NHL Betting Preview (April 23): Predators Vs. Canucks Game 2 Predictions

Playoff fever is back in beautiful British Columbia. The Vancouver Canucks finished the regular season as one of the top teams in the NHL but still needed a comeback effort in Game 1 of their first-round playoff matchup with the Nashville Predators to take a 1-0 series lead.

Heading into Game 2, both teams will be looking to make adjustments. If you want to put a few bucks down on the action, it helps to have as much information as possible. Check out our preview for Game 2 featuring the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Nashville Predators.

Bet on Predators vs. Canucks GM 2

NSH +134
VAN -148

Predators vs. Canucks best odds

Predators Moneyline Odds+140 @ bet365
Canucks Moneyline Odds-148 @ Pinnacle
Puckline OddsCanucks -1.5 (+172) @ FanDuel
Predators +1.5 (-189) @ PROLINE +
Series OddsCanucks -330, Predators +265 (bet365)
Total Over 5.5 goals (-114) @ Pinnacle
Under 5.5 goals (+102) @ Pinnacle
Time/DateApril 23, 10:00 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: Sportsnet
Stream: Sportsnet+
(How to watch the NHL in Canada?)

Betting Nashville Predators (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS, 1-0 o/u)

The Predators, who nabbed the top Wild Card spot in the Western Conference, came into the series as heavy underdogs. Though that will not change, they showed for two periods that they’re capable of playing with the Canucks. Then again, these games are 60 minutes, and giving up three goals in the third is something they’d prefer to put behind them.

The Predators need to tighten things up if they’re going to steal a game in Vancouver. They have given up three goals per game over their last 10 games, in which they have gone 4-5-1. This is an uphill battle in every sense of the word.

That said, the Predators do have the experience advantage in their corner. Ryan O’Reilly was a pivotal part of the 2019 Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues. Plus, Ryan McDonagh and Roman Josi both have deep playoff runs under their belts.

If the Predators are going to succeed, they need to pressure the smaller Canucks defence and pepper Thatcher Demko early and often. The Canucks showed in Game 1 that they can respond to being punched in the mouth, but can they keep doing it over the course of a seven-game series?

Betting Vancouver Canucks (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 o/u)

After 40 minutes of playoff action, doubt had to be swirling for the Canucks faithful. Yet here we sit, the Canucks leading the series 1-0 heading into Game 2. There is always pressure that comes with being one of the best teams in the NHL, but so far it looks like the Canucks can manage it.

In the playoffs, heroes come from unlikely places. Sure, J.T. Miller had an assist. Quinn Hughes had a pair of them. But Dakota Joshua wound up having a multi-goal game and the Canucks flexed their depth in a third period that saw them score three goals to give them the game.

Demko was good, not great, but he didn’t need to be. If anything, it’s a positive for the Canucks in that they didn’t play their A-game but still managed to win. Depth is tested in the playoffs and every champion finds contributions from the most unlikely places.

The goal in Game 2 will be to come out swinging in the first period. The Predators have been a tough team to play all year long and showed that they won’t just lay down to the top team in the Pacific Division just because the standings said they should.

J.T. Miller over 0.5 assists


Last matchup

Canucks faithful couldn’t have felt good about things as Game 1 developed. Jason Zucker opened the scoring for the Predators, giving them the 1-0 advantage heading into the second period.

Elias Lindholm gave the home crowd a bit of a breather with his goal just 47 seconds into the second period, but O’Reilly made his veteran presence felt later in the period. He picked up a power play goal to put the Predators up 2-1 heading into the final frame.

In the third, the depth of the Canucks came to life. Pius Suter and Dakota Joshua scored 12 seconds apart to put the Canucks up 3-2 in the blink of an eye. Joshua added a second, an empty-netter, with just under 1:30 left to seal it for the Canucks.

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
Casey DeSmith
12-9-6, 2.89 GAA, .896 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 – Alexandre Carrier
Spencer Stastney – Luke Schenn

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

Both teams will roll the same lines going into Game 2. The top line for Nashville was its best, combining for three points on the night with O’Reilly scoring midway through the second period. Six players earned points in Game 1, illustrating the puck movement that the Predators are capable of.

Canucks fans are going to want to see more out of the second line. The top line did fine, but it was the third line of Joshua – Lindholm – Garland that stole the show. The best teams are propped up by their bottom six when the top players are being locked down and that was certainly the case in Game 1.

Predators vs. Canucks injury concerns

News broke Tuesday afternoon that Demko is out for Game 2 with an undisclosed injury and is questionable for the remainder of the series.

Both teams are otherwise healthy.

  • The last time the Canucks made the playoffs (2020, the bubble year), things looked a little different. They went 10-7 during that stretch but had lost three of their previous five playoff games prior to snatching Game 1 from Nashville.
  • Things haven’t gone well for the Predators in the playoffs of late. Going back to the 2021 playoffs, the Predators have lost eight of 10 games. That includes being swept by the Colorado Avalanche in 2022, when they were outscored 21-9 over the four games.
  • The game total is 5.5 goals, which the Canucks managed to best three times in their previous eight playoff games. They combined for six goals in Game 1 but had previously achieved the feat in Game 2 and Game 4 against the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2020 Conference Semifinals.
  • Elias Pettersson is one of the top scorers in the league but hasn’t been the greatest in the postseason. He hasn’t scored in his last three playoff games. Aside from a three-point effort in Game 2 of the aforementioned Knights series, Petterson has just two points in seven games otherwise.
  • O’Reilly is an impactful player for the Predators even if he isn’t on the stat sheet. That said, he has points in just three of his last eight playoff games. His last strong effort came with Toronto against Tampa, when he racked up seven points in six games in the former’s first playoff series win in 20 years.
  • Miller has been very, very good historically in the playoffs, though it has been four years since his last appearance. With an assist in Game 1, Miller has points in four of his previous five games. He has racked up eight points in that span, seven of them being helpers.

Predators vs. Canucks predictions

  • Things were tight until a late explosion and an empty-netter from the Canucks. The under is set at 5.5 goals (-110), but things should be similar to the first 40 minutes of Game 1. Look for the under (best odds +102 @ Pinnacle) to hit in this one.
  • As mentioned, Miller is as hot as can be when it comes to his playoff track record. He already found the score sheet in Game 1 and had the best regular season of his career. Look for him to keep it going by registering a point (best odds -200 @ Betway) in Game 2 as well.
  • The Predators have failed to cover the puckline in four of their past five playoff games. Look for them to snap out of that streak in a game that should come down to the final minutes (best odds -189 at PROLINE +).