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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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Posted On Saturday, 02.02.2013 / 1:27 PM

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

Torres set to return for Coyotes

Glendale, AZ -- For the first time since his hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa in last year’s playoffs, Raffi Torres will be back on the ice for the Coyotes tonight. Following that hit, Torres was suspended for the first eight games of this season along with 13 playoff games. Now that he's back in the lineup, his energy will be a welcome addition to a Phoenix team that has limped to a 2-4-2 start.

“I'm excited (to play), it's been quite a long time,” Torres said. “I just want to be out there helping the boys out.”

Torres knows that, as a repeat offender when it comes to suspensions, he needs to alter his game. Coach Dave Tippett has spent extended time reviewing film with the wing, who scored 15 goals last season. The goal of these video sessions is to emphasize how Torres can maintain his aggressive edge while curbing the type of hits that cause controversy.

“A bunch (of the video clips) were me running out of position to make a big hit. It's got to be non-existent this year. I can't be running out of position, giving up my man in order to throw a big hit," Torres said. "(Tippett) showed me a bunch of clips where I was thinking puck first and hit second and it worked out, where I got a lot of scoring chances out of it. It's just a matter of me controlling my emotions throughout the game.”

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.30.2013 / 9:54 PM

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

Coyotes' Sullivan out with lower-body injury

Steve Sullivan
Left Wing - PHX
GOALS: 4 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 5
SOG: 10 | +/-: -3
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix left wing Steve Sullivan, who leads the team with four goals in the first six games, is the latest Coyote to join the injured list.

Sullivan did not skate Wednesday morning and will sit out the game with the Edmonton Oilers with a lower-body injury. He one of five major cogs who will miss the game, along with goalie Mike Smith (groin), center Martin Hanzal (lower body) and defenseman Rostislav Klesla (lower body) and winger Raffi Torres -- who still has two games left on his suspension dating back to last year's playoffs.

The Coyotes have only 11 healthy forwards for the game and will dress seven defensemen against the Oilers.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.30.2013 / 2:20 PM

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

Projected lineups for Oilers, Coyotes

Here are the projected lineups for Wednesday night's game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers practiced at a separate site than the Coyotes, so their lines are an estimate based off their game Monday against the Avalanche.

OILERS

Taylor Hall - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Nail Yakupov - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Lennart Petrell

Teemu Hartikainen - Eric Belanger - Magnus Paajarvi

Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter

Devan Dubnyk

Nikolai Khabibulin

Scratches: Darcy Hordichuk, Mark Fistric

COYOTES

Steve Sullivan - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Mikkel Boedker - Alexandre Bolduc - Radim Vrbata

Lauri Korpikoski - Boyd Gordon - David Moss

Nick Johnson - Kyle Chipchura - Paul Bissonnette

Zbynek Michalek - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

David Schlemko - Michael Stone

Chad Johnson

Jason LaBarbera

Scratches: David Rundblad

Injuries: Mike Smith (lower body), Rostislav Klesla (lower body), Martin Hanzal (lower body)

Hanzal and Klesla, game-time decisions Monday against the Predators, were unable to go in that game and were not on the ice at all Wednesday.

On the other hand, Smith, who is recovering from a groin injury suffered in warm-ups prior to the Jan. 23 game against the Blue Jackets, was able to practice fully and even stayed on the ice late with goalie coach Sean Burke for extra work. There is optimism he will be able to start on Friday when the Coyotes open a home-and-home against the Stars.

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett will go with Chad Johnson again Wednesday after he picked up his first career shutout against Nashville. Tippett said one of the big reasons for sticking with Johnson over veteran Jason LaBarbera is the amount of work Johnson had in the AHL this season, getting himself into a good rhythm.

Tippett added that he would like to see more communication on the ice between his top defensive pair of Michalek and Ekman-Larsson. Expected to be the team's shutdown pairing, both players are known to be quiet in nature, and Tippett would like to see them be more vocal on the ice.

Also, suspended forward Raffi Torres will be eligible to return Saturday night against Dallas. Torres has been skating fully and is expected to play once he becomes eligible.

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 2:14 PM

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

Projected lineups for Predators, Coyotes

Here's how the lineups could look Monday night when the Phoenix Coyotes host the Nashville Predators:

PREDATORS

Colin Wilson - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat

Gabriel BourqueDavid LegwandSergei Kostitsyn

Nick SpalingPaul GaustadBrandon Yip

Rich Clune -- Craig SmithMatt Halischuk

Roman Josi -- Shea Weber

Scott Hannan -- Ryan Ellis

Hal GillKevin Klein

Pekka Rinne

Chris Mason

Scratches – Jonathon Blum, Brian McGrattan

Injuries – Patric Hornqvist (lower body)

The Predators being without Hornqvist will force some shifting of the lines. Kostitsyn takes over for Hornqvist on the second line.

COYOTES

Steve SullivanAntoine VermetteShane Doan

Mikkel BoedkerMartin HanzalRadim Vrbata

Lauri KorpikoskiBoyd GordonDavid Moss

Alexandre BolducKyle ChipchuraNick Johnson

Zbynek Michalek – Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Keith YandleDerek Morris

David SchlemkoMichael Stone

Chad Johnson

Jason LaBarbera

Scratches – Paul Bissonnette. Mike Smith

Injuries – Matthew Lombardi (upper, IR), Rostislav Klesla (lower IR), Smith (lower)

With Mike Smith still out with an upper-body injury and LaBarbera ineffective in losses to San Jose and Los Angeles, Johnson will make his Coyotes debut in goal tonight against the Predators.

Johnson has appeared in six NHL games with the New York Rangers from 2009-11, starting once against the Coyotes on Jan. 30, 2010, in Glendale and taking the loss to LaBarbera, 3-2.

In 24 games with Portland of the American Hockey League, Johnson was this year 14-8-2 record with a 2.80 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.

Smith returned to the ice on his own Sunday and did the same on Monday. He remains day-to-day with no timetable for his return.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.26.2013 / 3:29 PM

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

Hanzal back for Coyotes against Kings

Here is the projected lineup for the Phoenix Coyotes, who will welcome the Los Angeles Kings to Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night:

Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Steve Sullivan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Lauri Korpikoski - Boyd Gordon - David Moss

Alexandre Bouldoc - Nick Johnson - Paul Bissonette

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Milan Michalek - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

David Schlemko - Michael Stone

Jason Labarbera

Chad Johnson

Scratched: David Rundblad

Suspended: Raffi Torres

Injured: Mike Smith, Matthew Lombardi, Rostislav Klesla

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 9:59 PM

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

Hanzal, Klesla out with injuries for Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes were without center Martin Hanzal and defenseman Rostislav Klesla for Wednesday's game with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Coyotes said both players are out with lower-body injuries.

Both players sat out Tuesday's practice following Sunday's 6-4 loss to Chicago, but both skated on Wednesday morning. Hanzal had a goal and two points in the first two games of the season. Klesla was scoreless and minus-3 in the two games.

Alexandre Bolduc replaced Hanzal, while Michael Stone made his season debut in place of Klesla. Phoenix is looking to avoid an 0-3-0 start against the Blue Jackets, who are 1-0-1 after two games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 2:27 PM

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

Projected lineups for Blue Jackets, Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Here are the projected lineups for the Columbus Blue Jackets and Phoenix Coyotes when the teams meet Wednesday at Jobing.com Arena.

BLUE JACKETS

Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - Vinny Prospal

RJ Umberger - Derick Brassard - Derek Dorsett

Matt Calvert - Mark Letestu - Jared Boll

Jack Johnson - James Wisniewski

Fedor Tyutin - Nikita Nikitin

John Moore - Adrian Aucoin

Steve Mason

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Derek MacKenzie

Letestu makes his first start of the season, in place of MacKenzie as the fourth line center. Atkinson jumps to the first line alongside Dubinsky and Anisimov, with Dorsett moving to a line with Umberger and Brassard.

COYOTES

Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Steve Sullivan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Lauri Korpikoski - Matthew Lombardi - David Moss

Kyle Chipchura - Boyd Gordon - Paul Bissonnette

Zbynek Michalek - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko

Mike Smith

Jason LaBarbera

Scratched: Alexandre Bolduc, Michael Stone

Suspended: Raffi Torres

Smith stays in net as the Coyotes try to avoid a 0-3 start. The Phoenix offense has been fine (3.5 goals a game), but Smith and the turnover-prone Phoenix defense have allowed 10 goals in the first two games and has been the focus of coach Dave Tippett's practices the last two days. Tippett singled out defenseman Yandle for allowing three breakaways in Sunday's 6-4 loss to Chicago.

Hanzal, Sullivan and Klesla did not practice Tuesday. Sullivan was hit in the first period, and while he played in the second, he sat out the third. Tippett said there might be some game-time decisions, but was non-committal at the skate.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.20.2013 / 2:54 PM

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

Saad set to replace injured Carcillo for Chicago

The Chicago Blackhawks will try to spoil an opponents' banner-raising celebration for the second time in two nights Sunday when they meet the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz. The Blackhawks spoiled the Kings' Stanley Cup party Saturday in Los Angeles and will watch the Coyotes raise their Pacific Division banner -- the first in franchise history -- Sunday.

Chicago beat the Kings 5-2 but lost ex-Coyotes forward Daniel Carcillo -- he is expected to be out a month -- when he injured his right knee in the second period. Carcillo was lost for the 2011-12 season with a left knee injury that required surgery Jan. 17. Carcillo was injured in a collision along the boards with Los Angeles' Drew Doughty.
 
Brandon Saad, a second-round pick in 2011 who played just two regular season game before appearing in Game 4 of the playoffs against Phoenix, will replace Carcillo against the Coyotes. The highly-skilled Saad will take Carcillo's spot alongside Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa -- who combined for two goals and five points against the Kings.

Raffi Torres, who still have seven games to serve on his suspension for his hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa in the Western Conference Quarterfinals last year, remains out for Phoenix but the rest of the lineup that played Saturday in a 4-3 loss at Dallas came out OK to go against the Blackhawks.

Here are the projected lines for Sunday. The Coyotes did not skate and the Blackhawks did not show lines at their brief skatearound:

BLACKHAWKS

Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Dave Bolland - Patrick Kane

Andrew Shaw - Marcus Kruger - Viktor Stalberg

Brandon Bollig - Bryan Bickell - Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Sheldon Brookbank - Nick Leddy

Ray Emery

Corey Crawford

COYOTES

Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan

Steve Sullivan - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata

Lauri Korpikoski - Matthew Lombardi - David Moss

Kyle Chipchura - Boyd Gordon - Alexandre Bolduc

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Zbynek Michalek - Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko

Mike Smith

Jason LaBarbera

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 8:50 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

Aucoin to miss Game 5 for Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes will be without Adrian Aucoin for the fourth time in their five Western Conference Finals games after the veteran defenseman did not take part in the skate prior to Game 5 on Tuesday night.
 
David Schlemko, who has not played since Game 1 of the series, will replace Aucoin in the lineup. Schlemko was a mainstay among the top six defensemen before severing a tendon on top of his right leg on Jan. 5. He was expected to miss the rest of the season following surgery, but returned in late March and has played sporadically since then. He has no points in four postseason games.
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