Tootoo gets 45 stitches but is expected to play Game 5

Friday, April 23, 2010 at 4:08pm

Jordin Tootoo did not practice with the Nashville Predators on Friday because he had an appointment with a plastic surgeon.

The conflict had nothing to do with vanity.

Tootoo needed 45 stitches to close a gash on the forehead after he was hit by a puck late in the Predators’ 3-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. He then went to the plastic surgeon the next morning for a follow-up examination.

The veteran forward was expected to travel with the team Friday afternoon to Chicago, where Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series (the series is tied 2-2) will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“I’m told he’s fine,” coach Barry Trotz said following the team’s 35-minute practice session. “They just wanted to check him again after getting stitched up.

“… They said he was fine and he didn’t have any headaches or anything like that. He should be fine. It was just a matter of him getting checked out (Friday). That’s why he wasn’t at practice.”

In other personnel developments:

• Forward Patric Hornqvist, who has missed the last three games with an upper body injury, participated in the workout but not as a member of one of the top lines.

His status continues to be classified as ‘day-to-day.’

“He skated with us, and he’s getting better,” Trotz said. “By (Saturday) he might be ready.”

• Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov is unlikely to be inserted into the lineup soon, Trotz said.

The veteran, who was acquired days before the trade deadline, appeared in just three games with Nashville before he sustained a lower body injury back on March 7. He replaced rookie Cody Franson in the lineup for those three games, and Franson has filled that spot ever since.

“With the series being at 2-2, is one of the reasons why we’re not winning is Cody’s not playing well or certain players aren’t playing well?” Trotz said. “Cody’s playing pretty well.”

• Defenseman Ryan Suter did not skate with the team.

“Just a little maintenance since he plays a lot of minutes,” Trotz said. “He’s fine. There won’t be any issues with him (Saturday).”

Suter is second among all Nashville players with an average of 23:47 of ice time during the playoffs. He led the team with an average of 23:58 during the regular season.