NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne has been cleared to return from a knee injury that kept him out the past three weeks, and he will start Thursday night against the Anaheim Ducks.
Nashville re-assigned goalie Marek Mazanec back to Milwaukee in the AHL on Wednesday, and coach Peter Laviolette said after practice Wednesday that they pushed back Rinne's return to err on the side of caution.
Rinne hurt his knee Jan. 13 against Vancouver and missed eight games with the Predators. He also sat out his first All-Star Game to recover. Rinne had been skating the past week, and the two-time Vezina Trophy finalist returns still sitting atop the NHL with 29 wins.
The Predators are tied with Anaheim atop the Western Conference with 72 points with a game in hand.