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Turris reacclimating to life with Coyotes

by Brian Hedger
CHICAGO -- Kyle Turris got a rude welcome back to the NHL in his second game back after an extended absence on a contract holdout to start the season.

During Saturday's 4-2 loss at home to the Philadelphia Flyers, the 22-year old center got hit in the mouth by a puck after it was shot at Coyotes goalie Mike Smith -- who deflected it right into Turris' lip.

He got nine stitches and played a little more than 12 minutes in the game, but said he's OK and will likely be in the lineup as the fourth-line center on Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. It was Turris' second game back after the holdout and he said he's feeling good otherwise.

Turris didn't need a conditioning stint in the minors to get his game legs back because he worked hard during the hold out to stay in shape.

"I'm definitely getting more comfortable and getting my legs under me," said Turris, who hasn't scored a point yet. "I definitely felt like I was in shape. I knew it would take a couple practices to get my timing back, but I felt pretty good coming in and I'm just looking to get going again."

He's also excited to be back in an NHL locker room and back on the ice for games.

"It's tough watching," said Turris, whose return bumped gritty center Kyle Chipchura from the lineup. "It feels good to be back, just getting back on the ice and playing the game I love. Eventually I want to work my way up and get to be a top guy that is a go-to guy."

The third pick in the 2007 NHL Draft started to show glimpses of what he can do during last season's playoffs, when he scored a goal and added a pair of assists in the Coyotes' four-game loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round.

The goal now is to build off that experience and develop as a player.

"Playing in The Joe for the playoffs, and the octopus on the ice was pretty neat and something I learned a lot from," Turris said. "I won't forget that experience for a long time."
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