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Howard's redemption

Rookie goalie earns first career playoff shutout in Game 4

Tuesday, 04.20.2010 / 10:32 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Howard\'s redemption
DETROIT – Could Jimmy Howard rebound any better after the Red Wings’ Game 3 loss in the Western Conference quarterfinals?

In Tuesday’s Game 4, Howard stopped 29 shots en route to his first career playoff shutout in a 3-0 win over Phoenix that has tied the playoff series at 2-2.

Game 5 is on Friday in Glendale, Ariz.

“It was nice for him to get a shutout, and kind of quiet down the critics,” said forward Henrik Zetterberg, who scored the Wings’ last goal Tuesday.

“It feels great,” Howard said on getting the shutout. “I’m going to enjoy it here for a couple of minutes, and then like I did the other night, completely forget about it and get ready for Friday.”

Howard made good on his promise to rebound and refocus after an uncharacteristically inconsistent showing on Sunday, where he allowed four goals on 33 shots. Three he said he wished he could have taken back.

The crowd at Joe Louis Arena loved watching Howard redeem himself, where many wondered whether the rookie netminder could handle the pressure of the Stanley Cup playoffs, despite his stellar play during the regular-season.

“He’s been playing good for us all year, and we know he’s going to play good for us in the post-season too,” Zetterberg said.

Howard seemed to be unstoppable on Tuesday. He did whatever he needed to do to make saves, making all of the initial stops and smothering rebound after rebound. With 2:48 left in the second period, he even lost his helmet while sprawling to cover a puck.

“I would have taken it off the face if I had to,” Howard laughed. “I just felt like I really had to compete for these guys (Tuesday), and really put forth a better effort, and that’s what I was trying to do here.”

Zetterberg wasn’t surprised at Howard’s effort, saying “(Howard’s) a fighter. That’s what he does.

“He doesn’t want to let any pucks behind him, and I’m sure it doesn’t matter if he has a helmet on or not.”

While the Wings’ defensive play was much better on Tuesday, it was Howard that stopped a barrage of shots as the Coyotes ended the game 0-for-6 with the man-advantage, and even had 17 seconds with a five-on-three advantage.

“Any goaltender, you want to try to get pucks around the net and get traffic around the net,” Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said, whose own netminder Ilya Bryzgalov was named a Vezina Trophy nominee as the NHL’s best goaltender on Monday.

“(Howard) showed the last half of the season he was a quality goaltender.”

Throughout the game, the 20,066 fans began roaring chants of “Jimmy, Jimmy!”

“Hearing that, it was a great boost,” Howard said. “It really got me fired up.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80