Nino Niederreiter is “very, very doubtful” for the Carolina Hurricanes in the rest of the Stanley Cup Second Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning because of an upper-body injury, coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
The forward missed a 2-1 loss in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series Sunday after he was injured and left practice early on Saturday.
“Well he’s a goal-scorer, you know?” Brind’Amour said after the game about the impact of Niederreiter’s absence. “We just talked about, we need goals. You don’t replace that. He’s on that power play too. It’s an offensive weapon that goes out the window. Again, that’s part of the playoffs. Next guy up. Have to fill the shoes.”
Niederreiter scored one goal in six games against the Nashville Predators in the first round after scoring 34 points (20 goals, 14 assists) in 56 regular-season games. In 67 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, he has scored 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists).
Lightning defenseman David Savard missed Game 1 because of an upper-body injury. He was replaced by Luke Schenn, who played in three of their six games against the Florida Panthers in the first round.
Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak left the game at 18:15 of the second period with an undisclosed injury after he was hit by Carolina forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Vincent Trocheck.
“List [Savard] as day to day, and [Cernak], he should be OK,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.
Game 2 is at Carolina on Tuesday.
“Hopefully, they’re both ready to go for Game 2,” Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman said. “When you’re in the game, obviously you don’t want to see anyone leave during the game, but I thought we did a good job managing our shifts, we kept them kind of short and everyone was rolling. I thought we did a good job on the back end to maintain the play that we want to play; even though you’re down one guy, we still want to execute plays and get up in the rush. I thought we did a good job of that. If it goes longer, it’s going to be tolling on guys, but we enjoy that extra ice time and we take pride in that, defending the lead.”
NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen and staff writer Tracey Myers contributed to this report