May 19, 2012, 11:19 PM EDT
The Phoenix Coyotes should be a motivated team as they face elimination in Game 4 on Sunday and Martin Hanzal is likely to be among the most inspired. Los Angeles Kings sniper Jeff Carter told Rich Hammond that he expects the big center to make a big impact after sitting out Game 3 because of a suspension.
“He’s a big part of their team,” Carter said. “He’s shown that all year, and in the playoffs here. He kind of maybe settles their minds down a bit, gets people into the right places. We know that he’s going to be fired up, coming out with a strong game after sitting out last game.”
Hanzal has scored some big goals in the playoffs, yet the best sign that he’s “fired up” would probably be in how much he uses his large frame. More often than not, Hanzal makes an impact in more subtle ways (well, unless you’re going up against him).
Speaking of going up against him, Hammond reports that the Coyotes are likely to go with the lineup they had early in the series. That means Hanzal is expected to center a line between struggling wingers Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata.
If those two should-be top scorers feed off of Hanzal’s return, Phoenix could pose a pesky team to finish off.
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