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Tough Night: Vlasic, Nieto injured in loss to ‘Yotes

Antoine Vermette, Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Arizona Coyotes’ Antoine Vermette (50) passes the puck as San Jose Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Thursday was a tough night for the San Jose Sharks. Not only did they drop a 3-1 decision to the Arizona Coyotes, they also lost Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matt Nieto to injury.

Vlasic was seen favoring his leg after being crushed by Coyotes forward Shane Doan with under eight minutes left in regulation time.

The details regarding Nieto’s injury are a little more murky. The 23-year-old could have been hurt after blocking a Mike Stone slap shot early in the second period, per CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz.

After the game, head coach Peter DeBoer didn’t have any details regarding his injured players.

Losing Vlasic for an extended period of time would be devastating for the Sharks. The 28-year-old is a steady presence in his own end and he has eight goals and a career-high 39 points in 67 games this season. He averages just over 23 minutes of ice time per game.

The injuries weren’t the only thing that hurt the Sharks on Thursday. The loss put a serious dent in San Jose’s chances of winning the Pacific Division. After the Kings beat the Rangers, the Sharks find themselves seven points back with 12 games to go. San Jose can still land land home-ice advantage by passing the Ducks, who are one point ahead with a game in hand.