Vrbata, who hasn't scored a goal in more than a month -- he got No. 30 on Feb. 21 against Los Angeles -- has missed three of the last four games with an undisclosed illness. He will replace Shane Doan, who will begin a three-game NHL suspension tonight for a hit on Dallas' Jamie Benn on Tuesday night.
The ninth-place Coyotes were without forward Taylor Pyatt and defenseman Adrian Aucoin as they attempted to jump over the Avalanche and back into a playoff spot in the jam-packed Western Conference
The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.
— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday