Jan 9, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT
The Phoenix Coyotes will have their excellent young defenseman, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, back in the lineup tonight when they host Minnesota in a key Western Conference tilt.
Ekman-Larsson missed the last two games after being hit from behind by Columbus’ Derek MacKenzie, who was slapped with a three-game suspension for the check.
“We missed his smarts and puck movement and he will bring some energy. He’s a top player for us,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said, per NHL.com. “It was interesting in practice [Wednesday], it looked like the rest has done him some good. He has a lot of energy and you could tell before the injury that it was down a little bit. We rely on that a lot.”
The Coyotes didn’t especially miss Ekman-Larsson in their last game, a 6-0 win over Calgary on Tuesday. But the Wild contest is a big one, given the race for the final wild-card spot in the West:
The Coyotes have just three wins in their last 11.
- It’s Ottawa Senators day on PHT 2
- Report: Leiweke to head up Olympic bid in Los Angeles 11
- In praise of John Tavares 14
- It’s New York Islanders Day at PHT 26
- McDavid on teams possibly tanking for him: ‘It’s pretty crazy’ 19
- Fanspeak: Lemieux (stunner!) voted greatest Penguin in franchise history 39
- Under Pressure: Mike Johnston 17
- It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT 33
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 47
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 55