NASHVILLE – Shea Weber immediately headed to the bench and then the Nashville Predators locker room, putting little to no weight on his right leg as he left.
Weber’s long-term status isn’t known; the Predators didn’t have an update on him following Game 2, which they took from the Blackhawks 6-2 on Friday night. And while they will certainly miss Weber if he’s out for any length of time, the Predators couldn’t have responded better to the immediate loss.
With Weber missing the second half of Friday’s game, the Predators played a strong team game and scored four goals in the game’s final 25 minutes. The defenseman left the game after being hit by Brandon Saad along the corner boards.
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Losing Weber was tough; he plays a ton of minutes and is the captain and anchor of this Predators team. But missing their leader, the Predators bandied together and made up for his loss as much as they could.
“I think we’ve done a good job of not letting things affect us during a game,” said Colin Wilson, who has three goals in these first two games. “Losing your captain is a big loss. He’s been one of our best players but no matter what’s been thrown at us we’ve kind of stayed even keel. We did a good job of getting it done without him.”
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The Blackhawks know what it’s like to lose a key cog of the team. They went through that for seven weeks when Patrick Kane was out with a fractured clavicle. They had their ups and downs in his absence but still eked out enough victories to finish third in the Central Division.
Conversely, the Blackhawks didn’t take advantage of the Predators’ loss on this night.
“It’s something we definitely have to feed off, their best player goes down and [we have to] try to take advantage of that situation, which we didn’t do much tonight,” Toews said. “It’s the same way if we’re missing one of our top guys: we always respond. But for us, we need to be better and expose their D men when they have a short bench.”