Preds recall Jeremy Smith from Milwaukee due to Lindback’s injury…

Jeremy Smith gold (Sarah Fuqua)

As we reported yesterday (stick tap to Aaron Sims and Stephanie Muraro), the Nashville Predators have recalled goaltender Jeremy Smith from the Milwaukee Admirals.

Anders Lindback got the start, the win and first star of the game honors in Saturday’s season finale against the Colorado Avalanche but he also got an injury. Early in the third period, rookie defenseman Ryan Ellis fell on the scrambling netminder and, while he skated to the bench under his own power, he did not return and Smith was recalled as a result.

Smith’s recall leaves the AHL-affiliate without their starting goaltender during the most important time of the season. The Dearborn, Michigan native is 29-19-1 (his 29 wins are second best in the league) with a stellar 2.25 goals against average (fifth best) and a .920 save percentage. Milwaukee just so happens to be involved in a fight-to-the-death, every-point-matters Western Conference race. Sure they’re in fifth place but they’re also just one loss from 11th. Three of their last four games are against teams that are fighting for a playoff spot and the fourth is already in the playoffs. If Lindback’s undisclosed injury persists, they’ll be forced to go with Atte Engren between the pipes during their final playoff push.

Enrgen, by the way, is 8-10-3 on the year with a .915 save percentage. Solid numbers for a back-up but hardly impressive for a starter.

There’s been no official word from the Predators (or the Admirals) on the recall yet but, per Smashville 24/7, Smith was on the ice during Preds practice at Centennial SportsPlex this morning.

Smith’s recall is his second trip to the NHL in his professional career. The Preds assigned Lindback to the Ads back in January in order to get him some starts. In two AHL games, the Gavle, Sweden native went 1-1-0 with an .879 save percentage and a less than advantageous 3.53 goals against.

The Nashville press release is below.

***

Nashville, Tenn. (April 9, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled goaltender Jeremy Smith from Milwaukee (AHL) under emergency conditions.

Smith, 22 (4/13/89), is ranked second among American Hockey League goaltenders in wins (29), games played (53) and minutes (3096), in addition to having the league’s fifth-best goals-against average (2.25). The Dearborn, Mich., native has stopped 63-of-64 shots and recorded a shutout while starting two games during Milwaukee’s four-game winning streak.

The Nashville Predators will host Games One and Two of their 2012 Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Detroit Red Wings, presented locally by Fifth Third Bank, starting this week at Bridgestone Arena. Game One, brought to you by Nissan, is Wednesday (7 p.m.), Game Two, brought to you by Tennessee Lottery, is Friday (6:30 p.m.), and Game Five, brought to you by Land Rover Nashville, will be Friday, April 20 (if necessary). Doors will open two hours prior to each contest with plaza parties taking place three hours prior to face-off (weather permitting). Individual tickets are available for all possible first-round games and can be purchased at nashvillepredators.com, by calling 615-770-PUCK (7825), stopping by the Bridgestone Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets or by visiting ticketmaster.com. Tickets for all future rounds of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs will go on sale upon the completion of each round.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Fuqua // Flickr (used with permission)