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.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres