most likely be a defensive one is because both teams don’t score a whole lot either. Both teams were in the bottom 12 of the NHL for goals scored even with the scoring talent they both have.

In order for the Nashville Predators to advance on to round two, they’re going to need the power play to be better because it has been horrible all season long. They have a 12.9% power play which sits 31st in the NHL, and last time I checked there are only 31 teams in the NHL. It will definitely need to be more consistent and it’s hard to believe it sits last with slick players like Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and P.K Subban. Now, for the Dallas Stars to win this series they’re going to need to do two things, and one is stick to the great defensive game they have played with all year under Head Coach Jim Montgomery. Another is get their captain Jamie Benn going as he did not have a great regular season. With being held to only 52 points this year, the team could use his scoring and physicality in this series.

X-Factor

The X-factor in this central division round one matchup could be as simple as home ice advantage and the fact that one team has a significant amount of deep playoff experience. That team is the Nashville Predators. Some of the Stars players do have playoff experience but not as many of them have gone on deep runs like basically the whole Predators lineup.

Series Prediction

It’s going to be a defensive battle and close series but I will be taking the Nashville Predators in six games over the Dallas Stars in round one.

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