Predators' Johansen out for playoffs after emergency thigh surgery

Navin Vaswani
John Russell / National Hockey League / Getty

The Nashville Predators' Stanley Cup hopes took a massive hit Friday afternoon.

Ryan Johansen, the team's No. 1 center, is out for the remainder of the playoffs after sustaining a left thigh injury in Thursday's Game 4 against the Anaheim Ducks that required emergency surgery, the club announced.

The surgery was successful and Johansen will need two-to-three months to recover.

The 24-year-old departs the playoffs as Nashville's leading scorer, with three goals and 10 assists in 14 games. He was averaging 20:46 in ice time. His production will be sorely missed, and the pressure will be on Filip Forsberg and Viktor Arvidsson to produce in his absence.

It's unclear when Johansen was injured in the Predators' 3-2 overtime loss Thursday to the Ducks, which tied the Western Conference Final 2-2. Johansen had a goal and three assists in four games against Anaheim, and was performing well despite a much-talked-about feud with Ducks pest Ryan Kesler.

The Predators acquired Johansen in a one-for-one trade with the Blue Jackets on Jan. 6, 2016, sending defenseman Seth Jones to Columbus.

Season w/NAS GP G A P
2016-17 Playoffs 13 3 10 13
2016-17 82 14 47 61
2015-16 Playoffs 14 4 4 8
2015-16 42 8 26 34

Saturday's Game 5 will be the first game of any kind that Johansen will miss as a Predator. And he leaves a massive hole in the Predators' lineup - expect Forsberg to move back to center.

Johansen was playing arguably the best hockey of his young career, and his injury is a reminder that a Stanley Cup window can close without notice, just like that.

Game 5 is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET in Anaheim.