Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kevin Fiala Stretchered off after Dangerous Collision in Game 1

The Predators lost a key cog in their playoff push when Kevin Fiala collided into the end boards after being ridden in by Robert Bortuzzo early in the second period of Nashville's 4-3 win over the Blues at Scotrade Center in St. Louis.

Fiala, 20, scored 16 points in 54 games for the Predators in the regular season and added two goals in Nashville's four-game sweep of Chicago in the first round. Fiala went hard into the boards while trying to work his way around Bortuzzo, and when he fell his legs scissored awkwardly. He spent several minutes on the ice being attended to by medical staff before being stretchered off.

He was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. According to reports he was in stable condition and alert.

"I don't think anybody could have thought or planned for an incident like that with Kevin," said Predators coach Peter Laviolette. "I liked the response from our guys, not only there, but once they tied it up, it was just a gutsy effort from that point."

"I think that he's going to be okay, and we hope that he's going to be okay," said P.K. Subban after the game. "We tried to rally around that and give our best effort today."

Nashville squandered a 3-1 lead in the game, but got a tip-in from Vernon Fiddler at 14:55 of the third period to take a 1-0 series lead over St. Louis.

"That's a great team," said Subban, who had a goal and two assists on the night. "Statistically they were the best team in the second half of the season since that coaching change, and we know that right now this is the toughest hockey of our career so far."

Game 2 is Friday night in St. Louis.