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Predators captain Arnott to miss Rangers game

From John Glennon at the Tennessean:

 A Predators team that’s only scored once in each of its last two games will be without its leading goal-scorer tonight against the New York Rangers.

Preds captain Jason Arnott will miss the contest, still feeling the aftereffects of a hard hit he took from Washington defenseman Shaone Morrisonn on Tuesday. Arnott is officially out with an ``upper-body injury,’’ but the concern when dealing with big hits like the one he took is that the player may have a concussion.

This could be very, very bad news for the Predators. Arnott leads the team with 27 goals this season, with a chance to top his career-best 33 from his rookie year (1993-4) in Edmonton.

Arnott also suffered a concussion in the playoffs last year against Detroit, when Alex Radulov celebrated a little too heartily after Arnott's goal gave Nashville the lead late in Game 3. A past history of concussions can make each subsequent one worse, and in just a couple minutes I was able to find stories detailing similar issues in 2001 when he played in New Jersey.

The Nashville offense, as limited as it is, can ill afford to be without its leading goal-scorer for very long. If Arnott has to miss a week of action, that would include at least Saturday's road game at Phoenix and Monday's at Los Angeles.

His absence may well end up highlighting the desperate need for offensive talent that was recognized, yet went unmet, at last week's NHL Trading Deadline.

In other news, Dan Ellis gets the start in goal as Pekka Rinne continues his recovery from the flu.