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A Big Blow for Nashville


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Nashville goaltender Tomas Vokoun will miss the final four games of the regular season and the entire post-season because of blood clots.

The 29-year-old Vokoun has not played since April 1, when he had 35 saves in a 2-1 victory over St. Louis. The Predators had been listing Vokoun as day-to-day with a sore back, but general manager David Poile said Monday that Vokoun has pelvic thrombophlebitis.

Poile said full recovery is expected, but Vokoun will be on blood-thinning medication for several weeks.

Team doctors thought Vokoun had a back injury, but an MRI scan on Friday found blood clots throughout his abdomen and pelvic area. Vokoun was hospitalized immediately and put on blood thinning shots and pills to reduce the clots.

"We feel very confident he is out of the danger zone," said team doctor Richard Garman.

Vokoun is expected to leave the hospital within the next two days. Garman said Vokoun is walking and talking in the hospital.

"Life must go on," Poile said. "This is a tough loss for our team. He will be missed."

Vokoun, the team's career leader in wins, had played in 61 of the Predators' first 74 games with a record of 36-18-7. He was 9-4-2 since returning from the Olympics, where he helped the Czech Republic win bronze. He has a 2.67 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.

That leaves the Predators leaning on Chris Mason, who is 8-5-1 with a 2.80 goals against average. His backup is Pekka Rinne, who has appeared in only two NHL games.

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