The Nashville Predators took on the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night in what ended up being a 5-4 decision for the Flames in overtime. In the third period, Predators goaltender Juuse Saros left the ice after suffering an apparent lower-body injury as he limped down the tunnel with help from the training staff. David Rittich was sent into the game in relief and ultimately gave up two goals on the five shots he faced in the overtime loss.
The Predators announced late Wednesday morning that Saros would miss the remaining two games of the regular season. Still, it was hockey insider Frank Seravalli who provided a more concerning update on Twitter shortly after.
It appears that Saros’ status for game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is in serious doubt. Saros has been Nashville’s MVP this season, posting a 38-25-3 record with a solid 2.64 GAA and .918 SV%. If he misses significant time, the path through the first round of the Playoffs would be a significantly higher uphill battle.
The Preds are back in action Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche, where they will continue to jockey for playoff positioning. Losses in the final games of the regular season could potentially mean a date with the President’s Trophy-winning Avs. In contrast, a couple of victories would guarantee a first-round matchup against the Flames.
The Predators have had some success against the Calgary Flames this season, going 2-0-1 in the season series, with each game being decided in overtime or shootouts. The Saros injury could not only jeopardize a more favorable playoff matchup but also put them at an enormous disadvantage if he is unable to return for game 1. Until he is ready, David Rittich will have to hold things down between the pipes, with the newly recalled Connor Ingram backing him up.