Tlusty sits with injury

LANCE HORNBY

, Last Updated: 3:28 PM ET

Jiri Tlusty sat out last night's loss in Phoenix with an undisclosed ailment. He should be back in the lineup on Tuesday when Montreal comes to town.

The teenage winger, who made headlines for scoring two goals in his first NHL game -- with one off his rump -- and then for sending nude pictures of himself via the net that mistakenly were publically circulated, had five points in 13 games. But only one goal in his past 12.

Healthy scratch Bates Battaglia came back into the lineup with the injured Chad Kilger not far behind.

SAVED BY THE BELL

Ex-Leaf Brendan Bell, traded to Phoenix for Yanic Perreault last year, was recalled last week from San Antonio of the AHL, partly because of a one-game suspension to Nick Boynton, but also because coach Wayne Gretzky thought he was taking a risk by carrying just six blue-liners since October.

"You never know, especially with the physical presence of the game today, who's going to get hurt or what's going to happen," Gretzky said.

Bell was scratched last night against his old team, as was ex-Leaf goalie Mikael Tellqvist, out of a job since Ilya Bryzgalov was claimed on waivers from Anaheim.

HOUSE OF STEEN

Winger Alex Steen walked into Jobing.com Arena for the first time yesterday and could point to his name in the upper bowl ring of honoured players. His surname actually, as his father Thomas was one of the greatest players on the old Winnipeg Jets before they moved to Arizona in the mid 1990s. Steen the elder had the last Jet/Coyote hat trick against the Leafs, on March 18, 1989

99 DESERT BLOOMS

While Gretzky took heat for getting into the difficult arena financing when the Coyotes moved from Phoenix to the largely undeveloped Glendale site a 20-minute drive away, the full plan is starting to evolve. A resort hotel opened last month next to the rink that's quickly become a favourite with visiting NHL teams and there is an adjacent shopping and entertainment complex. The University of Arizona stadium, site of the Super Bowl, is across the parking lot.

LOOSE LEAFS

The longest shutout streak in Leaf history came to an end 77 years ago today. Ben Grant and Lorne Chabot combined on 311 minutes, 42 seconds.


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