The Nashville Predators announced that defenseman Alex Carrier will be out of the lineup on a week-to-week basis due to an upper-body injury.
The injury occurred early in the first period of Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Wild when Kirill Kaprizov checked him in the upper-body, getting a fair amount of contact with Carrier’s head. Kaprizov received a two-minute minor penalty for interference for the infraction. Carrier, 27, finished the game with just the drawn penalty on his stats sheet in 1:39 of ice-time as the Preds went on to lose the game 6-1.
Carrier was off to a solid start to the season with a goal and seven assists for eight points in 22 games, which was only one point behind last season’s total of nine points in 43 games. He’s become one of the better defensive defensemen in the league since getting a more consistent NHL role in 2020-21, as he is 47th among defensemen in defensive goals above replacement in that time span.
Carrier was a fourth-round pick of the Predators in the 2015 NHL Draft, and has spent the entirety of his eight-season professional career in Nashville. He’s currently on a one-year, $2.5 million contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career in the 2024 offseason.
There’s currently no confirmation as to what lines the Predators will roll with during Carrier’s injury. Since they had 11 forwards and seven defensemen during Thursday’s game and only center Liam Foudy as a healthy scratch, they’ll likely revert back to 12 forwards and six defensemen with Foudy in the lineup.
Thursday’s loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the Predators, so they’ll look to go back to their winning ways on Saturday against the New York Rangers at 4:30 p.m. EST. The Preds currently sit in sixth place in the Central Division with an 11-11-0 record, and are two points behind the final wild card spot in the Western Conference.