ST. LOUIS -- After watching teammate Kevin Fiala taken off the ice on a stretcher early in the second period against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, the Nashville Predators responded in the best way they knew.
Following a 17-minute delay, P.K. Subban scored 36 seconds after play resumed, and the Predators went on to a 4-3 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round at Scottrade Center.
"I don't think anybody could've thought or planned for an incident like that with Kevin," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "And yet our guys, you could hear them on the bench when it happened, making sure that their next shift was going to be a good one for Kevin. It was just one of those unfortunate incidents that happened in a game."
Fiala injured his left leg when, skating toward the Blues net with the puck, he was checked by defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, fell and slid into the end boards. Fiala was attended to for several minutes before leaving on a stretcher 1:46 into the second period.
"It was really scary for everyone," Predators defenseman Roman Josi said. "I mean, I've known him for a long time and we became good friends. It's a scary moment, and we're all going to check in. Hopefully he's OK."
Fiala was taken to the hospital by ambulance, and the game was delayed further while waiting for another ambulance to arrive at the arena. The Predators said the 20-year-old was in stable condition and alert but had no other update on his condition after the game.
"Everybody that was in the building could feel that was a weird period of time," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "Everybody is obviously feeling bad for a player who is down. And there's such a long break. We lose some momentum to our game, then they score. No excuses on our part. We have to manage that better."
Subban scored on a one-timer to give the Predators a 2-0 lead at 2:22.
"It was tough," Subban said. "You never want to see a young kid go down like that and be taken off on a stretcher. I've experienced it before and it's not fun, especially for your family and friends, so we hope he's OK."
The Predators line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson took that first shift after the injury and created offensive-zone time before Johansen passed to Subban from one knee.
"I think just coming out and having a good shift," Nashville forward Colin Wilson said. "The building went dead there, and it was kind of hard getting back out there and going. I think [Johansen's] line did a good job of taking advantage of that."
Nashville outshot St. Louis 15-8 in the period and took a 3-1 lead before St. Louis tied the game in the third period. Vernon Fiddler scored to make it 4-3 with 5:05 left.
Fiala scored in overtime to give the Predators a 3-2, Game 3 win in their Western Conference First Round sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks. He had 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in 54 games during the regular season, his first full season in the NHL.
"He's a young kid that's played hard for us," Fiddler said. "He's had a great playoffs, and it's never fun to see a guy go down. We just hope for him nothing but the best."
Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).