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'Yotes Notes: Chychrun Suffers Injury in Win Over Flames

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

CALGARY -- Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday night during Arizona's 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Chychrun was hurt late in the first period when Flames forward Michael Frolik tripped him from behind against the boards deep in Arizona's zone. Chychrun fell to the ice and remained there for several minutes after the hit, then skated gingerly to the bench/dressing room. He did not return to the game. Frolik was penalized for tripping for his dangerous hit.

"I know he's not a dirty player, but it's a dirty play," Head Coach Rick Tocchet said of Frolik's hit. "I don't like it at all. I don't know how 'Chych' is right now. We don't know. We'll evaluate him (on Wednesday). It's not good."

With only two games left on the schedule, Chychrun likely is done for the season. 

"It's a downer," Tocchet said. "...We're hoping for the best. He's been playing great hockey. He never had a training camp. For a 19-year-old, he's been excellent, so I'm a little sick for him right now."

Video: Tocchet on 'Sloppy' Win over Flames

Chychrun, of course, suffered a major knee injury while training in the off-season and was expected to miss most, if not all, of this season after surgery. He worked hard to rehab his injury and returned to the lineup on Dec. 3, missing just 29 games. 

The injury to Chychrun soured the mood in Arizona's dressing room after its fourth win in the past five games.

"It's real tough," said Max Domi, who chipped in two assists to set a new career-high (35) for assists in a season. "I think we're all thinking about him. He's a big part of this team. We saw the work ethic he put in, and the time he put in to get better the first time around, and we know he's going to put the same effort in and he'll be back even stronger ... We're all pretty upset about it, but we've got to hang in there for him."  

The Coyotes are expected to recall a defenseman from the American Hockey League on an emergency basis on Wednesday. Arizona next plays Thursday at Vancouver.

Antti Raanta made 42 saves to earn his sixth consecutive victory and improve to 9-1-0 in his last 10 appearances with a 1.30 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage during that stretch.. 

"His confidence is through the roof," Domi said. "When you're playing against the best players in the world and you're playing as good as he is it's easy to ride that wave. We're really happy to see that."

Video: Domi: 'We're Playing for Ourselves'

Raanta stopped all 18 shots he faced in the third period when the Flames attempted to rally.

"They got lots of shots, but I was able to see almost every shot," Raanta said. "They got their goal from a rebound, but other than that our guys were doing an excellent job in front of the net. (It's) not the perfect game, but I think the biggest thing is sometimes you win when you're not playing your best game. You just find a way to win and we found a way to score goals and get two points."

Kevin Connauton notched a goal and an assist, both in the first period when the Coyotes set the tone for the game. The goal was Connauton's 11th of the season and his 10th since Feb. 1. That goal total is tops among NHL defensemen during that time span.

"I'm playing a lot more confident, using my skating, using my shot," Connauton said. "I had a rough year last year with injuries and then sitting out. So the beginning of the year, I was still trying to get back to my game, but I think I'm back there now."

Christian Fischer scored a greasy goal from in front of the net at 2:18 of the second period to end a 31-game goal-scoring drought. Fischer shot the puck on goal and it rebounded off goalie Jon Gillies and then off defenseman Rasmus Andersson and into Calgary's net.

"It's funny how it goes in like that when I've had five breakaways the last three games," Fischer said. "It's good to go in. Stuff always creeps into your mind. Everyone goes through it at some point."

Despite the goal-scoring lull, Fischer, a rookie, ranks tied for fourth on the team with 14 goals.

Video: Fischer: 'Good Teams Find a Way'

Richard Panik gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead just 3:48 into the game when he redirected a shot by Connauton over Gillies' blocker and into the net. Panik has tallied eight goals since coming to Arizona from Chicago via a trade on Jan. 10, including three in the past four games.

Dylan Strome completed the scoring for Arizona at 12:50 of the third period when he beat Gillies with a shot from the high slot after a drop pass by Domi. The goal was Strome's third of the season and his second since being recalled from the AHL on March 20. He's also produced five assists since then.

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