The Coyotes could be without their top two right wingers for tonight's huge game with the Avalanche.
Shane Doan is definitely out, serving the first of a three-game suspension for his hit on Dallas' Jamie Benn. And Radim Vrbata, who has missed two games and part of a third with an undisclosed illness, took part in Tuesday's optional skate and Wednesday's morning skate, is still a game-time decision.
If Vrbata is a no-go, that's more than 50 goals missing from a Phoenix offense that struggles even in the best of times. Winger Taylor Pyatt and defenseman Adrian Aucoin will also miss this game between the eighth- and ninth-place teams in the Western Conference.
The Coyotes are 3-1-3 in their last seven games, but have slipped out of a playoff spot and need a win to stay on the heels of Pacific Division-leading Dallas.
Colorado will go without defenseman Erik Johnson (back spasms) for a second straight game with a back injury and rookie Tyson Barrie will again get the call. Ryan O'Reilly, who had his nose broken in Tuesday's overtime win over Calgary, will be in the lineup.
These are the projected lineups for tonight's game:
We don't have any excuses tonight. Excuses are for losers. We've played with five defensemen before and it didn't affect us. We just had a bad second period and it cost us the game. We have to look in the mirror and blame ourselves.
— Bruins coach Claude Julien on his team's play with the loss of defenseman Johnny Boychuk