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Stanley Cup Final
At the Rink blog

Coyotes hope to have Smith back by weekend

Wednesday, 01.30.2013 / 7:59 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Coyotes hope to have Smith back by weekend

The Phoenix Coyotes have spent a week without starting goaltender Mike Smith, who left last Wednesday's game with a lower-body injury, but they're hopeful he'll be back in a couple of days.

Coach Dave Tippett had high hopes for an early return after watching Smith practice on Wednesday.

"I'd be surprised if he's not ready by the weekend," Tippett said.

Smith is eligible to be activated from injured reserve on Friday. Phoenix has a home-and-home series with Dallas on Friday and Saturday nights.

Smith left in the first period of last Wednesday's game against Columbus; Jason LaBarbera came on and led the Coyotes to a 5-1 win. The Coyotes lost 5-3 at San Jose on Thursday and 4-2 at home to Los Angeles two nights later with LaBarbera in goal; rookie Chad Johnson played Monday and shut out Nashville 4-0, earning the start in Wednesday night's home game against Edmonton.

Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4