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Preds lose another forward — Gaustad (upper body) sent home from road trip

Mar 13, 2013, 6:18 PM EST

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Paul Gaustad Getty Images

The Nashville Predators have been dealt another blow up front, as center Paul Gaustad has been sent home from their Western road trip after suffering an upper-body injury against Dallas on Tuesday.

Gaustad, 31, left last night’s game late in the second period and didn’t return.

Today, news broke that he’d been sent back to Nashville for further examination, putting his status for the remainder of the roadie (the Preds have four games remaining) in doubt.

The injury will leave Nashville pretty thin up front, as the club put leading scorer Colin Wilson and three-time 20-goalscorer Patric Hornqvist on injured reserve earlier this week.

Josh Cooper of The Tennessean reports forward Chris Mueller has been recalled from AHL Milwaukee and will meet the team in Vancouver. The Preds take on the Canucks Thursday night at Rogers Arena.

As for Gaustad, it’s unclear exactly what his ailment is, but the veteran has missed extended time this year with an upper-body ailment that may (or, may not) be related to his current injury.

The former Buffalo Sabre has appeared in 19 games this season for the Preds, scoring 1G-3A-4PTS while averaging over 14 minutes per game.

Gaustad has always been dynamite in the faceoff circle and this season has been no exception. He ranks third in the NHL, winning draws at a 60.7 percent clip.

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