Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith has had a rough start to the season. On Wednesday night, he suffered a lower-body injury and was unable to complete the Coyotes' 5-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Smith played 11 minutes and stopped four shots before leaving the game due to the injury. He was unable to return. Backup Jason LaBarbera came in to relieve Smith and recorded 21 saves on 22 shots, backstopping the Coyotes to their first victory of the season.
As of Wednesday night, it is believed that Smith's injury is not serious. He was seen outside the locker room following the game and stated that he was fine. However, he was not willing to answer questions. On Thursday morning, Craig Custance of ESPN tweeted that the Coyotes were also under the impression that the injury was not serious and were hopeful that he wouldn't miss much time.
Prior to Wednesday night, Smith had struggled in the team's first two games of the season. He currently has a .836 save percentage with a 4.62 goals against average, which is significantly different from his .930 save percentage and 2.21 GAA from last season.
Smith is entering the final year of a two-year, $4 million contract and will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.