GLENDALE - Coyotes General Manager John Chayka is hopeful defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will be in the lineup on Thursday night when Arizona hosts Los Angeles at Gila River Arena.
Ekman-Larsson did not play in the third period of Tuesday's game at San Jose because on an upper-body injury he suffered in the second period.
Speaking on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, the team's flagship radio station, Chayka said Ekman-Larsson is nursing "a little bruise."
"It's something he's dealing with, but everyone is dealing with something at this point in the season," Chayka said on Wednesday morning. "We have a day off today, a maintenance day, so he'll kind of get that looked after, and we hope he's in the lineup tomorrow because he's our star player."
Ekman-Larsson has played in all 21 games this season. He ranks tied for second place on the team with five goals and tied for third place with 10 points. He leads the team in ice time at 24:15 per game.
Chayka also was asked about goalie Mike Smith's recent play; Smith has stopped 191 of 204 shots, a .936 save percentage, since returning from injury on Oct. 16.
"He's healthy, he's in a good frame of mind and I think he's making the adjustments from game to game that he needs to make," Chayka said. "Overall he's in a really good place and that gives us a chance to win every night. For a young group to have a goalie back there that can kind of stabilize things for you, it certainly helps to get some traction and get your feet underneath you."