Mike Smith cleared one hurdle, and a bigger one awaits.

The Coyotes goaltender got the kind of performance he needed Saturday night, responding from a game in which he allowed three goals in less than seven minutes to grab a win over San Jose, the leader in the Pacific Division.

The two teams will meet three more times this season, and the Coyotes' success could be critical for their playoff hopes. But Smith, who had 32 saves against the Sharks, isn't looking back or too far ahead.

AdTech Ad

His challenge Monday is even tougher.

The Coyotes, who have to play their best hockey of the season in the final 30 games to make the playoffs, host the Detroit Red Wings, who lead the NHL in points.