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Suter leaves game, doubtful to face Rangers

by Dan Rosen
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Nashville All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter left Monday's game at Nassau Coliseum after the first period and did not return due to an upper-body injury. Predators coach Barry Trotz said following the team's 3-1 win over the Islanders that Suter is "doubtful" for Tuesday's game against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"It's going to be day-to-day," Trotz said without elaborating on the specific nature of the injury. "If you want a questionable or doubtful, he's probably doubtful."

Trotz said Suter got "nicked up" Saturday against Philadelphia, and "strained it a little bit" in the first period Monday. Suter, who played 10 shifts totaling 7:04 of ice time, was questionable prior to Monday's game, but after taking warm-ups he told Trotz that he was good to go.

However, Trotz, who said it was Suter's call to play, decided to dress seven defensemen just in case. He went with ex-Islander Jack Hillen, who wound up playing 16 shifts totaling 13:27 of ice time.

"With guys like Sutes and Webs (Shea Weber), top players in the League, you don't really replace them, everybody just has to pick up more of the load and try to get it done together," Trotz said.

The good news for the Predators is they had a 3-0 lead after the first period on goals from Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt Halischuk and David Legwand.

"At least he played the first period," Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne said of Suter. "Hopefully we don't miss him more than this game because he's such a big piece of this team."

The Islanders had only six shots on goal in the first period, but with Suter out they managed 19 in the second and another 12 in the third.

"You miss Sutes back there, but we came out early and wanted to get the lead, and that's what we did," Legwand said. "We have to manage the game a little bit better in the second. That's a big thing for us, game management."

It's possible they'll have to manage an entire game without Suter on Tuesday.

"We're going to get tested by the Rangers," Trotz said.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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