If any team needs a spark right now, it's the Coyotes.
The club with the four-game losing streak is expected to get one tonight when left wing Tyson Nash returns to the lineup after missing 16 games because of an abdominal injury.
If the forward lines used at Wednesday's practice are used tonight, center Petr Nedved would be scratched.
"I really feel good," Nash said five weeks after surgery, "... but it's probably going to take a little while for me to get my feet under me. I'm not in game shape yet. That's going to take a few games."
Nash said he's eager to return; the individual workouts associate coaches Rick Bowness and Grant Fuhr have been running him through have been tough.
"Those (workouts) will cure anything," Nash joked. "I'd play with a broken leg if it meant not having to do those anymore."
Associate coach Rick Tocchet said he hopes Nash's high-energy style will rub off on teammates.
"He's just a fun guy who loves the game," Tocchet said. "Any time you're in a lull, adding a guy like that to the lineup elevates people."
Nash likely will play on the second line with right wing Mike Johnson and center Mike Comrie tonight.
Tocchet, who spoke to reporters for coach Wayne Gretzky while Gretzky attended his maternal grandmother's funeral on Wednesday, said final decisions on line combinations wouldn't be made until today.
"We'll go with guys who want to work and want to play," Tocchet said. "That's the way we're going to have to approach it from here on in."
Tocchet said he's eager to see how the Coyotes respond to Tuesday's 7-2 defeat at Ottawa.
"We got embarrassed," Tocchet said. "We know it. We got our (expletive) kicked. (Today's) a different game. Hopefully, in the first period we'll have enough guys pulling the rope the same way."
The NHL upheld defenseman Sean O'Donnell's automatic two-game suspension for three instigator penalties.
O'Donnell received his third in Tuesday's loss, but the Coyotes asked the league to review the call.
It did, but didn't rescind it.
"I'm kind of upset with myself because I've known for a while now that I had two and that if I got another one I'd get a two-game suspension," O'Donnell said. "...I'll be very, very careful (from now on)."
The Coyotes recalled defenseman Matthew Spiller from their top affiliate in San Antonio to replace O'Donnell.
Spiller, 22, played 51 games for the Coyotes during the 2003-04 season.