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Smith Undergoes Surgery, Will Miss 8-10 Weeks

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE -- Coyotes goalie Mike Smith underwent successful surgery on a core muscle injury on Tuesday morning in Philadelphia and will be sidelined for 8-10 weeks.

Smith had a similar injury and surgery in 2004 while he was with the Dallas Stars.

"We expect him back and 100 percent healthy, hopefully before the end of the season,” General Manager Don Maloney said.

Maloney said Smith, who is 10-9-1 with a 3.06 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage this season, had been dealing with the injury for some time but tried to play through it.

"It had been something that had been lingering for a little while and it got to the point where he couldn't play anymore,” Maloney said. “So now was the time to take another approach… (The surgery) is relatively routine in this day and age. It happens, you fix it and then you get him back and away we go."

The Coyotes will turn to backup goalie Anders Lindback to become the starter.

“Anders will now get the bulk of the work,” Maloney said. “I think he's played very well. He's battling… Anders has shown, at the last part of last year (with Buffalo), that he can carry the ball. He'll certainly have his chance now."

Lindback has posted a 4-5-1 record in his first season with the Coyotes. His goals-against average is 2.92 and his save percentage is .900.

Playing as a starter for Buffalo at the end of last season, Lindback posted a 2.76 GAA and a .924 save percentage in 16 games for a team that was in draft lottery mode.

"For a starting goalie you need to step it up and be able to steal some games here and there and be steady at all times," Lindback said regarding his new role.

Louis Domingue will be Lindback’s backup during Smith’s absence.

"Louis Domingue is ready for an opportunity,” Maloney said. “He showed us last year that he can play in this league and win games."

However, Maloney said the Coyotes would explore the goaltending market.

"We had not been looking at goaltending, per se, acquiring somebody else," Maloney said. "But that will be something that we’ll have to at least give a little attention to see if there’s someone else out there that makes us stronger."

He added, "It's not a panic situation. We feel good about (Lindback and Domingue). If they don't get the job done then we'll find somebody else."

Smith's surgery was performed by Dr. William C. Meyers, the same surgeon who operated on captain Shane Doan's sports hernias a few years ago.

"They went in and they were not only able to take care of this problem, but clean up the earlier procedure,” Maloney said of Smith's surgery.

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