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Coyotes D Oesterle leaves game after taking puck to back of head

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle (82) and Vegas Golden Knights center Brandon Pirri (73) vie for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jordan Oesterle left Thursday’s game against the Nashville Predators after taking a puck off the back of his head.

In the first period, a shot by the Predators from the blue line was headed towards Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

Oesterle was battling for position in front of the net, and when it was clear the shot was headed right in his direction, he turned his head away. At that moment, it appeared that Kuemper’s glove also caught Oesterle in the face.

The puck then hit Oesterle in the back of the head and he immediately went down as play was stopped.

Trainers attended to Oesterle and had him sitting upright after a few minutes. There was blood on the ice as trainers held towels to the back of his head. He was then slowly helped off the ice.

Later in the game, Oesterle was ruled out due to an upper-body injury.

Oesterle was one of the Coyotes’ six primary defensemen last season, playing in 71 games and recording six goals and 14 assists for a total of 20 points.

The Coyotes are already without one important defenseman after Niklas Hjalmarsson broke his fibula after blocking a shot on Saturday.

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