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Coyotes Off On Tuesday, But Can Still Punch Their Postseason Ticket

It seems like it's been forever since we last saw your Phoenix Coyotes take the ice at Jobing.com Arena, or any arena for that matter. Since their win last Tuesday over the Dallas Stars, the Yotes have hit the ice just once, in their shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. The Coyotes couldn't overcome another slow start, but did battle back to gain at least a point against the Avs.

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Tuesday brings good news for the Yotes both relating to their squad on the ice, as well as their spot in the Western Conference standings.

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Playing shorthanded for what seems like a constant period of time over the past couple months, the layoff between games has allowed the Yotes to get healthy. Ed Jovanovski is expected to make his long-awaited return Wednesday after an eye injury brought his season into question.

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Lauri Korpikoski, who was initially thought to possibly miss the rest of the regular season, along with Taylor Pyatt, are also expected to return on Wednesday, against the Los Angeles Kings. This just leaves Martin Hanzal, who skated Tuesday, though he is not expected back before the regular season is out.

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The real potential for excitement among the Coyote faithful is the fact that Phoenix has a chance to seal their playoff spot on Tuesday, even though they won't see game action against until Wednesday.

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All it will take for the Coyotes to clinch a playoff berth is a loss by the Dallas Stars. Given their inconsistencies of late, that isn't entirely out of the question. 

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However, a win would not guarantee the Coyotes the fourth spot in the Western Conference, where they currently reside. Currently tied at 96 points, with the Kings, a win is crucial for Phoenix to remain in their No. 4 seed, and move closer to home-ice advantage in the first round of the postseason.

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There's also the matter of Nashville and Anaheim, who trail Phoenix by one and three points, respectively. So while a playoff spot is possible on Tuesday, the regular season is by no means over for the Coyotes, who have three games remaining between now and Saturday.

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