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Predators' Jarnkrok takes Fisher's place vs. Panthers

by Robby Stanley

PANTHERS (11-9-4) at PREDATORS (13-7-4)


NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators will be without forward Mike Fisher when they host the Florida Panthers at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Fisher sustained a lower-body injury in the second period of Nashville's 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday and will be out at least the next four games. Forward Calle Jarnkrok will take Fisher's place on the Predators' second line.

"I think [Jarnkrok] has come such a long way just in the year plus that I've been here," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "His faceoffs have come a long way. His understanding of the game, he's a real smart player. Defensively we continue to rely on him, and that's something that we relied on [Fisher] for. Offensively he seems to be finding his way right now and doing a good job with that. Having [Jarnkrok] ready to jump into a position like that is good for us. It's good depth."

Florida has won three in a row and will play the third game of a five-game road trip. Forward Jaromir Jagr has 730 career goals, putting him one behind Marcel Dionne for fourth in NHL history. He's happy with the way his team has been playing lately.

"I think we are more responsible," Jagr said. "It's tough to describe. We don't have a team like Chicago, who's got so much power and confidence and they can play the game and in the third period just turn it on and win the hockey game. We have to treat this regular season like the (Stanley Cup) Playoffs, and when we did it last year, the last 20 games we were very, very good. I think we have to do it again, and I think we did it a little bit in the last three games."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brandon PirriAleksander BarkovJaromir Jagr

Jussi JokinenVincent TrocheckJonathan Huberdeau

Logan ShawDave BollandReilly Smith

Quinton HowdenDerek MacKenzieConnor Brickley

Brian CampbellAaron Ekblad

Erik GudbransonWillie Mitchell

Steven KampferDylan Olsen

Roberto Luongo

Al Montoya

Injured: Nick Bjugstad (upper body), Alex Petrovic (foot), Dmitry Kulikov (lower body), Marc Savard (concussion)

Scratched: Shawn Thornton


Filip ForsbergMike RibeiroCraig Smith

Viktor ArvidssonCalle JarnkrokJames Neal

Colin WilsonColton SissonsCody Hodgson

Eric NystromCody BassAustin Watson

Roman JosiShea Weber

Mattias EkholmRyan Ellis

Barret JackmanSeth Jones

Pekka Rinne

Carter Hutton

Injured: Paul Gaustad (lower body), Gabriel Bourque (upper body), Miikka Salomaki (undisclosed)

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto

Status report: The Panthers held an optional morning skate. Bjugstad will miss at least the next two games. … The Predators did not hold a morning skate. Wilson could return to the lineup after missing one game with a lower-body injury.

Who's hot: MacKenzie scored two goals in a 3-1 win against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. … Forsberg has three goals in his past three games after scoring two goals in his first 21 games.

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