The Nashville Predators dropped a heartbreaker to the Anaheim Ducks after roaring back with two late goals to send the game into overtime and drop the series lead, but the biggest loss may be center Ryan Johansen, who was injured in the defeat. It turned out to be more than a day-to-day issue.
During last night’s game, Ryan Johansen suffered a left thigh injury and needed surgery. He is out for the rest of the playoffs
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 19, 2017
Johansen was the key cog in the Predators’ machine this playoff season, leading the team in scoring with 13 points on the top line that features Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg, one of the better trios in the NHL this season combining for 35 points between them this playoff and 180 points in the regular season. He had six points in his previous five games. Their chemistry of puck possession continued as Johansen’s Corsi-for relative to when he was on the ice versus off of it was +10.1, right behind his linemates in terms of the team lead this playoff among skaters who had played at least ten games.
For Nashville’s overall team health, the news gets a bit murkier with team captain Mike Fisher leaving last night’s game, likely as a result of a net-front collision with Josh Manson when he jumped up to clear the puck out of his goal crease. The scoring dries up after Johansen down the middle, as Fisher had zero points coming into last night’s game, and Calle Jarnkrok has two points, with his only goal being an empty netter.
Remember: Mike Fisher left the game in the third period. We don’t know his status. If he can’t play, Calle Jarnkrok could be the 1C.
— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) May 19, 2017
Johansen does not have much of an injury history. In fact, this is his fifth consecutive season of playing at least 80 games. The recovery will not be too long, as he looks to be in shape to return for training camp in the fall.
An update on Ryan Johansen’s status: pic.twitter.com/Et2vuaR0GI
— Nashville Preds PR (@PredsPR) May 19, 2017
As a team, the Predators now have to face the task of defeating the Ducks two out of three times to reach their first Stanley Cup Final without home ice advantage, facing a tremendous amount of added adversity in their pathway there.