More injury news hits as Coyotes prep for Oilers
The hits just keep on coming for the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes placed center Brad Richardson, their leading scorer with 11 goals, on injured reserve Friday with an upper-body injury suffered the previous night in a 4-3 overtime victory at Vancouver.
Richardson will join goaltender Antti Raanta, defenseman Jason Demers and forwards Christian Dvorak, Michael Grabner and Nick Schmaltz on the sideline when the team continues its Western Canada trip with a game Saturday night in Edmonton.
Richardson, who is three goals shy of tying his career high of 14 set in 2006-07 with Colorado, also leads the team in faceoff winning percentage (54.7). The team said he is considered week-to-week.
Despite the injuries, the Coyotes are still trying to claw their way into playoff positioning. They were six points out of the race for the Western Conference's second wild-card berth heading into Friday night.
"Injuries are a part of it," Coyotes general manager John Chayka told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, the team's flagship radio station.
"Guys have stepped up. We're still in the hunt. ... Our guys can smell it. There are some meaningful games here. ... Our staff has done a nice job so far of keeping guys accountable, and we continue to move forward."
Arizona is one of nine NHL teams that have earned more points on the road (23) than at home (18) this season.
Despite blowing three one-goal leads in the opener of their three-game trip, Richard Panik scored in overtime, his second of the game, as the Coyotes won in Vancouver.
"We got the lead a couple times and Vancouver scratched and clawed to get back in it," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet told NHL.com. "With the injuries and guys banged up, it was one of those games we just needed that little inch from everybody and we got a little inch from everybody."
This will be the second meeting of the new year between the teams. Connor McDavid had two goals, including an empty-netter, and an assist as the Oilers won 3-1 on Jan. 2 at Arizona, snapping a six-game losing streak.
The Oilers snapped a five-game home losing streak Thursday with a 4-3 shootout victory against Florida. McDavid forced overtime with a goal with eight seconds remaining in regulation.
"We were exhausted. This is the worst-case scenario. Four-game road trip, travel all day, come back and play," Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock told NHL.com.
"I thought our players really gutted it up in the third period and did a hell of a job. We changed the lines, got more energy from the change in lines in our opinion. Players really helped each other.
"Everybody knew halfway through the first period we had nothing and they just helped each other the whole time. They stayed vocal on the bench. Any good thing that went on, guys were cheerleading each other trying to help.
"It's a really good sign. It's a hell of a sign for absolutely zero in the tank. To come up with two points is, for me, really, really impressive."
It was announced Friday that Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl was voted the Last Man In for the Pacific Division team for the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 26 in San Jose. Draisaitl, who will be making his All-Star debut, will join McDavid on the divisional roster.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 11, 2019