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Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson takes scary hit, returns to game after exiting

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) is examined by trainers after a hit by Dallas Stars left wing Jamie Benn that resulted in a penalty against Benn, during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

A meeting between the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes got chippy and physical earlier in the season, and that rolled over to Wednesday’s matchup.

In the second period, Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman Larsson went towards the boards to make a play on the puck.

Stars forward Jamie Benn saw Ekman-Larsson was beating him to the spot, and instead of easing up, Benn proceeded to make a dirty hit from behind on the Coyotes’ captain that sent Ekman-Larsson and his face into the boards.

Ekman-Larsson stayed on the ice for a few minutes, not moving for the early part of his time down there. He was eventually helped up by a teammate and went back to the locker room. After staying out of the second period, Ekman-Larsson returned in the third.

Benn was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for the hit.

In that aforementioned game from late December, Ekman-Larsson and Benn were having their own personal battle most of the game. Ekman-Larsson earned his own penalty for hitting Benn in that game, a two-minute minor for interference. Throughout the rest of that affair, it was clear that Dallas players were very upset with Ekman-Larsson and Benn was seeking out Ekman-Larsson when he could.

In 58 games this season, Ekman-Larsson has seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points.

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