NHL Betting Preview (April 21): Predators vs. Canucks Predictions

Excitement is high in British Columbia as the Vancouver Canucks get set to play their first home playoff game since the 2014/15 season. While the team has slightly cooled, the Canucks have made huge strides overall this season, and hopes are high as they take their first serious run at the Stanley Cup in what feels like forever. In their way are the Nashville Predators, another team that surprised many this year. Let’s dive into what fans can expect ahead of Game 1.

Bet on Predators vs. Canucks

NSH +120
VAN -140

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The Canucks are home favourites, coming in at approximately -140 to -155 on the moneyline.

Predators vs. Canucks Best Odds

Canucks Moneyline Odds-140 @ theScore Bet
Predators Moneyline Odds+128 @ Pinnacle
Puckline oddsCanucks -1.5 (+180) @ FanDuel
Predators +1.5 (-199) @ Pinnacle
Total Over 5.5 goals (-115) @ Pinnacle
Under 5.5 goals (+103) @ Pinnacle
Time/DateApril 21, 10:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Betting Vancouver Canucks (50-23-9 SU, 42-40 ATS, 41-37-4 o/u)

If we’re being honest, the Canucks aren’t coming into this series quite as hot as their 109-point, Pacific Division-winning full-season performance would imply. While the team looked like the favourites to win the President’s Trophy at the All-Star Break, going 33-11-5 in their first 49 games, they’ve been closer to pretty good since, putting up a 17-12-4 record from February through April. Losing Thatcher Demko for a bit didn’t help things, nor did the team’s finishing tapering downward for a bit.

At the same time, if you offered Canucks fans a 94-point pace – still enough to qualify for the playoffs and enough to clear their total points line – at the start of the season, they probably would’ve taken it. The team’s 54% share of the shot attempts and 55% share of the expected goals after the break still show a strong sense of process as well. So while they won’t be coming in as juggernauts, they aren’t exactly falling off the cliff either.

Between the great work Rick Tocchet has done coaching this team, Quinn Hughes’ Norris-calibre season, JT Miller’s run at the 100-point plateau, and Elias Petterson’s own fantastic year and eight-year commitment to the team, one can be pretty happy with this season already. But no one goes into the playoffs just happy to be here. A healthy and somewhat rested group will no doubt look to recapture the momentum that made them so great at the beginning of the season, and having home ice to feed off of from the start will help with that.

Betting Nashville Predators (47-30-5 SU, 42-40 ATS, 37-37-8 o/u)

The boys in Smashville have been one of the more interesting and feel-good stories of this season. In Barry Trotz’s first year behind the GM’s helm rather than behind a bench, his messaging implied a bit of a rebuilding process, but one that preferred to keep players focused on a winning mindset instead of accepting a scorched earth directive. The team still signed veterans and managed a big pull in the hiring of Andrew Brunette to be their head coach over the summer.

For most of the year, the team looked just okay – which is more or less what they’d expected. But then something clicked. Some say it was the infamous “U2 punishment“, where the team had a bonding trip cancelled in February due to poor efforts in the days leading in. Maybe the timing was just coincidental. Whatever the case, it was the precursor to a miracle run, where the team didn’t lose another game in regulation for a month and a half, going 16-0-2. Their close to the season hasn’t been quite as impressive, hovering around the 0.500 zone, but it built the Predators enough buffer to not just hang around the dance, but get in.

Several of their best players deserve a lot of credit. Filip Forsberg exploded for 48 goals and 94 points this season, Roman Josi turned back the clock to have one of the best seasons of his career at 33 years old, Gustav Nyqvist found new life to have his best year at 34, Ryan O’Reilly proved to be a very shrewd free agent signing, and Jusse Saros remained his fantastic self between the pipes. Whether they can all maintain their runs, particularly the veterans, remains to be seen – a lot is being asked of a group that’s a mix of very inexperienced and getting up there in years. But they’re certainly not going to be a quiet out.

Last Matchup

The Canucks and Predators played against each other three times this year, all of them coming before Christmas. This means that Vancouver was at their hottest and Nashville not yet in their second-half form, and the Canucks took major advantage of this, sweeping the season series. In the final game on December 19th, Vancouver cruised to a 5-2 victory, scoring two first-period goals within 31 seconds of each other and padding their lead bit by bit until the game’s end.

Projected Predators and Canucks Lines

Today’s Vancouver Canucks LinesToday’s Nashville Predators Lines
Pius Suter – JT Miller – Brock Boeser
Nils Hoglander – Elias Pettersson – Sam Lafferty
Dakota Joshua – Elias Lindholm – Conor Garland
Phil Di Giuseppe – Teddy Blueger – Ilya Mikheyev

Quinn Hughes – Filip Hronek
Carson Soucy – Tyler Myers
Ian Cole – Nikita Zadorov

Starting In Goal
Thatcher Demko
35-14-2, 2.45 GAA, 0.918 SV%
Filip Forsberg – Ryan O’Reilly – Gustav Nyqvist
Anthony Beauvillier – Tommy Novak – Luke Evangelista
Mark Jankowski – Colton Sissons – Jason Zucker
Cole Smith – Michael McCarron – Kiefer Sherwood

Ryan McDonagh – Roman Josi
Jeremy Lauzon – Dante Fabbro
Spencer Stastney – Luke Schenn

Starting In Goal
Juuse Saros
35-24-5, 2.86 GAA, 0.906 SV%

After resting a ton of talent in Game 82, the Canucks are back at full force heading into tonight. Nashville will be running more or less the same lineup as they ended the season with, with an identically arranged blue line and some re-arrangement of the middle-six, albeit with the same players.

Elias Pettersson to score a goal


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Predators vs. Canucks Injury Concerns

In what feels like a bit of a modern miracle, both teams are healthy going into this game. Well, playoff-healthy, at the very least. Let’s enjoy seeing both at full capacity while we can!

  • In the head-to-head between these two teams, the Canucks are 6-4 over the last ten games, dating back to February 2020. They posted a 7-3 record against the puck line over those same games, and seven of ten games eclipsed the total goals line.
  • Entering the playoffs, the Canucks went 5-5 in their final ten games, with a 2-8 record against the puck line and an even split of overs and unders against the total goals line.
  • In Nashville’s final ten games, they put up a 4-6 record, including a 3-7 record against the puck line and 5-3-2 record against the total goals line.
  • JT Miller, even with a rest day, led the Canucks in points in their final ten games, picking up twelve (3G 9A). Conor Garland co-led the team with five goals and led the team with 36 shots, while Quinn Hughes led the team with seven assists.
  • The sneaky co-leader for goals? That would be Dakota Joshua, who had five of his eighteen in those last ten games.
  • In Nashville’s final ten games, it was Filip Forsberg who led the way, scoring eight goals and five assists for a team-leading thirteen points. He also led the team in shots on goal, with 51. Leading the team in assists was Roman Josi, who had eight.

Predators vs. Canucks Predictions

  • Elias Pettersson was explosive in his last two games against Nashville this year, posting four goals and an assist along with eleven shots. He had a rough end to his season, with just one goal in Vancouver’s 13 games and six in their final 30, but this is a new season and he can send a strong message with a tally tonight. The best value you’ll find on an anytime goal is on Pointsbet, sitting at +220.
  • I like the total goals over in this game. A line of 5.5 reflects playoff hockey, but still feels low for the firepower that both of these teams can wield at their best, and I’m expecting a ton of energy out of the Canucks tonight in particular. The best value on the over can be found on Pinnacle, at -113.
  • Flip Forsberg has been firing a ton of rubber lately, hitting the net 95 times in Nashville’s last 19 games. Goalless against the Canucks this year, he’ll be hungry to prove himself tonight. Your best value on a shot prop will be at Betano, where you can get him over 4.5 shots at +125. If you’re feeling the under, DraftKings at -150 is the play.

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