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Smith Travels to LA for All-Star Game

Goalie Mike Smith will make his first All-Star appearance this weekend

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

LOS ANGELES -- Coyotes goalie Mike Smith arrived in "Hockeywood" on Friday, eager to soak up his first NHL All-Star Game experience this weekend with his family.

The NHL selected Smith to represent the Coyotes on the Pacific Division team based on his strong play this season after coming back from an injury suffered in the second game that cost him 12 games.

Video: Mike Smith discusses being an NHL All-Star

"It's super special," Smith said. "It's just a real cool opportunity and I'm honored to represent the Coyotes. Hopefully it will be a real fun weekend and we'll bring back the win for the Pacific."

Smith, his wife, their four kids, Smith's parents and other family members flew from Scottsdale to the LA area on Friday via a private jet provided by the Coyotes. 

"Any time your family can be involved it's special," Smith said. "This is my first time as an All-Star and it took me a while to get here so it's nice to be able to share this with my family."

Once he arrived in Los Angeles, Smith attended a ribbon-cutting event with LA Kings forward Jeff Carter, Kings executive Luc Robitaille and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at a newly renovated YMCA as part of the 2017 NHL All-Star Legacy Project.

Smith has posted a 2.85 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage this season. Beyond those numbers, he set a franchise record for saves in a game on Dec. 3 when he made 58 vs. Columbus. Plus, he's faced 40 or more shots on seven occasions and his record in those games is an eye-popping 5-0-2.

At age 34, Smith is the third oldest goalie to make his first appearance at an NHL All-Star Game. He's also the third Coyotes goalie to be invited. The others are Nikolai Khabibulin (1998 and 1999) and Sean Burke (2001 and 2002).

Each of the four NHL divisions will by represented by six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies at the All-Star Game. The divisional teams will compete head-to-head in the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday and then will compete in All-Star semifinal games on Sunday. The winners of the semifinal games will play for the championship. Each game will be played in a three-on-three format with two 10-minute halves.

Smith will participate in the Skills Competition on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. Arizona time. Fans can watch on NBC Sports Network. He is listed to take part in the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay and he could be used as a substitute in the Honda NHL Four Line Challenge. Who knows, he may get the chance to score another goal from long distance like he did vs. the Detroit Red Wings on Oct. 19, 2013.

On Sunday, Smith is expected to play half of the Pacific Division's semifinal game. Should the Pacific Division advance to the championship game, Smith likely will play half of that game, too. Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks is the Pacific Division's other goalie, and he'll play when Smith is not playing. The first semifinal is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Arizona time. Fans can watch on NBC.

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