Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/17/12
CHICAGO Coyotes goalie Mike Smith and center Martin Hanzal both took part in Tuesdays morning skate at the United Center. Coach Dave Tippett said both would be game-time decisions for Game 3 against the Blackhawks tonight at 6 p.m. Arizona time. Tippett ruled out forward Lauri Korpikoski, who did not skate Tuesday morning, with Gilbert Brul as his likely replacement. None of the three injured players injuries have been specified. Hanzal said he felt alright in Tuesday mornings skate. "Hopefully, I'll be ready tonight, he said. It's better. It's way better." Tippett was noticeably perturbed by repeated questions about Chicago forward Andrew Shaws hit on Smith in Game 2 that led to a five-minute major, a game misconduct and a possible suspension from the league, which still hadnt ruled on Shaws status as of early Tuesday afternoon. Its a blatant hit to the head with no intent to miss the goalie, Tippett said. Its the exact hit and Ive gone through a lot of these meetings with the NHL on it its the exact hit theyre trying to take out of the game. When asked if there was a specific reason he held Smith out of practice on Monday, Tippett said: Thats our prerogative. Whether its an injury day or a rest day, we dont have to tell everybody why a player practices or not. Why would we do that? Despite that statement, it seems odd to hold Smith out of practice the day before a crucial game if there isnt some sort of lingering issue, raising the possibility that he is suffering from concussion-like symptoms. Smith did not speak to the media Tuesday, and Tippett would not discuss the nature of his or any other players injury. Smith has stopped 89 of 95 shots through two games against Chicago for a .937 save percentage. If he cant play, backup Jason LaBarbera will get the nod.
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