The Nashville Predators’ No. 1 goalie Juuse Saros will not play his side’s Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Colorado Avalanche owing to a lower-body injury.
The Finnish ice hockey player Saros had earlier missed the final two games of the regular season. Before this, he made 30 saves before leaving a 5-4 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday at 13:28 of the third period.
Talking about the Saros’ unavailability in the upcoming games, Predators coach John Hynes, however, did not announce whether David Rittich or Connor Ingram will start as a goaltender when the best-of-7 series gets underway at Ball Arena in Denver on Tuesday.
“[Juuse] will be out the first two games, and then we’ll go from there,” Hynes said after practice Monday, as quoted by NHL.com. “He’s doing his rehab, he’s working, and he’s getting better.”
“Juuse has been a real strong backbone of our team”
Hynes further went on to mention that the 27-year-old, who was 38-25-3 with 2.64 goals, has been preparing for the game and might take the ice if he’s fit and ready.
He added: “He’s in all of our team meetings. He’s there. He’s preparing himself mentally to make sure that when and if he’s ready, then he’s going to be ready to go. We’re just trying to do the best job we can to provide him with the opportunity to get better, and he’s taken advantage of it.
“He’s been a real strong backbone of our team. He’s one of the elite goalies in the League and he gives us a chance to win every night. I think when you look at top goalies in the League when there are breakdowns in the game, which there are, it’s hard to play a perfect game. Lots of times, he’s a guy that can keep the puck out of the net.”