The Nashville Predators have placed goaltender Pekka Rinne on injured reserve after leaving Friday night’s game in Calgary, according to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug. The transaction means that Rinne will be out a minimum of three games and won’t be able to return until next Saturday against Edmonton.
Rinne exited the ice early in the third period soon after colliding with teammate Kevin Fiala as the two got tangled up on Sam Bennett’s goal 2:20 minutes into the period. Rinne stayed in for another 2:43 seconds before finally being replaced by Juuse Saros. According to the Tennessean’s Paul Skrbina, head coach Peter Laviolette said it wasn’t the team’s or Rinne’s decision to leave the game. He left due to the league’s concussion protocol.
“We didn’t pull him, so something was wrong,” Laviolette said.
Saros is expected to fill in for the Predators for tonight’s game against Edmonton. The team intends to recall Miroslav Svoboda from Atlanta of the ECHL for tonight’s game, adds Rishaug, but considering that he’s in Atlanta and the game in Edmonton, it might be a challenge to get him there by game time.
It’s a big loss for the Predators. Rinne, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner, is 3-1 through five starts this year, posting a 2.10 GAA and an impressive .929 save percentage. The team is lucky to have Saros, who is Rinne’s eventual successor, although Nashville has been discussing an extension with Rinne recently. Saros has won all three of his appearances this season and boasts a 2.23 GAA and a .919 save percentage. Svoboda, the team’s seventh-rounder in 2015, has been impressive in two appearances in the ECHL, posting a 1.50 GAA and a .946 save percentage.