After a spotty start to the season, Mike Smith has more recently resembled the dominant goaltender he was in 2011-12. The Phoenix Coyotes have benefited as a result, winning three of their last four.
The Colorado Avalanche offense remains anemic, and it may continue to struggle - especially if Smith makes his sixth straight start for the Coyotes. Phoenix will try to win for the ninth time in 11 tries in the series Monday night in Denver.
Smith is 4-0-1 in five career starts against the Avalanche, posting a .965 save percentage and 1.18 goals-against average.
The Coyotes (5-5-2) started off 2-4-2, with Smith compiling a 4.00 GAA across four starts and spending a week on the injured list.
Phoenix's lone loss in its last four contests was a 6-2 defeat against Chicago on Thursday in which Smith was pulled after stopping just 16 of 22 shots. But he rebounded Saturday for his strongest performance of the season, making 33 saves in a 1-0 shootout victory at San Jose.
It was the second...