This was a bad one for the Nashville Predators.
A night that started with an emotional video tribute to P.K. Subban in his first game back in Montreal as a visiting player ended with the Predators not only losing the game in the final 10 seconds, but also losing one of their top defenseman to what appears to be a potentially significant injury.
With less than 10 seconds to play in regulation, and the game seemingly headed to overtime where both teams would be guaranteed to at least pick up a point, the Predators allowed Paul Byron to win a race to loose puck and beat Pekka Rinne with 9.7 seconds remaining for the game-winning goal.
You can see it in the video above.
Making matters worse for Nashville is that defenseman Ryan Ellis had to leave the game early in the second period with an apparent leg injury. He needed the assistance of his teammates to leave the ice and could not put any weight on his right leg. Vernon Fiddler was literally holding it up off the ice as they skated toward the locker room. Coach Peter Laviolette had no update on him or his status after the game. If he has to miss any period of time it would be a brutal blow to the Predators’ defense. He plays more than 24 minutes per night and has been one of their best defenders all season.
Ellis scored the Predators’ lone goal of the game on Thursday, a power play goal that was set up by Subban.
The Predators remain in the third spot of the Central Division.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, maintained their lead in the Atlantic Division over the Ottawa Senators and gained some additional ground on the Boston Bruins following their loss to the Rangers on Thursday.
This was their first win in regulation since Jan. 31 when they beat the Buffalo Sabres, 5-2.