The Detroit Red Wings’ Jimmy Howard will not play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning after sustaining a lower-body injury in the second period of Friday’s 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers, according to Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James.
Blashill said Jimmy Howard injury happened last night 2p. Was able to finish game but couldn’t skate this morning.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 6, 2018
MLive.com’s Ansar Khan added Petr Mrazek will start Sunday, and the Red Wings will call up a goalie from the Grand Rapids Griffins after they play their game Saturday night against the Chicago Wolves.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 6, 2018
If there was a good time for an injury to occur, it is now, as the Red Wings will be on their bye week after Sunday’s game, giving Howard a full week to recover. Their next game is Jan. 13 at Pittsburgh.
However, if you’re in the Red Wings should tank camp, then having a rested Howard for Pittsburgh might not be the best news.
According to Khan, coach Jeff Blashill described it as a day-to-day injury and doesn’t expect it to be a long-term ordeal. The injury didn’t force him to leave Friday’s game.
“He tried to skate this morning and couldn’t do everything he wanted to do to be comfortable to play,” Blashill told Khan after practice Saturday.
Howard is a big reason for the Red Wings’ current four-game winning streak, sporting a .958 5 on 5 save percentage over the past four games. He also had a 0.960 all strengths save percentage (making 145 saves on 151 shots), good for seventh best in the league since Dec. 28.