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Predators ravaged by food poisoning

Lineup uncertain heading into game against Penguins on Saturday

by Robby Stanley / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators are dealing with several cases of food poisoning that could affect their lineup against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, ROOT, NHL.TV).

Before the Predators' 5-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday, several players became ill, Nashville general manager David Poile said Saturday.

"[Friday] night we got into a situation where we suspect that we're dealing with some food poisoning in Detroit," Poile said. "I can't be too specific. Obviously we have a game tonight and we're doing some roster management right now. We'll have some more clarity, obviously, when we get closer to the game and at warmup, but we've got a lot of guys that are sick right now."

Predators forwards Ryan Johansen and Craig Smith had to leave the game against the Red Wings because of illness and did not return. Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said he knew something was wrong before the opening faceoff.

"I think we had our first guy [Johansen] go down right before warmups," Laviolette said. "He warmed up and played some time in the game but had to remove himself at some point."

The Predators finished the game with 10 forwards. Players were getting sick during intermissions but managed to finish the game, defenseman Roman Josi said.

"We were going down pretty hard last night," forward James Neal said. "I've never seen that many guys get sick, so it was weird, but we still tried to find a way to win. Came up a little short, but guys were battling."

It's unclear who will be available for the Predators against the Penguins. Neal, Josi and defenseman P.K. Subban spoke with the media, and each said he would play. The Predators will have players available from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League if they are needed, Poile said.

"These things happen a lot for teams during the season, and I'm happy to know that it's happening to us right away rather than dealing with it later in the season," Subban said. "Hopefully this is the last time we have to deal with something like this, but these things happen. It's just a matter of how you respond."

The Predators did not hold a morning skate Saturday. 

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