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Coyotes’ Hanzal suffers lower-body injury, won’t return

Apr 5, 2014, 12:34 AM EDT

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The Phoenix Coyotes lost hulking center Martin Hanzal for the night on Friday, as he suffered a lower-body injury against the Edmonton Oilers.

There is no further information regarding how serious that issue might be.

The big 27-year-old has dealt with issues on-and-off this season, missing seven games in March and two more in January with issues labeled as lower-body ailments. Hanzal also sat out two games because of a suspension back in late October.

Hanzal began the season on an unusually prolific scoring pace, but he seems to be running out of steam in that area with just one assist in his last eight games.

Even so, the checking Czech center is generally more regarded for his physical and defensive play than his scoring ability. Despite these recent struggles, Phoenix would benefit from his presence during this tough jockeying for playoff positioning against the Dallas Stars.

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