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Phoenix Coyotes Place Goalie Mike Smith on IR; Recall McElhinney from Portland

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SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 20: Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes rolls on the ice after being injured in the third period against of the Florida Panthers on December 20, 2011. Smith was moved to the Injured Reserve today.
SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 20: Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Phoenix Coyotes rolls on the ice after being injured in the third period against of the Florida Panthers on December 20, 2011. Smith was moved to the Injured Reserve today.

The news on Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith got a bit worse today as the team placed him on the injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 20th. One plus to this is that that really means he's unavailable for one more day before they can take him off and have him active again. It's still unclear just how long he's expected to be out though as he was listed day-to-day up to this point.

The Coyotes also shuffled backups for Jason LaBarbera as Curtis McElhinney cleared re-entry waivers and the team sent Justin Pogge back to the Portland Pirates.

While the team could certainly use Mike Smith in net, Jason LaBarbera has played well in his two starts since goine 1-1. THe team in front of him hasn't been the sharpest though. They did finish a comeback against Carolina, but just looked flat against the Blues on Friday. In the past they've done a great job of giving the backup a boost though so hopefully they can find a way against a floundering LA Kings team tonight.