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Preds, Sharks will duke it out for Western crown

Updated: January 23, 2007, 1:42 PM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

Central Division

Nashville Predators The Predators rode out injuries to Jason Arnott and Tomas Vokoun, among others, to emerge as the NHL's top team at the break after an 8-2 run. Deep on defense and bigger and more potent up front, the Preds are quietly now the team to beat in the West.

First-half surprises: The play of netminding understudy Chris Mason, who is 20-8-2 and leads the league with a .930 save percentage.

Second-half questions: A season ago, GM David Poile gave ...

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