The Predators placed veteran forward Martin Erat
on injured reserve Thursday retroactive to Oct. 8. In addition, right wing Patric Hornqvist
also will be out for Nashville's home opener Thursday with Phoenix, meaning Niclas Bergfors
and Brian McGrattan
will make their debuts for the organization.
Erat has an upper-body injury, while Hornqvist, a 30-goal scorer in 2009-10, has a lower-body injury.
A member of the NHL All-Rookie team in 2009-10, the Preds are Bergfors' fourth team since February 2010. He was a healthy scratch for Nashville's first two games -- both wins on the road, against Columbus and St. Louis -- but is a former 20-goal scorer.
"Bergfors is coming into the lineup and he'll probably play with Sergei Kostitsyn
," Predators coach Barry Trotz
said of the line centered by Nick Spaling
. "… I think he's a little bit like Sergei (in 2010-11), I think he had an OK camp, but it's just like last year, Sergei took a while to get used to how we play and I think Bergie had to catch up a little bit there.
"But he's really a pretty good detail guy, he's pretty competitive. What you notice about him, he's quick, but not fast. Sergei's more … he can get from goal line to goal line a little quicker, but Bergie really darts in the short areas and he's got a really good release and that's sort of his game. With the way the game's played now, he should be pretty effective if we can get him into the offensive zone and get cycling around and making those short plays. He'll probably do a really good job there."
McGrattan, claimed Tuesday on waivers from Anaheim, brings a physical element. He has 395 penalty minutes in 182 NHL games. The Preds made room for him earlier in the week when they sent Zack Stortini
to Milwaukee of the AHL.
Trotz said in terms of Nashville's defense that rookie Mattias Ekholm
will be a game-time decision. Jack Hillen
and Teemu Laakso
, both of whom are minus-1, have formed Nashville's third pair. Ekholm was sick for the Preds' first two games last week.
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett
did not announce any lineup changes after his morning skate.
So here's how the lineups for the two teams could look tonight:
- David Legwand
- Craig Smith
- Nick Spaling
- Niclas Bergfors
- Cal O'Reilly
- Matt Halischuk
- Jerred Smithson
- Brian McGrattan
- Shea Weber
- Kevin Klein
- Teemu Laakso
will start in goal, with Anders Lindback
- Daymond Langkow
- Shane Doan
- Martin Hanzal
- Radim Vrbata
- Lauri Korpikoski
- Boyd Gordon
- Petteri Nokelainen
- Mikkel Boedker
- Derek Morris
- Rostislav Klesla
- Adrian Aucoin
will start in goal, with Jason LaBarbera