After winning the first three games of the season, the Nashville Predators have lost the last two. The last loss Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks was extra costly because of the loss of Patric Hornqvist. His legs got tangled with another player about midway through the third period. In the process he injured his knee. The injury knee will keep Hornqvist out for three to four weeks. That is a long time this season.
More immediately the Predators will concern themselves with trying to get back on the winning track against an evenly matched opponent in the Phoenix Coyotes. The loss of Hornqvist creates a pretty large hole in their line-up. The winger is one of their go-to guys when a push comes calling. Without him they will rely more heavily on the supporting case around goalie Pekka Rinne.
One thing they have to do well is play good defense. Rinne needs to play as well as he did in overtime against the Ducks. If that happens and the defense shows up big time, they win the penalty minutes battle and get a few timely goals, they should be able to get the job done. How they fare in the next several games without Hornqvist will be more of an issue. His presence will likely be missed the most over the long run of closely played games that lay ahead of the Predators.