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'Yotes Notes: Hill Ready if Needed in Nashville

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

NASHVILLE -- Adin Hill and Hunter Miska tended the nets at Coyotes practice on Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena. Antti Raanta, who left Tuesday's game at Minnesota after two periods because of a lower-body injury, did not skate with teammates.

"We're still evaluating 'Rants,'" Head Coach Rick Tocchet told ArizonaCoyotes.com. "He had to go get looked at today. Everything's kind of on hold."

Tocchet also said the injury Raanta suffered on Tuesday is not related to the injury that sidelined him for three weeks earlier this month.

Should Raanta not be able to play vs. the Predators on Thursday night, Hill would make his first start of the season and the fifth of his brief NHL career.

"There's some excitement there for Adin," Goaltending Coach Corey Schwab said. "I think the important thing for him is to not get caught up in it and to make sure whatever he's been doing as a pro, he continues to do the same things. My message to him is to just stay on track with what you normally do. And we have to make sure that we prepare the same way. A big key is to not get too excited or too anxious, and just go out there and play the game."

Hill started four games for the Coyotes last season. He posted a 1-3-0 record, a 3.49 goals-against average and an .891 save percentage. This season, he's stopped all six shots he's faced in 35:57 of ice time in two relief appearances, including Tuesday's game. He earned his second NHL victory in that game because the Coyotes rallied from a 3-1 deficit after two periods for a 4-3 win.

"That's a tough position, going in there (in relief)," Tocchet said. "When the puck was on net he swallowed it up. There were no rebounds. That was really nice. It kind of stopped momentum for Minnesota when they had some pressure on us."

Hill recently missed four weeks of action in the American Hockey League because of a lower-body injury, but he's confident he can help the Coyotes now if needed.

"It's the NHL so each game for me is still very exciting and fun, but I'm feeling a little bit more comfortable here now and I think I'm adjusting to the pace a bit more with every game," Hill said.

• Backup goalie Darcy Kuemper did not accompany the team on this two-game trip to Minnesota and Nashville as he nurses a lower-body injury that has sidelined him for two games and counting.

"Apparently, he felt better yesterday," Tocchet said. "We haven't really talked to him today. We're not sure when he'll get back on the ice." 

• Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Thursday will become the ninth player and just the third defenseman in franchise history to skate in 600 games with the team. Defensemen Teppo Numminen (1,098 games) and Zbynek Michalek (612 games) also accomplished that feat.

Ekman-Larsson also will become just the seventh player from the 2009 NHL Draft class to skate in 600 career games.

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