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Western Conference Notebook (Oct. 26)

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
Three weeks into the season and the Western Conference looks as deep as past seasons. Already eight teams have earned at least 10 points. And through the first 32 inter-conference match-ups, the Western Conference holds a 42-to-32 points lead over the Eastern Conference, despite the East winning six of the 10 overtime/shootout decisions.

PREDS 2010-11 "FIRSTS"
Last week nine Predators players registered a "first" for the 2010-11 season.

Bouillon - 1st point (Oct. 21 vs. PIT)
Franson - 1st goal (Oct. 21 vs. PIT)
Erat - 1st point (Oct. 21 vs. PIT)
Kostitsyn - 1st goal/1st point (Oct. 24 at TBL)
O'Reilly - 1st goal (Oct. 23 at DAL)
Smithson - 1st point (Oct. 24 at TBL)
Spaling - 1st point (Oct. 24 at TBL)
Rinne - 1st shutout (Oct. 23 at DAL)
Weber - 1st goal (Oct. 24 at TBL)

Ryan Getzlaf, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, and Daniel Sedin lead the Conference with 11 points, while Sharp leads the way with 8 goals. Pekka Rinne leads the Conference in goals against average (1.58) and save percentage (.955).

Central Division
All five teams in the division have already reached double-digits in points (only three other conference teams have reached double-digit points), with Nashville's 13 points leading the NHL ... The five Central Division teams are a combined 10-3-3 on the road this season ... The Division will play two games against the Eastern Conference this week: Atlanta at St. Louis on Saturday and Chicago at the NY Rangers on Monday ... There are two intra-divisional match-ups on the schedule for this week, both involving Nashville -- St. Louis at Nashville on Thursday and Nashville at Detroit on Saturday.

Northwest Division
Four of the five teams in the Northwest Division have already allowed at least 20 goals this season (only four teams in the other two divisions have allowed 20 or more goals) ... At 4-4-0, Colorado is five points behind the pace it set to open last season. The Avalanche were 6-1-1 through their first eight games in '09-10 on their way to a 10-1-2 start ... The Division will play three games against the Eastern Conference this week, all at home: Washington at Minnesota on Thursday, Washington at Calgary on Saturday, and New Jersey at Vancouver on Monday ... There are three intra-divisional match-ups on the schedule for this week: Edmonton at Calgary on Tuesday, Colorado at Vancouver on Tuesday, and Colorado at Calgary on Thursday.

Pacific Division
San Jose is the only team in the Conference without a home win this season. The Sharks are 0-2-1 through their first three home dates this season. Last season the Sharks were 27-6-8 at home -- the six regulation losses were the fewest at home in the Conference ... The Division will play six games against the Eastern Conference this week, with five of those six games coming at home. Phoenix visits Ottawa on Tuesday in the lone road out-of-conference battle for the Division. New Jersey goes to San Jose on Wednesday, New Jersey visits Anaheim on Friday, Buffalo plays at Dallas on Saturday, Tampa Bay travels to Phoenix on Saturday, and New Jersey visits Los Angeles on Saturday ... There are three intra-divisional match-ups on the schedule for this week: Anaheim at Dallas on Tuesday, Los Angeles at Dallas on Thursday, and Anaheim at San Jose on Saturday.
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