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Vokoun out 1-2 weeks, Legwand out 4

Friday, 12.9.2005 / 4:56 PM CT / News
Nashville Predators
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Vokoun out 1-2 weeks, Legwand out 4

Good news was tempered with bad news Friday at the Predators' practice facility, as the team provided updates on the injury status of goaltender Tomas Vokoun and center David Legwand. Vokoun, who injured his left knee while making a save on New York Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis Thursday night, has been diagnosed with a sprained knee and is expected to miss one to two weeks. "We were afraid yesterday it was going to be torn cartilage and that would have been tough, especially for a goalie," Vokoun said, wearing a brace on his left leg. "It would maybe have needed surgery, and that would be maybe four weeks. So this is probably the best thing we could hope for in that bad situation."

The outlook for Legwand, who also injured his left knee in Thursday's game, isn't as bright. His scenario is the one Vokoun feared; the 6'2", 190-pound Detroit native will undergo arthroscopic surgery on Monday to repair torn cartilage in the knee and is expected to be out a month. "If you look at it, it didn't look like much happened there [when Legwand was injured], but it's the way he sort of hooked his leg on the guy...," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said. "He'll be missed, but other guys have to step up."

The Predators wasted little time in making a call to their American Hockey League affiliate in Milwaukee after Thursday's game, bringing up goaltender Brian Finley and center Kris Beech. "Last night, a quarter after 10," Beech said when asked when he first heard he was coming to Nashville. He and Finley took a morning flight from Milwaukee and participated in the Predators' 11 a.m. practice at Centennial Sportsplex.

"Obviously you never like to see anyone get injured, but from a personal standpoint it's nice to get called up," Finley said. "It's been a quick and a long day."

Finley, Nashville's first-round pick in 1999, was recently named the Koho/AHL Goaltender of the Month for November 2005 after going 5-0-0 with three shutouts, a 1.16 goals-against average and a .962 save percentage in six appearances. Beech, who coincidentally was selected by Washington one spot after Finley in the 1999 Entry Draft, currently leads Milwaukee in scoring with 22 points in 22 games.

"Right now I'm planning on [Beech] to either play with Kariya and Erat or Upshall and Hall," Trotz said. "Those two lines. I think I'll keep the Perreault line together, and we'll see how [Beech] does. He's got a great opportunity to play with either group."

"He's got very, very good vision," Trotz added. "He's a big man. He's got some good skill. He's put up offensive numbers in the American Hockey League for the last couple of years. We're going to put him in that role and see what he can do."

At the other end of the rink, Mason--who is 3-0-1 in five appearances for Nashville this season--will carry the load until Vokoun returns. "I sort of had a plan for Chris based on the next five weeks," Trotz said. "Looking at the schedule... I thought he was going to get one [game] a week for four or five games a month. That was the plan originally. Now he might get an extra three, four, five games on top of that. I think it will work out fine."

Vokoun clarified the bizarre turn of events at the start of the second period Thursday night that resulted in Mason assuming netminding duties with little to no warning. "I know when I hurt it," Vokoun said. "I hurt it on the play [Rangers defenseman Darius] Kasparaitis went across the net. First, I didn't want to leave in the middle of the period. Second of all, it wasn't that bad. I felt pain, but I guess the knee was kind of warm, it was moving around. Then I went to the dressing room and I thought, it's just a tweak and I'm going to stay in the game. I came out for the [warm-up routine] I do before every period, and I was trying to go to the half-butterfly and trying to stretch my leg and I couldn't do it. The pain was so severe, so I just said if you can't make a butterfly and you're goalie, you can't be in the game. I felt bad for [Mason], because I didn't say a word during the intermission because I had no idea it was going to be this bad. I came out on the ice and there was no way I could have played."

"We had no indication [that he was injured]," Trotz said. "It sort of caught us off guard a little bit. He came out for the second period, didn't say anything between periods to the trainers or to anybody. He went out there and felt it wasn't right and then came to the bench. It was a real tough spot for Chris to be in and it sort of caught us all off guard, and it showed in our play I think a little bit, unfortunately." The Predators lost 5-1 to the Rangers for only their third home defeat of the season.

Legwand was placed on the team's injured reserve list Friday. He joins teammates Greg Johnson, Danny Markov, Scott Walker and Scott Nichol on IR. Markov may return to action during the Predators' upcoming two-game trip to Florida, while Johnson is doubtful for both games. Neither Walker nor Nichol is expected to return to the lineup until January at the earliest, but both will be going to Florida with the team nonetheless. "This is a trip that we said we would take everybody on," Trotz said. "Tomas is going to make the trip with us and get treatments, and we're going to do that with all our guys. We've got a couple days off so we just wanted to keep everybody together."





1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33