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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Doan's chances of playing in Game 7 improving

By Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, ARIZ. -- The Phoenix Coyotes might have their captain back for Tuesday's Game 7 with Detroit after all.

For the first time since suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury eight days ago, Shane Don took part in a full practice with his teammates -- including contact -- and said he "felt pretty good" after he was done.

"It isn't bad," Doan said. "It was good to get out there and do some things in practice and test it. It feels pretty good, and at the end (his teammates) tested it pretty good, too … so we'll see."

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said Doan would continue to be a "game-time decision" for Tuesday night, but said his captain was close to going in Game 6 in Detroit on Sunday and his activity in practice Monday was even more encouraging.

"No status change," Tippett said. "Obviously he worked hard out there today and got through a full practice, so we'll see how he is in the morning.

"We need him to be able to function in all aspects of the game. Obviously he's a guy who's a physical player. The physical part of the game is a big part of what he does for us. He has to be able to function in those areas. You saw the physical contact out there today -- so I think it's getting closer.

"His will and desire to play is unquestioned, it's his function to play (that is at issue). These aren't exhibition games where you can come in and kind of tip-toe in. You've got to be all-in. We'll have to be able to decide if he can get through that challenge."

Doan will continue to listen to the training staff and make a smart decision for Game 7.

"I definitely want to be part of it, but as long as we're winning I'm happy," he said. "My gut told me I could probably have played the first game after (the injury, last Tuesday) so I can't trust that."

"His will and desire to play is unquestioned, it's his function to play (that is at issue). These aren't exhibition games where you can come in and kind of tip-toe in. You've got to be all-in. We'll have to be able to decide if he can get through that challenge." -- Coyotes coach Dave Tippett on Shane Doan
This is the third Game 7 the Coyotes have played since moving to Phoenix, and injuries have played a huge role in all of them:

* In 1997, the Coyotes lost Game 6 at home to Anaheim and also lost Jeremy Roenick to a torn ligament after a knee-to-knee collision with Ted Drury of the Ducks. Roenick was done for the playoffs and the Coyotes lost Game 7 in Anaheim.

* Two years later, the Coyotes played without Roenick against St. Louis for the first six games after he had his jaw fractured at the end of the season by Dallas defenseman Derian Hatcher. Phoenix blew a 3-1 lead in the series and Roenick made an emotional return for Game 7 -- wearing a helmet made more for football than hockey -- but the Coyotes lost 1-0 in overtime on Pierre Turgeon's goal.

We're certainly happy we got the win, but we feel we have a long way to go obviously. We're going take another step in San Jose and it is going to be a tough one.

— Los Angeles Kings forward Justin Williams said after his team's Game 4 win vs. the San Jose Sharks