Game 4 Preview: Coyotes Look To Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead On Blackhawks

Mikkel Boedker scored what may have been the biggest goal in Phoenix Coyotes' franchise history in overtime Tuesday, but that's not what has people talking.

Raffi Torres was suspended indefinitely by the NHL Wednesday for his hit on Marian Hossa, which may keep the Blackhawks leading scorer sidelined for the rest of the 2012 NHL playoffs.

The hearing was scheduled for Wednesday, but was pushed back to Friday per the request of Torres and the NHL Players Association. This means that Torres will be out for at least Thursday's game, but the Coyotes will probably be without their grinder for quite some time.

"I don't think there was any malicious intent on Raffi's part," coach Dave Tippett said. "He's a hard hitter. That's the way he plays the game. He turned, coming full speed, caught a guy right in the chest. Unfortunately, the player was injured."

The suspension comes at an inopportune time for the Coyotes. Martin Hanzal and Lauri Korpikoski are already sidelined with upper-body injuries, and with Torres out the Coyotes were forced to call up forward Matt Watkins from their AHL affiliate Portland.

Every game this series has been thrilling. All three have gone to overtime, and two were tied up with just seconds left in the game. Despite this, expect the Torres-Hossa incident to dominate all pre-game talk.

The Blackhawks could come out and dedicate their hard play to the injured Hossa, or the game could take a much different rout. The Blackhawks could decide to go Coyote hunting, and avenge their fallen teammate.

"There's only been one dirty hit in our series and you saw the same thing from that guy last year in the same series," Chicago's Patrick Sharp said. "You know it's coming. You try to warn your linemates and be aware when he's on the ice. He's got a history of targeting guys' heads and having questionable hits. It makes it that much more frustrating to see it happen, but we got to rally behind Hoss."

Either way, expect for an exciting matchup that goes to the final buzzer.

TV: Nationally the game will be available on CNBC. In Arizona you can see it on Fox Sports Arizona Plus.

Radio. Xtra Sports 910

Puck drops at 5 p.m. MST

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