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Niklas Hjalmarsson sustains upper-body injury in Coyotes’ loss to Avs

Colorado Avalanche left wing Matt Calvert gets knocked off his skates while fighting for the puck against Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson (4) during the first period during an NHL hockey game, Monday, March 22, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson suffered an upper-body injury in Monday night’s 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche at Gila River Arena.

The Coyotes announced that the defenseman would not return to the game during the third period.

However, it is unclear how or when Hjalmarsson sustained the injury.

Head coach Rick Tocchet did not have an update “at this time” when asked about Hjalmarsson during his postgame press conference.

Avs’ Mikko Rantanen scored his 18th goal of the season as Colorado won its seventh game in a row.

Philipp Grubauer, playing in his 200th NHL game, stopped 31 shots for Colorado. In net throughout the winning streak, Grubauer set a career high with his 19th victory of the season.

Joonas Donskoi scored two late goals, including an empty-netter. Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare and Nazem Kadri also scored for the Avalanche.

Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored late in the third period, his first goal of the season.

Bellemare opened the scoring for Colorado, taking a feed in front from Matt Calvert behind the net to beat goalie Antii Raanta high at 14:22 of the first period.

Just 68 seconds later, Rantanen scored from the left side for a two-goal lead. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog assisted. Rantanen leads all NHL players with 10 goals in March.

Kadri scored his 10th of the season midway through the second period — dominated by Colorado — to make it 3-0.

The Avalanche outshot the Coyotes 21-9 in the period and only some strong work by Raanta kept Arizona within range.

Arizona finally got on the board with Ekman-Larsson’s power-play goal with 3:41 left.


The teams meet again Tuesday night in Arizona.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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