Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros is considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Saros exited Tuesday night’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes after colliding with Nino Niederreiter. The Predators’ PR team confirmed his injury status via Twitter today.
#Preds goaltender Juuse Saros is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) March 3, 2021
Juuse Saros Out With Upper-Body Injury
Juuse Saros left the game after the first period following a head collision with Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter. At the time of the incident, Nashville’s starting goaltender was behind the net, attempting to play the puck along the boards, when Niederreiter skated into the trapezoid in an attempt to steal it off of him. The top-six winger’s helmet then smacked into Saros’ mask as he skated around the net. Niederreiter received a minor penalty for roughing after the incident.
On Wednesday, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety fined Nino Niederreiter $5,000 for Goaltender Interference, the maximum amount allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Despite the hit, Saros continued in net for the remaining 15 minutes of the first period before being replaced by Pekka Rinne at the start of the second frame. Unfortunately, Rinne’s 16 saves on 17 shots in relief was in vain as the Predators lost 4-2 on the night.
Overall, the netminding duties have been split evenly in Nashville this season. Saros has played 12 games with a .898 save percentage and Rinne has also played 12 games with a .911 save percentage. However, both goaltenders have struggled in the underlying metrics. Out of 50 goaltenders to play at least seven games, Rinne and Saros rank 36th and 42nd respectively in save percentage above expected.
What This Means Going Forward
The Predators (10-12-0) will likely call up third-choice Finnish goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo from the taxi-squad to fill the void on the roster. Kaskisuo has a .909 save percentage after 95 games in the AHL. Nashville signed him as a free-agent this off-season. The undrafted 27-year-old has played one game in the NHL for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He stopped 32 of 38 shots in a 6-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2019-20.
Kaskisuo became the third choice on the Predators’ pecking order after highly-touted prospect, Connor Ingram took a leave of absence to enter the league’s Player Assistance Program. Nashville acquired Ingram from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade back in 2019. He is currently signed through the 2022-23 season. A third-round pick in 2016, Ingram has a .923 save percentage in 90 games in the AHL.
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