GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes lost their leading goal-scorer, Radim Vrbata, early in the first period of Thursday's Western Conference Quarterfinal series-opener against the Chicago Blackhawks with an undisclosed injury.
Vrbata, who scored a career-high 35 goals this season, was hampered during the final month of the season by an allergic reaction to penicillin -- a problem that continues to cause severe muscle cramps throughout his body. He missed six games and parts of others dealing with the pain.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan double-shifted on right wing in his place.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday