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Coyotes' Smith day to day with lower-body injury

by Staff

The Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday announced goaltender Mike Smith is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

To replace him on the roster the Coyotes recalled goaltender Mark Visentin from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.

Smith was injured in the third period of the Coyotes' 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers when Rangers forward Derick Brassard fell on him. Smith left the game favoring his right leg.

"[Smith] saw the doctor [Tuesday] morning," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters in Pittsburgh. "He's right now listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Had some tests done [Tuesday] morning. We're going to get the results sent back to our doctors and he'll be evaluated by our doctors when we get home."

Smith started his League-high 61st game Monday. He's 27-21-10 with a 2.64 goals-against average, .915 save percentage and three shutouts.

The Coyotes head into their game Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins winless in two straight (0-1-1) but in possession of the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one point ahead of the Dallas Stars.

Tippett said goalie Thomas Greiss originally was scheduled to start Tuesday so there will be no disruption to the team's plans. He also said he doesn't expect any letdown from the rest of the team after seeing its franchise goaltender go down with an injury.

"We got good leadership in this that room," Tippett said. "They'll be ready to go. We're in a hard playoff hunt right now. Every game is important, doesn't matter who you play. We did some good things in that game [Monday] that we have to build on. Take some of the mistakes out. That's the mindset we have. … We've got to put our work boots and find a way to win."

Visentin, a 2010 first-round pick (No. 27) is 14-19-10 with a 3.30 GAA and .901 save percentage in 44 AHL games.

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