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Posted On Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 4:15 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Smith back in net vs. Allen as Coyotes oppose Blues

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes finally get to face another opponent after a unique three-game series with the Anaheim Ducks. After falling 2-0 Wednesday in Anaheim but getting four out of six points in the three games, the Coyotes face the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Goalie Mike Smith, who sat out for the first time in 16 games Wednesday in favor of Jason LaBarbera, will be back in goal. The Coyotes are hoping to have Radim Vrbata (lower body) back in the lineup either against St. Louis or Saturday against the Dallas Stars, and sent Chris Brown back to the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

The Blues will start Jake Allen in net coming off Tuesday's 6-4 loss at the Los Angeles Kings.

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Posted On Monday, 03.04.2013 / 1:04 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Coyotes try to make it two straight over Ducks

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a very wild, sloppy and spirited game Saturday that featured four ties, several tussles, lots of trash talk and a shootout, the Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks will play the second of three straight games against each other tonight at Jobing.com Arena.

The Coyotes prevailed Saturday for a 5-4 shootout win, with Steve Sullivan tying the game with 6:29 left in regulation and securing the extra point with the only goal of the shootout. The Ducks were playing back-to-back nights and for the fifth time in seven days, so the Coyotes are expecting an even bigger push from one of the NHL's elite teams tonight.

The teams meet again Wednesday in Anaheim.

"It's a little like a playoffs series," Coyotes forward Lauri Korpikoski said. "And you know they will have some rest and come back hard. We have to be ready."


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Posted On Saturday, 03.02.2013 / 2:22 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Coyotes have Brown, Klinkhammer at their disposal

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With center Martin Hanzal and winger Radim Vrbata now on injured reserve, the Phoenix Coyotes called up forwards Chris Brown and Rob Klinkhammer from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League.

Either Brown or Klinkhammer could make their Phoenix debuts when they open a rare run of three straight games Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks at Jobing.com Arena.
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Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

With Hanzal, Vrbata out, Coyotes shuffle lines

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes again will be without two of their top six forwards with Martin Hanzal (upper body) and Radim Vrbata (lower body) back on the ice Thursday, but not ready for a game.

Defenseman Derek Morris, who has missed the past two weeks with an upper-body injury sustained in a Feb. 14 loss to the Nashville Predators, will return to the lineup to partner with Keith Yandle.

With Hanzal and Vrbata out, coach Dave Tippett has continued to juggle his forwards. Shane Doan will start with Matthew Lombardi and Raffi Torres, with Lauri Korpikoski joining Mikkel Boedker and Antoine Vermette. Steve Sullivan was with checkers Boyd Gordon and David Moss, and Paul Bissonnette, riding a career-high three-game point streak, sticks with the clicking line of Kyle Chipchura and Nick Johnson.

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Vrbata joins Coyotes' list of injuries

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After a week or so of decent health, the Phoenix Coyotes are back down to all hands on deck for Monday's game with the Calgary Flames.

Leading scorer Radim Vrbata is the latest to join the list of the sidelined, suffering an upper-body injury early in Saturday’s 5-3 win over Columbus. Defensemen Derek Morris and David Schlemko are also down and center Matthew Lombardi is close but not quite ready to return from his upper-body injury. That means all 18 healthy skaters will be in the lineup.

Phoenix is 6-2-2 over the last 10 games and has six wins in the last eight games. But the Coyotes don't play again until Saturday in Edmonton and a loss to the Flames would stay with them for awhile.


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Posted On Saturday, 02.16.2013 / 1:27 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Coyotes shake up lines in order to find offense

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Columbus Blue Jackets lost center Artem Anisimov early in the second period of Friday’s 2-1 loss at the Los Angeles Kings, but coach Todd Richards said the injury was just a bruise. Anisimov was walking without a limp and without a boot after the game and may be able to play Saturday.

Defenseman James Wisniewski remains away from the team to be with his wife for the birth of their daughter. Steve Mason is expected to be in the net tonight.

For the Phoenix Coyotes, Derek Morris is day-to-day with an upper-body injury he aggravated in the first period of Thursday’s 3-0 loss at the Nashville Predators. Coach Dave Tippett said center Matthew Lombardi, out since the second week of the season, could be ready to go as early as Monday against the Calgary Flames.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 2:48 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Torres faces Blackhawks for first time since hit

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes and Chicago Blackhawks have already played this season, but this is the first time that Raffi Torres and Marian Hossa have shared the ice since Torres ended their seasons with an illegal hit to Hossa's head in Game 3 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series last spring.

Hossa spent months recovering from the hit, while Torres was suspended for 25 games -- later reduced to 21 -- for the transgression. This is Torres' third game back after the suspension and he has vowed to change his reckless ways on the ice after being suspended or fined six times in his career.

"We have to protect the top players in the League, and if it's going to take me kind of thinking out there instead of running around with my head cut off, then that's what it’s going to take," said Torres, who called Hossa to apologize for the hit. "At the end of the day, I need to keep playing. This is what I do, and if I want to keep playing I'm going to have to change my way."

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Posted On Monday, 02.04.2013 / 6:16 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild's Coyle to make NHL debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Minnesota Wild will have a slightly different look when they take the ice Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Hours after the team traded Darroll Powe to the New York Rangers, rookie Charlie Coyle will make his NHL debut. A 2010 first-round pick of the San Jose Sharks acquired by the Wild as part of the Brent Burns trade, had 14 goals and 24 points in 44 games with the Wild's American Hockey League team, the Houston Aeros.

Here is where Coyle fits into the Wild lineup tonight:

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Matt Cullen - Charlie Coyle

Cal Clutterbuck - Kyle Brodziak - Torrey Mitchell

Mikael Granlund - Zenon Konopka - Devin Setoguchi

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Clayton Stoner - Tom Gilbert

Marco Scandella - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

Scratched: Matt Kassian, Nate Prosser

Injured: Jared Spurgeon

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Posted On Monday, 02.04.2013 / 2:38 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Sullivan returning to Coyotes' lineup

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the third straight game, the Phoenix Coyotes will be welcoming back a key player for Monday's game with the Minnesota Wild at Jobing.com Arena.

After getting goalie Mike Smith and center Martin Hanzal back for Friday's overtime loss in Dallas and Raffi Torres back prior to Saturday's win against the Stars in Arizona, forward and leading goal-scorer Steve Sullivan will return after missing the last three games with a lower-body injury.

Sullivan will be playing with Antoine Vermette and Shane Doan and will allow coach Dave Tippett to put one of his top lines back in place.

Defenseman Rostislav Klesla (lower body) and forward Matthew Lombardi (shoulder) are the only Coyotes still out with injuries. Both were on the ice taking part in limited practice Monday. Klesla is day-to-day, while Lombardi could take a bit longer. However, the hope is he will be able to return by the end of the month.

The Coyotes have points in four straight games (2-0-2) and can even their record at 4-4-2 after a 1-4-0 start. Here is the lineup they'll likely use in their attempt to continue their strong play:

Steve Sullivan - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Mikkel Boedker - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Lauri Korpikoski - Boyd Gordon - David Moss

Raffi Torres - Kyle Chipchura - Nick Johnson

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Zbynek Michalek

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

David Schlemko - Michael Stone

Mike Smith

Jason LaBarbera

Scratched: Paul Bissonnette, Alexandre Bolduc, David Rundblad

Injured: Rostislav Klesla, Matthew Lombardi

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Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:40 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Whitney's return to Phoenix delayed

Glendale, AZ -- Phoenix Coyote fans anticipating Ray Whitney's return to the desert will be disappointed. Whitney, who has been battling a foot injury for the past week, was placed on injured reserve after Friday’s contest and will miss at least four games.

The Coyotes have called up Reilly Smith from Texas of the American Hockey League to replace Whitney. Smith should slide into Whitney’s spot alongside Cody Eakin and Michael Ryder and will be facing off against Coyotes call-up Andy Miele, a teammate of Smith's at the University of Miami.

The Stars may go with Richard Bachman in goal tonight to change their luck in the finales of back-to-back games. Since last season, the Stars are 1-13-2 in the second half of back-to-backs, including 0-2-0 this year.

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