Johansen injured his left thigh and required emergency surgery, the team said. The injury occurred during Game Four of Nashville’s Western Conference Final series against the Anaheim Ducks.
Johansen is expected to require two to three months of recovery time.
Without question, this is bad news for the Predators. Johansen leads the team with 13 points in 14 playoff games and logged 27:28 of ice time in Game Four. He’s been a force down the middle and has boosted the play of his linemates Viktor Arvidsson and Filip Forsberg.
Nashville is expected to go with Calle Jarnkrok as Johansen’s replacement on the top line.
The Predators find themselves in a 2-2 tie with the Ducks in the series and they’re two wins away from the Stanley Cup Final, so this is definitely uncharted territory for the franchise.
Johansen has provided them with an answer of sorts to Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf, who has been dominant in the series and seemingly behind every great play the Ducks have made.
Of course, Nashville can adjust and amplify the pieces of their game that’ve brought them this far. They can continue to play an aggressive brand of hockey that makes things hard on the Ducks. They can continue to control the pace.
Along with Johansen, the Predators could be without Mike Fisher. The centre was injured in the third period of Game Four after contact with Josh Manson. His status has not been updated by the team.
Nashville is also without Kevin Fiala, who was injured in Game One of the second round.
The Predators are 4-2 at the Honda Center in six playoff games over the past two seasons. They were 3-1 during last year’s Western Conference first round and have won one game there this time around, taking Game One with a 3-2 overtime win in California.