GLENDALE, AZ -- While the playoffs are a long shot for the Arizona Coyotes, the desert dogs are wrapping up the regular season on a strong note.
The Coyotes have won six of their last eight games and are coming off a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night in Glendale.
"It was a playoff mentality out there," Mike Smith told ArizonaCoyotes.com after the win. "They were fighting for their lives, and I think we want to play like we’re in the playoffs. If we want to move forward, we have to match that intensity and work ethic."
Smith, who has played in five games since returning from core muscle surgery, has played a key role in Arizona's recent success.
The goaltender's first game post-injury came on Mar. 12, when he shutout the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-0 victory, and since that point, he has won four of the five games he has played in. In that five-game stretch, he has allowed two or fewer goals in each contest and boasts a save percentage of .965.
Smith has played in 27 games in the 2015-16 season, putting up a 14-10-1 record with a 2.68 GAA and a .915 save percentage.
While Smith was stellar in the Coyotes win on Saturday, it wasn't all good news for Arizona. Forward Shane Doan and defenceman Michael Stone suffered injuries in the third period and left the game.
Head coach Dave Tippett noted that Doan was feeling okay afterwards and was removed from the game as a precaution. The Coyotes captain could be in the lineup on Monday when the Calgary Flames make a stop at the Gila River Arena.
As for Stone, the prognosis isn't as optimistic.
He got twisted up with Flyers forward Michael Raffl and sustained a lower body injury.
"I watched it on tape, it didn’t look very good," Tippett told ArizonaCoyotes.com, stating he would be reevaluated on Sunday.
Monday's match-up with the Flames will be the final meeting between the two clubs this year. Arizona has won the four games already played in the season series, outscoring Calgary 12-4 in the process.
BREAKING DOWN THE COYOTES
Power Play: 18.4 percent overall (51 goals scored in 278 chances with the man advantage), 21.3 percent at home (33 goals scored in 155 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 78.4 percent overall (59 goals allowed in 273 times being short-handed), 75.3 percent at home (36 goals allowed in 146 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 4-0-0
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 0-5-0
Notable Injuries: Michael Stone (lower body), Shane Doan (undisclosed), Anders Lindback (lower body), Joe Vitale (concussion)
Who's HOT: Mike Smith
As mentioned, the Coyotes goaltender didn't look like he missed a beat when he returned from surgery earlier this month. With four wins in his last five starts, he has been a key cog in Arizona's recent string of victories.
He is coming off a 34-save performance against the Flyers on Saturday, posting a .971 save percentage in the contest.
Honourable Mention: Anthony Duclair
The Coyotes rookie has been producing at a fairly consistent level all season, sitting fourth in team scoring with 17 goals and 40 points in 74 games.
He heads into Monday's battle on a three-game point streak, collecting assists in each game. On Saturday, he set up Stone's game-winner against Philadelphia.
Who's NOT: Jordan Martinook
The 23-year-old winger is 74 games into his first full NHL season and has amassed an admirable 24 points while averaging 15:00 of ice time per game.
However, he has been mired in a bit of dry spell as of late, going without points in his last seven games. His last point -- an assist -- came on Mar. 11 when the Coyotes defeated the Flames by a score of 4-1.