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Coyotes Vow to Press on Without Jovanovski

Friday, 02.18.2011 / 5:11 PM / Features
By Dave Vest
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes departed Phoenix this afternoon without defenseman/alternate captain Ed Jovanovski, who was placed on the injured reserve list earlier in the day because of an injury he suffered in the team’s 4-3 win over Atlanta on Thursday night.

Ed Jovanovski
“Jovo is scheduled for surgery today for an orbital bone fracture,” Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett told reporters after Friday’s practice. “It’s a serious injury… It’s tough. We certainly will miss him but we’ve got some players who hopefully will step in and fill that role.”

Jovanovski and Thrashers rookie forward Patrice Cormier collided head-to-head in the final seconds of the second period of Thursday’s game. Jovanovski, who has notched five goals and nine assists in 47 games this season, left the game and did not return. 

The Coyotes have 22 games remaining in the regular season, and while they are currently in first place in the Pacific Division standings and third in the Western Conference standings, ninth-place Calgary is just three points behind.

“It will be difficult (playing without Jovo),” Coyotes forward Lee Stempniak said. “He plays a lot of minutes and he plays hard, and he certainly leads by example by the way that he plays… As a group we’re all going to have to pick up our games a little bit to fill the void.”

Captain Shane Doan agreed.

“Jovo is such a big part of our team and we count on him so much,” Doan said. “As a player, he’s so competitive and does all the little things… We’re definitely going to miss him. Hopefully he can get better and be back soon.”

In other news…

Photo by Getty Images.
• With 1,096 games on his resume, Doan is on pace to set a new franchise record for games played on Wednesday in Tampa Bay. Doan’s good friend/mentor Teppo Numminen currently leads the franchise in that category at 1,098 games.

• Defenseman David Schlemko, who hasn’t played since suffering an upper-body injury on Jan. 17, has been assigned to the team’s American Hockey League affiliate on a conditioning assignment. He likely will join the Coyotes at some point on their current five-game trip. Phoenix will begin that trip Saturday night at Nashville when it puts its six-game winning streak on the line.

• Defenseman Adrian Aucoin and forward Taylor Pyatt, both of whom missed Thursday’s game because of lower-body injuries, are considered day-to-day.

•  Coyotes goaltending prospect Mark Visentin of the Niagara IceDogs was named the Ontario Hockey League’s Player of the Week for the week ending Feb.13. The first goaltender to win the award this season, Visentin posted a 3-0-0-0 record including one shutout victory with a goals-against-average of 0.67 and save percentage of .973.
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