– Already without winger Raffi Torres
for the rest of the playoffs, the Phoenix Coyotes
will try to eliminate the Nashville Predators
on Monday night with another player sitting out a suspension.
Defense - PHX
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 4 | PTS: 6
SOG: 19 | +/-: 1
Defenseman Rostislav Klesla
will miss Game 5 after being suspended for one game for his boarding infraction against Nashville's Matt Halischuk
in Game 4 on Friday night. Klesla was penalized on the play, but the League's Department of Safety ruled that Halischuk was defenseless as he chased a puck to the sideboards in part because Klesla grabbed his jersey before administering his check.
Klesla will likely be replaced by David Schlemko
-- the only other defenseman to see time in the playoffs so far -- when they take a 3-1 series lead into Game 5 at Jobing.com Arena. Klesla's usual partner is Adrian Aucoin
, but Schlemko skated with several partners during Sunday’s practice and the pairings could change.
One of Phoenix's best players in the postseason, Klesla has not only provided rock-steady defense in logging nearly 21 minutes of ice time a night, he has contributed two goals and six points offensively. He has also overcome a pair of facial injuries – one in Game 6 against Chicago and one in Game 2 against Nashville – returning during the game in each case.
Torres was suspended 25 games by the League for his hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa
in Game 3 of the first round. He announced earlier this week that he will file an appeal.