The Nashville Predators did not skate in line rushes during their practice Tuesday morning, making their lineup for Tuesday's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets unclear.
However, one name that will not be in it is forward Sergei Kostitsyn, whom Predators coach Barry Trotz said will be a healthy scratch.
“Absolutely not,” Trotz told The Tennessean without any level of hesitation when asked if Kostitsyn would play Tuesday.
Kostitsyn upset Trotz during the Predators' game Sunday against the Edmonton Oilers, when he left the ice early on a line change on a third-period power play. Kostitsyn's early change allowed Sam Gagner to create a 2-on-1 rush with Lennart Petrell, leading to the go-ahead shorthanded goal in the Oilers' 3-2 victory.
“That’s just accountability as a player, to the coach, to the group that you have to be accountable, and he wasn’t accountable there, so no he’s not playing,” Trotz said.
Kostitsyn told The Tennessean, “I didn’t want to be in that situation with that mistake. It’s life. You’re going to make mistakes. I’m going to work hard to get back in the lineup.”
Trotz said he spoke with Kostitsyn after the loss to the Oilers and it was “mostly one-sided. He knows, and I think the players respect that he was held accountable there.”
Players said they tried their best to give Kostitsyn a lift over the past two days, and he acknowledged his mistake.
“Obviously you have to try to get back to work and try to help him out as much as you can. It’s a tough situation,” defenseman Shea Weber told The Tennessean. “It’s going to take time and guys in here helping and give him some more confidence along the way.”