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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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Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 5:09 PM

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

Doan has friend experienced in comebacks

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When you're doing something that's rarely been done in the history of your sport, it's always nice to get some encouragement from a friend who has been there and done that.
 
Trying to become just the fourth team in NHL history to dig out of a 3-0 hole in a playoff series, Phoenix captain Shane Doan engaged in a series of texts with good friend and former teammate Danny Briere after he scored the only goals in a 2-0 Coyotes win in Game 4 to allow his team to live for another day.
 
Briere played a lead role in 2010 when the Philadelphia Flyers rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to beat the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The Coyotes still have a long road to travel if they want to join the Flyers, the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders as the only teams to win a series after trailing 3-0.
 
"I talked to him. We sent each other texts all the time," Doan said of Briere, who played parts of six seasons in Phoenix. "When we found a way to get a win there [in Game 4], he wished me luck. I sent him one back. We got to texting about how it can be done. It's hard, but you can do it. It would be nice to have someone like Danny be on your team ... but it's one of those things, when you talk to him, you realize it's doable. I think it gives you a little more confidence."
 
Doan said Briere told him that his team's comeback taught him that you're never done until you're actually done.

"They get down three games and they pull it together, then they got down 3-0 in Game 7 and they pull it together ... it's like the (Black Knight character) in Monty Python (and the Holy Grail) ... I'm not dead yet."
 
Doan said the Coyotes have talked about taking a tournament approach to the task ahead.
 
"It's like we're in the quarterfinals and we have to win to get to the semifinals," he said. "Once you get to the semifinals, you have to win that to get to the finals. It you want to win it all, you have to win all three. It sounds kind of cheesy, but you try to find any analogy to make it sound doable. That's where we're at."
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 3:32 PM

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

Heat is on -- literally -- as Coyotes return to Phoenix

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Temperatures are expected to hit 108 degrees in Phoenix today, setting what is believed to be the record for the warmest temperature ever for an NHL playoff game. But while some players and fans might disagree, Phoenix's Canadian-born coach Dave Tippett doesn't have an issue as the mercury rises.
 
"I have no problem with the temperatures. It's 108, but it's a dry heat," Tippett said with a smile. "We had a game two weeks ago in Nashville, I think it was in the mid-90s with humidity. So I'll take 108 and dry over humidity -- not that I'm saying Nashville is a bad place."
 
Coyotes center Daymond Langkow said the ice conditions at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale can't be any worse than they were for the last two games in Los Angeles, where the ice was covered at Staples Center for basketball games on Friday and all-day Saturday between Games 3 and 4, making for nasty conditions on Sunday afternoon.
 
Defenseman Derek Morris has played seven of the last nine years in Arizona and has adapted well to the heat -- although he's usually gone for the summer before the 110-degree days set in.

"I'm fine, but guys like (defense partner) Keith Yandle, they don't deal with it too good," Morris said. "He's got all that hot Boston blood running through him. He's always complaining and that beard he's got now doesn't make it any better."
 
If the Coyotes are able to rally in the series and force a Game 7 here on Saturday night, things will be much more tolerable. A "cold front" is expected to hit the Valley of the Sun for the weekend, with temperatures expected to plunge to 90 or under with high winds.
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 3:07 PM

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

Aucoin status won't be determined until pre-game

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix will have to wait until the pre-game skate to find out if defenseman Adrian Aucoin is able to go as the Coyotes again face elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference final against the Los Angeles Kings.
 
Aucoin took part in an optional morning skate. The 38-year-old veteran who has appeared in 62 NHL playoff games, second to Ray Whitney on the team, missed the first three games of the conference finals with an undisclosed injury. He returned to the lineup in Game 4 -- the only win by Phoenix in the series -- but left in the third period due to injury and did not skate on Monday.
 
If Aucoin can't play, the Coyotes would likely go with Michael Stone, who played in Games 2 and 3, in Game 5.
 
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett indicated he would likely stick with the fourth line of Kyle Chipchura, Boyd Gordon and Marc-Antoine Pouliot in Game 5. They didn't play much as a trio because the Coyotes took six penalties and had in-game injuries to two forwards, but Pouliot's size and discipline along the walls give him the nod over Gilbert Brule and Paul Bissonnette.
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 1:08 PM

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

Coyotes defenseman Aucoin a game-time decision

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin remains a game-time decision for Game 2 on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) as they look to even the Western Conference Finals with the Los Angeles Kings.
 
Aucoin hasn't played since leaving during the first period of Game 5 of the conference semifinals on May 7. He was able to take part in a full practice on Monday for the first time.
 
The 38-year-old Aucoin has played in 61 NHL playoff games, second-most to Ray Whitney among the Coyotes. If Aucoin is able to play, the Coyotes would likely sit David Schlemko and pair Aucoin with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who stuggled mightily (minus-3) in a 4-2 Kings win in Game 1. That would also allow Rostislav Klesla and Michal Rozsival, a very effective pair for the Coyotes in the postseason, to be reunited.
 
Phoenix trails in a playoff series for the first time in the postseason and is looking to avoid falling behind 0-2 to the Kings on home ice -- the same fate that befell both Vancouver and St. Louis in previous rounds.
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Posted On Saturday, 05.12.2012 / 7:03 PM

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

Aucoin to miss Game 1 for Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz . -- The Phoenix Coyotes will be without veteran defenseman Adrian Aucoin when they finally take on the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The 38-year-old Aucoin, whose 61 NHL playoff games rank second to Ray Whitney among the Coyotes, skated on Saturday for the first time since leaving early in Monday's Game 5 win over the Nashville Predators. It was a light, morning-skate type of workout in advance of a 5 p.m. MT faceoff in Arizona. But Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said Aucoin would not be available for Game 1 and that David Schlemko will make his fourth start of the postseason against the Kings. Schlemko also played on Monday in place of the suspended Rostislav Klesla, who will return on Sunday.

Aucoin has two assists in 10 games during this postseason.

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