Florida Panthers 6, Nashville Predators 2: Matt Duchene on IR before third straight loss
The Predators suffered another loss Saturday before trying to avoid their third loss in a row.
The team announced before the game that center Matt Duchene will miss three to five weeks with a lower-body injury. He joins defenseman Ryan Ellis, forward Luke Kunin and goalie Juuse Saros on injured reserve.
On the ice against the Florida Panthers, Duchene's injury meant the JoFA line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson was reunited.
It didn't matter. The Panthers prevailed 6-2 at Bridgestone Arena.
Forsberg recorded his 23rd point in 24 games when he assisted on Eeli Tolvanen's power play goal 5:46 into the first period. It was his 200th career assist.
Tolvanen scored seven seconds into a power play, marking just the eighth time in 24 games the Predators have scored first.
It was the Predators' seventh shot on goal of the game, compared to none for the Panthers, who didn't get their first until 10:01 into the period.
The Panthers, though, scored the next four in a row.
Aaron Ekblad tied it with 12.6 seconds remaining in the first. Jonathan Huberdeau need just 1:15 into the second to put the visitors ahead 2-1. Former Predator Patric Hornqvist recorded his 500th career point on the play.
Noel Acciari pushed the Panthers' lead to 3-1 a little more than 10 minutes later, the first of his three goals. With 1:13 left in the second, Acciari recorded his second goal of the period and the season.
Arvidsson scored 19 seconds into the third period, his first goal since Jan. 30, a span of 15 games without one. Forsberg picked up an assist on the play.
The Predators fell to 10-14-0, while the Panthers improved to 15-4-4
Big number: 1-9. Predators record against the Panthers, Lightning and Hurricanes, the top three teams in the Central, this season. They beat the Panthers 6-5 in overtime Feb. 4.
On the wire: The Predators called up forward Mathieu Olivier and defenseman Alexandre Carrier from the taxi squad and reassigned forward Michael McCarron to the taxi squad. They also reassigned forward Tanner Jeannot to Chicago (AHL) from the taxi squad.
Next: Predators at Dallas Stars, 7 p.m. Sunday, American Airlines Center, Fox Sports Tennessee, 102.5-FM.
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