Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith was officially placed on injured reserve on Monday night retroactive to Jan. 23. Smith suffered a groin strain in warm-ups for a game that night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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Despite sustaining the injury, Smith started the game, played 11 minutes and registered four saves. After leaving the game, back-up goaltender Jason LaBarbera completed the contest by registering 21 saves on 22 shots and backstopped the Coyotes to a 5-1 victory.
Smith is eligible to return to game action on Wednesday night, when the team hosts the Edmonton Oilers. However, he is not expected to play until at least Friday, as Monday was his first on-ice activity since sustaining the injury.
With Smith out, Phoenix has turned to LaBarbera and recalled goaltender Chad Johnson from the American Hockey League. After LaBarbera dropped consecutive games against the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix turned to Johnson, who registered a shutout against the Nashville Predators on Monday night.
The team is 2-2 without Smith and will return to action on Wednesday.