Mike Smith of Calgary Flames practices for first time in nearly month

NHL News

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith is encouraged but says it’s premature to determine when he’ll be cleared to play after he practiced with the team for the first time in nearly a month since sustaining a lower-body injury.

Smith called practicing “a step in the right direction” while adding that he wants to see how his body reacts. As for providing a timetable for his return, Smith said: “Your guess is as good as mine.”

Smith spoke after traveling from Calgary to join the Flames on Tuesday in Buffalo a day before they play the Sabres.

He has been out since he was hurt in the final seconds of a 3-2 win at the New York Islanders on Feb. 11.

The 12-year veteran has a 23-16-6 record in his first season with Calgary since he was acquired in a trade with Arizona in June.

The Flames have slipped out of playoff contention by going 3-6-2 and allowing 40 goals in 11 games since Smith was hurt. Calgary began the day 11th in the Western Conference standings with 74 points and just three behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Kings.

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