Martin Havlat may be lost for the final three games after suffering a dislocated right shoulder late in the first period Tuesday of the Hawks' 3-2 shootout victory over the Nashville Predators.
Havlat was battling against Nashville defenseman Marek Zidlicky for a loose puck when he suffered the injury. Zidlicky was penalized for holding and, after the play was whistled dead, Havlat immediately started skating slumped over to the Hawks' bench.
The shoulder is the same one the Hawks' leading scorer injured as a member of the Ottawa Senators in November 2005. He had surgery and missed 58 games. Hawks coach Denis Savard said it was still too soon to say whether Havlat will need surgery again.
"They popped the shoulder back in and we'll see what the doctors say Wednesday [when Havlat is re-evaluated]", Savard said. "It's really disappointing, a tough loss."
Savard said he didn't think Havlat could play again this season so the sniper, after such a promising start, will finish with 25 goals. Havlat was unavailable after the game.
The last six weeks have been miserable for Havlat. Including Tuesday, he has had just one goal in his last 16 games.
Illness and injury have become the dividing lines for Havlat's season. After getting off to a torrid start with seven goals in his first seven games, Havlat sprained his ankle in Dallas on Oct. 20 and missed 19 games.
Havlat picked up right where he left off with three goals in his first two games and six in his next 14. Only a three-game absence with a groin injury slowed Havlat down and he returned from that with his hottest stretch of the season11 goals in 19 games including a stretch of six straight games with a goal.
But after having a goal and two assists against St. Louis on Feb. 25, it has gone downhill. He became ill the day after and needed to be hospitalized to prevent dehydration. Unlike the ankle and groin injuries earlier, Havlat hasn't bounced back from being sick.
Despite losing their leading scorer and best offensive player, the Hawks rallied for what Savard called their "gutsiest" victory of the season.
Jeff Hamilton scored the clinching goal in the shootout as the Hawks scored on all three attempts with Jason Williams and Radim Vrbata also scoring.
Paul Kariya was the only Predator to score against Hawks goaltender Patrick Lalime in the shootout.
The Hawks forced overtime when Dustin Byfuglien calmly fired a shot over Chris Mason with 10 minutes 56 seconds left in the third period to tie the game 2-2. It was Byfuglien's first goal of the season.
Nashville had taken the lead at 5:04 of the third when defenseman Dan Hamhuis beat Lalime from the point and atoned for a horrible giveaway in front of his net that led to a Michael Holmqvist goal in the second period to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Holmqvist also suffered a shoulder injury and left the game after the second period . Defenseman Adrian Aucoin aggravated his groin Sunday and didn't play Tuesday. Byfuglien, recalled Monday from Norfolk, was paired with Cam Barker.
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