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Coyotes scratch goalie Mike Smith with injury

by Jerry Brown /

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes will have to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive without starting goaltender Mike Smith, who was not on the ice for warmups prior to their game against the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

Mike Smith
Goalie - PHX
RECORD: 13-11-4
GAA: 2.60 | SVP: 0.909
Smith was on the ice for only a short time during the Coyotes' optional morning skate and did not dress for the game due to a lower-body injury. The Coyotes said it's unrelated to the injury he suffered in mid-March when he was hit by Vancouver's Alexander Edler -- that one forced him to miss six games.

Jason LaBarbera will get the start. Chad Johnson, who was called up on an emergency basis Monday, will back up LaBarbera.

Smith, who is tied with Nashville's Pekka Rinne for the NHL lead with five shutouts, had stopped 114 of 119 shots in his last four starts. Smith has shut out the Sharks in four the last six times he's faced them, including a 1-0 shootout victory in San Jose on Feb. 9.

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