Coyotes defenseman Kurt Sauer suffered a lower body injury during the third period of Saturday night's victory over Dallas and is expected to miss the next four weeks.
"It is a big blow for us,” General Manager Don Maloney said on Sunday. “(But) it will open up an opportunity for someone else to step in and play well.”
Maloney said the Coyotes would not recall a defenseman from San Antonio, their top affiliate. That means defensemen David Hale and Keith Yandle
, who have been in and out of the lineup in the past couple of weeks as healthy scratches, will play every game.
Sauer has been a key shut-down defenseman for the Coyotes in his first season with the team. He has chipped in four assists in 43 games, and his plus/minus ratio is plus-1.
The injury to Sauer comes just a few days after rookie Viktor Tikhonov
suffered an upper body injury. Tikhonov is listed as “week-to-week.”
“We have been lucky,” Maloney said, referring to the team’s injury situation this season. “Other teams have had six, seven, eight guys out of the lineup at a time and luckily we haven’t had that.”