by Sarah McLellan – Apr. 24, 2012 12:07 AM
The Republic |

CHICAGO– As has been the trend this series, the Coyotes didn’t escape Game 6 without a few bumps and bruises.

Defenseman Rusty Klesla left in the first period after taking the end of Brendan Morrison’s stick in the face just 1:09 into the game.

Klesla returned in the second period with a full face shield, but he didn’t require any stitches. His right eye was still red and almost swollen shut after the game.

“It’s still sore, but we’re gonna take a look at it (Tuesday) and it should be OK,” Klesla said. “Hopefully it won’t be as much damage.”

Fellow blue-liner Michal Rozsival also was injured, taking a hit from behind from Jimmy Hayes near the midway point of the third period.

Hayes was assessed a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. The Coyotes used that power play to seal the win.

“He had some stitches in his mouth inside his mouth,” coach Dave Tippett said. “He was having trouble talking.”

A handful of Coyotes also were playing banged up.

Center Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup after suffering an injury in Game 2. Winger Lauri Korpikoski missed two games in the series.

Defenseman Adrian Aucoin, who was a scratch for Game 6, is not injured. Tippett was looking for a different mix to spark his team by inserting David Schlemko in Aucoin’s place.

“We need a few days rest here,” Tippett said. “We got a good crew of guys that have put a lot of time into this series and we’ll regroup and get ready for Nashville.”

Looking ahead

A start date hasn’t been set for the Coyotes second-round series with the Nashville Predators, but the Coyotes were already anticipating that matchup after getting past the Blackhawks on Monday.

“They’re a great team,” defenseman Keith Yandle said. “Obviously they have a good goalie, great D and a lot of skill up front. So they’re like Chicago – a little bit of everything. We gotta play our game. It’s good that we get to start at home. Obviously winning the division helped there, so it’s something we just gotta play the way that we can.”

The Coyotes went 2-1-1 against the Predators during the regular season.

“We’ve played them hard all season long,” goalie Mike Smith said. “I think we’re 2-2 against them. It’s gonna be another dog fight, and we’re gonna have to elevate our play. They’re not in the second round by accident either, so we’re gonna have to definitely improve our game and worry about that when the day comes.”

Source : Phoenix Coyotes emerge from series win banged up – AZ