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Nashville Predators lock up 6th playoff berth in 7 seasons

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With tonight's 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (their 17th straight win over the Blue Jackets on home ice), the Nashville Predators guaranteed their 6th playoff appearance in the last 7 seasons. With 99 points and 1 more game left to play tomorrow at St. Louis, they have a chance to top the 100-point mark for the 4th time in 6 seasons, as well.

The Western Conference standings will surely remain unsettled until the final games of the regular season conclude on Sunday, however. Any position from 4th all the way down to 8th still remains a possibility at this point, but two games worth watching as this evening progresses have the Phoenix Coyotes hosting San Jose, and the Anaheim Ducks hosting the Los Angeles Kings. If the Ducks and Sharks triumph tonight, the Preds will hold onto 4th place for at least one night, and have the inside track towards earning home ice advantage in the first round.

The full game recap will come along later this evening, but for now, we can look ahead to playoff hockey once again here in Nashville!

So I'm going to toss a question out for you to consider - which individual player do you expect to step forward in these 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Obviously the team has a major goal on the table, pushing past the first round and making a deep run, but which single Pred do you think will thrive in that spotlight?