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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson boarded, considered game-time decision


By on 1/04/2014 10:09:00 AM

The Phoenix Coyotes may have dodged the proverbial bullet as defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson appears to have escaped serious injury from taking a vicious shot into the boards on Thursday night.

Widely regarded to be the Coyotes' best and most trustworthy blue liner and a lock for the Swedish National Team preparing to participate in the Sochi Olympic games, Ekman-Larsson was taken immediately into the locker room for evaluation after being boarded by Columbus' Derek MacKenzie.

MacKenzie, who drove Ekman-Larsson face-first into the sideboards, was not whistled for a penalty but was taken to task by veteran Coyotes' defenseman Keith Yandle - the two duking it out and landing in the box with fighting majors instead.

The league took exception to the hit, however, suspending MacKenzie for three games.

There has been no update on the condition of Ekman-Larsson, but the specualtion in the media is that his participation going forward will be a game-time decision.

The 22-year-old has played in all 40 of the 'Dogs games this season, accounting for 22 points on four goals and 18 big helpers while eating up a nearly 25 minute chunk of ice time per game - so his loss would be a major blow, particularly when considering that his first-unit defense partner, Zbynek Michalek, is currently on the shelf with a hip injury.

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