Predators coach John Hynes confirmed the decision Monday, putting Nashville without its top netminder until at least Game 3 on Saturday.
Saros suffered a lower-body injury last Tuesday against the Calgary Flames and missed the Predators’ final two regular-season games. Hynes would not name either David Rittich or Connor Ingram as Nashville’s Game 1 starter on Tuesday.
“We’re still talking about it,” Hynes told reporters Monday, adding that Saros would be “reassessed” after Game 2 and the team would plot a course forward from there.
Saros traveled with the Predators to Colorado but did not practice with the team on Monday, completing a separate medical skate instead.
The 27-year-old was one of the NHL’s top goalies this season, clocking the most minutes in net while facing the second-most shots. In the end, he posted the second-most wins in the league, and closed with a 38-25-3 record.
Neither Rittich nor Ingram has ever played in an NHL postseason game. Now the eighth-seeded Predators must lean on one of them to hold the fort against the Western Conference’s top seed.