Nashville Predators starting goaltender Pekka Rinne sustained a sprained knee during the third period of Wednesday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. Hutton replaced Rinne, stopping 8-of-8 shots and preserved the win for the Preds, 5-1.
Rinne’s injury will cause him to miss at least the next three games leading up to the NHL All-Star break. His status will be updated following the All-Star break.
This also means one of the NHL’s top goaltenders will miss the All-Star game. This year, Rinne has posted a 29-6-2 record with three shutouts, 1.96 goals-against average and .931 save percentage.
Last year, Rinne suffered an injury to start the season and was forced to miss a good portion of the start of the year. In his absence, Hutton started most of the games and did a fairly good job.
In 40 games, the Thunder Bay, Ontario native was 20-11-4 with a shutout, 2.62 GAA and .910 save percentage. He was 13-10-4 with an .897 save percentage over the 30 games he played during Rinne’s absence.
Although Hutton kept the Predators a float during the 2013-14 season, the team was not nearly as good as they are this season and the former UMass Lowell River Hawk standout goaltender will have to step up his game.
Last year, the Predators finished the season with a 38-32-12 overall record, missing out of the playoffs. This year, Nashville is currently the best team in the NHL with a 29-9-4 record.
Yes, the hope is Rinne will return from injury soon after the All-Star break, but in the meantime Hutton along with recently recalled Marek Mazanec will have to keep the team on the right track in order to stay at the top of the NHL.
This season, Hutton has posted a 0-3-2 record with a 2.60 GAA and .901 save percentage in six games.
Nashville’s next game is on Friday, January 16 as they welcome the Washington Capitals into the Bridgestone Arena and will be aired on the NHL Network at 8:00 p.m. eastern.