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Coyotes' Michalek leaves with lower-body injury

Friday, 11.15.2013 / 1:12 AM / News

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

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Coyotes' Michalek leaves with lower-body injury
Defenseman Zbynek Michalek left the Phoenix Coyotes' game Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center with an undisclosed lower-body injury and will not return for the third period.

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Zbynek Michalek left the Phoenix Coyotes' game Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first period with an undisclosed lower-body injury and did not return.

Michalek, who's been teamed with Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the Coyotes' top defense pairing, took five shifts and played 4:31, blocking a shot by Marian Hossa at 3:03 of the first period. He took a couple more shifts after that but didn't return.

Chicago won, 5-4, in a shootout.

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What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.

— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp