Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes

'Yotes Notes: Smith Returns to Lineup

Mike Smith made 22 saves in OT loss to Calgary on Wednesday

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

Mike Smith Q&A

Mike Smith discusses Coyotes' OT loss to Calgary

Coyotes goalie Mike Smith answers questions after the team's 2-1 overtime loss at Calgary on Wednesday night

  • 01:57 •

Goalie Mike Smith stopped 22 of 24 shots in his first game back in net on Wednesday night after a month on the sideline because of a lower-body injury.

Smith's effort helped the Coyotes earn a point, but the Calgary Flames beat Arizona, 2-1 in overtime, at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

"Smith was real solid in his return," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "… He came back with a purpose of playing well and he did tonight."

The Coyotes led 1-0 after two periods on a goal by Tobias Rieder at 19:42 of the second period, but the Flames rallied with a goal early in the third period by Matthew Tkachuk and a goal early in overtime by Michael Frolik.

Video: ARI@CGY: Rieder slides in rebound to open scoring

Frolik scored his goal on Smith on a breakaway after a turnover by Brad Richardson, and Tkachuk scored his goal from a difficult angle just over the goal line.

"We lost so it wasn't good enough," Smith said of his performance. "Any time a goal goes in from the goal line, that's on the goalie. It was an unfortunate bounce off the helmet and in. It could've been a 1-0 game and we're feeling a lot different coming into the locker room tonight. That's on me, that one." 

• The Flames, who played in Minnesota on Tuesday, dominated the third period in all areas, much to Smith's surprise. 

"I thought we started well and I thought we were going good in the first period," Smith said. "I felt like as the game went on we kind of looked like a team that was on a back-to-back (and not them). I don't know what was going on there. We got hemmed in there in the third and just couldn't seem to get any momentum back the other way."

Rieder agreed.

"It's just doing the little things right, pushing the game along," Rieder said. "I think we're a good team, but right now we're just losing too many battles and making too many little mistakes ... We just weren't good enough. We made too many mistakes, gave them too many chances." 

Video: Tobias Rieder discusses Coyotes' OT loss to Calgary

• Center Martin Hanzal returned to the lineup after missing five games because of a lower-body injury and played 19:42. Hanzal took one shot on goal, blocked two shots and won nine of 23 face-offs.

• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson missed the final seven-plus minutes of the second period after absorbing a clean, hard check into the sideboards by Calgary's Micheal Ferland. Ekman-Larsson remained face down on the ice for several moments before being helped to the dressing room. He returned to the game after the second intermission and finished with 22:10 of ice time.

• Led by defenseman Michael Stone with four, the Coyotes blocked 27 shots. 

• Per Elias Sports Bureau, Tkachuk, the son of former Coyotes captain Keith Tkachuk, is the second Arizona-born player in NHL history to score versus the Coyotes. Philadelphia's Sean Couturier was the first to do so on March 26 of last season.

• The Coyotes are back to work on Thursday at Vancouver. Louis Domingue is expected to start in goal as the Coyotes gradually work Smith back into the lineup on a regular basis.

• Defensemen Connor Murphy and Jakob Chychrun were healthy scratches. Both are expected to be back in the lineup on Thursday.

Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' OT loss to Calgary

View More