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Bryzgalov Ready to Return

Monday, 12.27.2010 / 4:33 PM / Features
By Dave Vest
SCOTTSDALE – Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov practiced with teammates on Monday at the Ice Den and will dress for Tuesday night’s game vs. Anaheim at Jobing.com Arena.

Ilya Bryzgalov
“He’s ready to go,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said after practice. “...He’s 100 percent.”

Bryzgalov, the runner-up in last season’s voting for the Vezina Trophy, has missed five games since suffering an upper-body injury vs. New Jersey on Dec. 15. Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera posted a 2-2-1 record in the five games he started in place of Bryzgalov, including a 30-save shutout of Dallas on Sunday night.

Tippett on Monday stopped short of naming Bryzgalov the starter for Tuesday’s home game against Anaheim. Tippett said his decision on which goalie would start wouldn't be made until Tuesday morning.

Bryzgalov is eager to play.

“I’m very happy,” Bryzgalov said. “(For) 10 days I very much didn’t do anything and I missed the hockey so much and I missed the team… It will be a special night to play against your former team. It’s nice. I’m very excited.”

The Coyotes host Anaheim on Tuesday and Los Angeles on Wednesday. Both teams sit above Phoenix in the Pacific Division standings.

“These are going to be crucial games,” Bryzgalov said. "…If we want to continue to be in a division chase or a playoff race we have to win these games to stay close.”

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