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Round 2

Crosby vs. Ovechkin one of many storylines in second round of playoffs

Golden Knights' remarkable run, Rinne-Hellebuyck battle among highlights

by Dan Rosen @danrosennhl / Senior Writer

The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins Thursday, so it's time to dive into some of the biggest storylines to follow in each of the four series.

Here are eight to get you prepared for the next two weeks:

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Round 2

Laine misses Jets practice with 'malaise' ahead of Game 1 vs. Predators

Forward expected to play second-round opener

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Patrik Laine did not practice with the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday because of what coach Paul Maurice called a malaise, but the forward is expected to play in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Nashville Predators on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN360, TVAS).

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Broadcaster Blog: Setting the Table for Preds vs. Jets

Willy Daunic Discusses Interviews with Pierre Lebrun, Andrew Berkshire on Nashville and Winnipeg

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

The hockey world has been looking forward to this for months: Nashville Predators versus Winnipeg Jets. Not only are they the top two point-getters in the NHL, but the clubs played perhaps the most entertaining regular-season series of anyone. 

On Tuesday on the Preds flagship station, 102.5 The Game, the "Darren and Daunic" show had two insightful interviews to set the table for the series:

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Round 2

Jets wary of two-way game of Predators defensemen in second-round series

Keeping them in check big part of Winnipeg's game plan

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Getting past the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Second Round means getting past their defensemen while also containing those players at the other end of the ice.

It's a challenge for the Winnipeg Jets entering Game 1 of the best-of-7 series at Nashville on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN360, TVAS). The Jets were 2-3-0 against the Predators in the regular season.

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Round One Complete, Preds Turning Attention to Jets as Playoffs Continue

Nashville Believes Results in Game 6 Over Colorado Will Carry Into Second Round Against Winnipeg

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Communications & Content Coordinator

They knew it wasn't going to be easy.

It never is this time of year, a series between two teams who will do anything to find a way to win and advance.

When the Predators met the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the challenges were plentiful.

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Avalanche will 'stay the course' after playoff series loss

GM Sakic wants to get younger, faster following bounce-back season

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Stay the course. That's the game plan for the Colorado Avalanche, general manager Joe Sakic said Monday.

One day after the Avalanche were eliminated by the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round, Sakic said the goal is to get even younger and faster. The Avalanche were the youngest team in the NHL entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs with an average age of 25.8.

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Predators got boost from third line in first round against Avalanche

Scoring depth, excellent penalty kill, playoff experience helped Nashville advance

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators were pushed by the Colorado Avalanche but ultimately won their Western Conference First Round Series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six games.

The Predators, who won the Presidents' Trophy as the best team during the regular season, will advance to the Western Conference Second Round for the third consecutive season. They will play the Winnipeg Jets after eliminating the Avalanche with a 5-0 win in Game 6 at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

Here are 5 reasons why the Predators advanced to the second round:

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Round Two: Four Deciding Factors for Jets vs. Preds

Home-Ice Advantage Will Be Pivotal; Top Nine vs. Top Four

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

No Place Like Home: The Winnipeg Jets finished with the NHL's best home record at 32-7-2. The Predators took three of four points from their two games at Bell MTS Place and finished tied for third in the NHL with 28 home wins (28-9-4).

Even before the Predators opened the Stanley Cup Playoffs with two wins at Bridgestone Arena, Head Coach Peter Laviolette commented several times that his team had earned home-ice advantage so they could "just win all their home games" in the playoffs.

Yes, the coach admitted that's an overly simplistic way to view the twists and turns of the postseason, but in a playoff series that appears to be very evenly matched, the Predators holding home-ice advantage could be the difference.

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game recap

Predators shut out Avalanche in Game 6, advance to second round

Rinne makes 22 saves to clinch Western series; will face Jets next

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- The Nashville Predators advanced to the Western Conference Second Round with a 5-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of the first round at Pepsi Center on Sunday.

Pekka Rinne made 22 saves for the Predators, who will play the Winnipeg Jets in the second round.

Viktor Arvidsson, Nick Bonino, Filip Forsberg, Austin Watson and Mattias Ekholm scored for Nashville, which won the Presidents' Trophy this season with 117 points (53-18-11).

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Instant Analysis: West's Best Meet in Round Two

Teams Who Combined for 41 Goals in Season Series, Meet With Conference Final Spot on the Line

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

The top two finishers in the Western Conference will square off as the Nashville Predators meet the Winnipeg Jets in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time.

The Round Two series will open later this week in Nashville - with the schedule announced soon - but already has full analysis of the series, a look back at the five-game 2017-18 season series, X-factors and four things that will define the playoff matchup.

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