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Predators get Nystrom back to face Kings

Nashville forward missed 23 games with broken foot

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

KINGS (44-22-5) at PREDATORS (36-23-13)

TV: 8 p.m. ET; SNE, SNP, FS-W, FS-TN, NHL.TV

NASHVILLE - Forward Eric Nystrom will return to the lineup for the Nashville Predators against the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena on Monday.

Nystrom missed 23 games after breaking his foot on Jan. 26 during a 2-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks. He played two games with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League on Friday and Saturday, and was recalled by the Predators on Sunday.

"It was good to get in a couple of practices and then play a couple of games and get the timing back," Nystrom said. "Foot felt great, and I'm back and ready to help in any way I can." 

The Predators have played well in Nystrom's absence, going 13-5-5 in those 23 games and holding on to the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. 

Nystrom is looking forward to getting back into the lineup and contributing.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to come back and get in the lineup," Nystrom said. "The team has played so well that I knew the first step for me was just to get back on the ice and start practicing, and the next step was to have a conditioning stint in Milwaukee and then see what happens. 

"My focus was just getting healthy. I know the team played well and has been playing great since I've been out. I just want to come back when I get a chance, and tonight I'm obviously playing, so I just want to contribute to that any way I can." 

The Kings clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. They expect a tough game against the Predators in what could be a potential playoff preview.

"We know that this is a potential matchup and obviously they do too, so both teams are going to be looking to get a big [win] tonight and show the other team how they can really play," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. 

Nashville forward Mike Fisher will be presented with a silver stick for having played 1,000 career games. Fisher played his 1,000th game on March 3 in a 5-4 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Tyler Toffoli  

Kyle Clifford - Jeff Carter - Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson - Vincent Lecavalier - Trevor Lewis

Dwight King - Nick Shore - Andy Andreoff  

Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez - Luke Schenn

Brayden McNabb - Rob Scuderi  

Jonathan Quick

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Jamie McBain

Injured: Matt Greene (shoulder), Marian Gaborik (knee), Jordan Nolan (back), Kris Versteeg (undisclosed)


Calle Jarnkrok - Ryan Johansen - James Neal

Filip Forsberg - Mike Ribeiro - Craig Smith

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Viktor Arvidsson  

Eric Nystrom - Colton Sissons - Miikka Salomaki

Roman Josi - Shea Weber

Mattias Ekholm - Ryan Ellis  

Anthony Bitetto - Barret Jackman

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Petter Granberg, Austin Watson

Injured: Paul Gaustad (upper body), Gabriel Bourque (upper body)

Status report: Toffoli moved to the top line in the absence of Versteeg at the morning skate; Versteeg is listed as day-to-day. … The Predators held an optional morning skate. … Rinne is expected to start. 

Who's hot: Quick was named the NHL's second star of the week and is 5-0-1 in his past six starts. … Neal has four goals and one assist in his past three games.

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