Short-handed Coyotes look to take commanding lead

CHICAGO - Missing three of their key players, the Phoenix Coyotes will play in tonight's Game 4 of the Western Conference Playoffs against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

The Coyotes lead the series 2-1.

Forwards Lauri Korpikoski and Martin Hanzal are both injured and will not play tonight while Raffi Torres is serving an indefinite suspension for a hit on the Blackhawks' Marian Hossa Tuesday night.

Torres will meet with league officials in New York tomorrow to determine punishment for the hit in game 3 which caused Hossa to be carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. Hossa will also not skate tonight for Chicago.

"It's frustrating," Hanzal said after today's practice. "It's the playoffs and that's what you play  for all season. When you're out watching your teammates battling for every game it's tough."

"Those are guys that play big minutes for us, do a lot of special things, power play, penalty kill," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle said of his injured teammates. "We're a team that no matter who's in the lineup we try to play the same game."

Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said the team has called up players from Portland to complete the roster.

"You hope you have that depth," Tippett said when asked about his lineup. "You don't know what you have until it gets thrown in there. We're certainly getting tested right now."

The Blackhawks will continue to be without center Andrew Shaw who was suspended for his hit on goalie Mike Smith in game one.

Regardless of tonight's outcome, the Coyotes will return home on Saturday with a chance to eliminate the Blackhawks, should they get the victory in game four.

The teams face off tonight at 5 p.m. Arizona time.

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