Gaustad's first-period goal stood up as the winner in Nashville's Game 7 victory over the Ducks. The Stanley Cup playoffs make heroes out of unlikely candidates, and that is exactly what happened to Gaustad in this one. The fourth-line center potted just two goals in the regular season, but his first point of the playoffs will live forever in Nashville lore as the deciding play of the franchise's first Game 7.
Gaustad (upper body) will play in Tuesday's game against the Stars, Brooks Bratten of the Predators reports. Gaustad has been sidelined since March 5 with an unspecified upper-body injury, but he will return to the ice Tuesday night. He will skate on the Predators' fourth line alongside Colton Sissons and opposite Miikka Salomaki.
Gaustad will not travel with the Predators on their four-game road trip after suffering an upper-body injury, Adam Vingan of The Tennessean reports. Gaustad left the Mar. 5 matchup with Colorado after 5:42 of ice time and will stay in Nashville rehabbing. The center has not missed a game since early December, yet he has provide little offensive production over that span. In the 41 games since the 34-year-old was last out of the lineup, he has tallied a measly four points while adding 39 PIM.
Gaustad recorded an assist in Thursday's win over the Jets, his second point in the last four games. Now with just five points in 38 games this season, Gaustad is on track to post the lowest offensive totals of his career. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, of course, as the 33-year-old spends most of his time centering the Preds' fourth line, taking faceoffs, killing penalties and keeping the opposition's best players in check. In fact, defensive-zone faceoffs are Gaustad's specialty, where he leads the league with an astounding 90.7% win rate.
Gaustad scored a shorthanded goal in Saturday night's 2-1 overtime win over the Hurricanes. This was the first goal all season for Gaustad, but there's no reason to believe that he suddenly has an affinity for the twine. Instead, look for the center to deliver decent hit totals -- he has 62 hits this season -- and be used on the penalty kill, where he's averaging 2:19 of ice time through 30 games.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||57||5||8||13||0||0||0||0||528||388||42.7|