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Injuries a concern as Wild, Coyotes square off

by Eric Goodman

COYOTES (14-6-4) at WILD (15-6-4)


Last 10: Phoenix 5-3-2; Minnesota 7-2-1

Season series: This is the first of three games this season. The Minnesota Wild were 2-1-0 against the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012-13.

Big story: Both teams may be missing one of their top players. Coyotes captain Shane Doan left the game Monday against the Nashville Predators with a lower-body injury and did not participate in practice Tuesday, but is probable for Wednesday. The Wild will try to extend their home winning streak to seven, but without leading scorer Zach Parise. He was expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a bruised foot after blocking a shot against the St. Louis Blues on Monday, but was taking line rushes with his teammates at Wednesday's morning skate. Still, coach Mike Yeo said Parise wasn't comfortable enough with the injury to play.

"It shows what kind of guy he is," Yeo said of Parise's efforts not to miss the game. "He's an unbelievable competitor."

Team Scope:

Coyotes: With or without Doan, Phoenix will be trying to break a three-game losing streak. Kyle Chipchura skated in Doan's place at practice Tuesday. Doan has been in top shape over most of his 18-year career with the Phoenix/Winnipeg franchise; he has missed just 38 out of a possible 1,055 games since the 1998-99 season. While Doan is second on the team with 19 points (11 goals, eight assists), the 37-year-old wing gave much of the credit for the offensive success to his teammates.

"Everyone on our team seems to be doing more offensively, and I seem to be reaping the benefits out there with the guys that are doing a lot offensively," Doan told "If you look at my goals, they're like tip-ins and redirections, bang-in rebounds. There isn't anything that's super fancy. It's pretty simple."

Wild: Minnesota is second in the Western Conference with 22 home points this season, including its current six-game winning streak, but the absence of Parise puts a big hole in the offense. Parise has 11 goals and leads the team with 22 points.

The timing of the injury couldn't be much worse. Eight of the Wild's next 10 games come against Phoenix, Colorado, Chicago, San Jose and Anaheim.

"Really frustrated, especially looking at the schedule that we’ve got coming up," Parise told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "We have some important games, some tough games, so the timing is not ideal, so hopefully it won’t be that long and I'll be able to come back sooner than we're saying."

Who's hot: Martin Hanzal has two goals and three assists over his past four games for the Coyotes. … Wild captain Mikko Koivu has three goals and six assists over his past seven games.

Injury report: Winger Lauri Korpikoski (upper body) and defenseman Zbynek Michalek (lower body) are injured for Phoenix. … Goalie Josh Harding (lower body) will dress as Niklas Backstrom's backup. The Wild are dealing with a few question marks for Wednesday. In addition to Parise, forwards Torrey Mitchell (leg) and Mikael Granlund (upper body) are questionable. Defenseman Keith Ballard (leg) is ready to return.

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