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Coyotes vs. Predators: Derek Morris injured, leaves game

Derek Morris left the game with an upper-body injury early in the first period and did not return.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
According to the Phoenix Coyotes official Twitter feed, defenseman Derek Morris suffered an upper-body injury early in the game that kept him out for the remainder of the action Thursday night.

Morris played just 3:30 on the night before leaving with his injury. That's a big loss for the Coyotes, since Morris is second on the team in average ice time and typically plays more than twenty minutes a night. Without Morris, the Coyotes suffered numerous defensive breakdowns throughout the game, leading to a busy night for goaltender Mike Smith.

The Coyotes also struggled to get anything going offensively against the stingy Predators, and lost the game 3-0. The loss dropped Phoenix to 6-6-2 on the year and 9th in the West, pending the results of other Thursday night games. If Morris's injury keeps him out of the lineup long-term, Phoenix may be in for some trouble in the ultra-competitive Pacific Division.