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Coyotes center Derek Stepan will receive MRI due to left leg injury

Buffalo Sabres goalie Carter Hutton (40) stops Arizona Coyotes forward Derek Stepan (21) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Buffalo N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

Arizona Coyotes center Derek Stepan left Thursday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks due to a left leg injury.

He was scheduled to undergo an MRI, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro.

In the third period with the Coyotes leading 4-1, Stepan was going to battle for a puck in the corner near the boards.

On the hit, it appeared Stepan was not in pain. When the center went to hit the puck after the contact, though, his left leg buckled and he went to the ground in visible pain.

Stepan was on the ice grabbing at his left knee as a Coyotes trainer rushed out to help him.

When Stepan exited the ice, he did not put any weight on his left leg.

One of the most important players on the team, Stepan has been a Coyotes top-six center all season and plays roles on both the power play and penalty kill. Stepan leads all Arizona forwards in average ice time per game at 19:22.

Prior to Thursday’s game, Stepan was third on the team in points with 13 goals and 19 assists for a total of 32.

An injury to Stepan would be the latest of many blows for the Coyotes. Defenseman Jason Demers and goaltender Antti Raanta are out indefinitely due to lower body injuries while forward Michael Grabner is out (eye) and Arizona has already lost forward Nick Schmaltz (lower body) and defenseman Kyle Capobianco (lower body) for the season.

Center Christian Dvorak just made his season debut on Tuesday returning from a pair of different injuries.


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