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Stanley Cup Final

Coyotes forced to play Game 5 without Klesla

Sunday, 05.06.2012 / 9:41 PM

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

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Coyotes vs. Predators series blog
Coyotes forced to play Game 5 without Klesla
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Already without winger Raffi Torres for the rest of the playoffs, the Phoenix Coyotes will try to eliminate the Nashville Predators on Monday night with another player sitting out a suspension.

Rostislav Klesla
Defense - PHX
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 6
SOG: 19 | +/-: 1
Defenseman Rostislav Klesla will miss Game 5 after being suspended for one game for his boarding infraction against Nashville's Matt Halischuk in Game 4 on Friday night. Klesla was penalized on the play, but the League's Department of Safety ruled that Halischuk was defenseless as he chased a puck to the sideboards in part because Klesla grabbed his jersey before administering his check.

Klesla will likely be replaced by David Schlemko -- the only other defenseman to see time in the playoffs so far -- when they take a 3-1 series lead into Game 5 at Jobing.com Arena. Klesla's usual partner is Adrian Aucoin, but Schlemko skated with several partners during Sunday’s practice and the pairings could change.

One of Phoenix's best players in the postseason, Klesla has not only provided rock-steady defense in logging nearly 21 minutes of ice time a night, he has contributed two goals and six points offensively. He has also overcome a pair of facial injuries – one in Game 6 against Chicago and one in Game 2 against Nashville – returning during the game in each case.

Torres was suspended 25 games by the League for his hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa in Game 3 of the first round. He announced earlier this week that he will file an appeal.
Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday