Coyotes center Steven Reinprecht and defenseman Derek Morris
are expected to return to the lineup when the Coyotes take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Reinprecht has missed the past three games because of a shoulder injury.
“It’s been really tough especially when you are not winning,” said Reinprecht, who ranks fourth on the team in points with nine goals and 19 assists. “It’s such a tight race and it's hard, but it's what had to be done and I’m great now.”
Morris missed the past two games because of an upper-body injury.
“It's tough when you sit out games, that’s for sure,” said Morris, who has four goals and six assists. “It's boring, frustrating, that’s what goes through your mind when you are sitting out. Nobody wants to sit out games, but … I feel pretty good.”
Forward Peter Mueller is still recovering from a concussion. Defenseman Kurt Sauer (lower-body injury) skated with teammates for the first time Thursday, but he is not close to returning to the lineup.POWER PLAY BACK ON TRACK
The Coyotes scored two power-play goals on four chances against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
|Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski scores a power-play goal in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. ( 700K ) |
“I’m really pleased for the power play and pleased for the hockey team,” Coyotes Head Coach Wayne Gretzky said after practice on Friday. “Part of the concern was that it took a defenseman not only to get proper net frontage, but it took a defenseman to set the tone of what it takes to work hard on the power play to be successful, and by that I mean banging in front of the net and staying in front of the net.”
That defenseman was Ed Jovanovski, who scored a power-play goal on a breakaway in the first period, and who created traffic in front of the net on Joakim Lindstrom’s power-play goal in the third period.
“I did it for years in Vancouver,” said Jovanovski, referring to his new role on the power play. “I’m familiar with the area. It’s a privilege and an honor to be on the power play and you have to work hard and hopefully I can free up some space for (Shane Doan
) and Olli (Jokinen)."QUICK HITS
• Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start in goal on Saturday night.
• The team recalled forward Steven Goertzen from the San Antonio Rampage on Friday morning and he practiced with the team. Forward Kevin Porter was assigned to the Rampage after playing one game in his third stint with the team.
• Gretzky gave rookie forward Mikkel Boedker
the day off from practice because Boedker did not get any time off during the NHL All-Star break.