ANAHEIM — Center Ryan Johansen, the Predators’ leading scorer in the playoffs, underwent emergency left thigh surgery after Game 4 of the Western Conference finals late Thursday night in Nashville and will be sidelined for the rest of the playoffs, the team said Friday.
The Predators said in a statement that Johansen would be sidelined for between two and three months. The team did not say how the injury was sustained. Johansen played 27 minutes, 28 seconds in the Predators’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Ducks that evened the best-of-7 series, 2-2.
He played his last shift of the game about a minute before Corey Perry’s winning goal in overtime. Earlier in the game, he collided with Ducks defenseman Josh Manson in the second period and appeared to be in discomfort. He also landed awkwardly after a third-period hit by Hampus Lindholm.
Johansen, 24, led Nashville with 13 points, including a team-best 10 assists while averaging 20:45 of ice time in 14 playoff games. He scored one goal and three points in the first two games of the conference finals against the Ducks, but was blanked in Games 3 and 4.
Game 5 is Saturday at Honda Center.
Johansen’s fierce one-on-one battle with Ducks center Ryan Kesler was one of the highlights through the first four games of the back-and-back forth series. Johansen brought attention to it by playing extremely well in the first two games and sounding off about Kesler’s tactics after Game 2.
“He just blows my mind,” Johansen said of Kesler. “I don’t know what’s going through his head out there. His family and friends watching him play, I don’t know how you cheer for a guy like that. It just doesn’t make sense how he plays the game. I’m just trying to go out there and play hockey.
“It (stinks) when you have to pull a stick out of your groin every shift.”
Kesler laughed off Johansen’s criticism.
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