Defenseman Ed Jovanovski, who was injured Feb. 17 and is recovering from orbital-bone surgery, was expected to be cleared for contact drills this weekend.

"He's coming along fine," coach Dave Tippett said. "He'll get checked out by the doctors, and if things all fall into place there, he could be available to us next week."

Jovanovski's return for the last three regular-season games could provide a boost for the Coyotes, still battling to secure a playoff spot.

His injury led to the trade that brought in Rostislav Klesla.

Meanwhile, young defenseman David Schlemko, in his second season, has been rewarded with playing time for his steady efforts.

"I think the hardest thing to do when you come into the league is to be consistent while you're playing against the best players in the world," he said. "It's definitely what I'm striving to do."

Schlemko, who scored on Tuesday vs. the Dallas Stars, was undrafted but fought his way into the NHL. He said it's something that adds a little bit of motivation.