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Injuries continue as Howard hurts knee

Holland says the Red Wings' goalie is listed as day to day

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 11:01 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Injuries continue as Howard hurts knee

Jimmy Howard is screened by Blues captain David Backes during second-period action. The Red Wings' goalie made 22 saves before leaving the game with a knee injury. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT – Just when it looked like the end of Detroit’s injury woes were in sight with the return of center Darren Helm Monday night, goaltender Jimmy Howard left in the second period against St. Louis with a lower body injury.

Howard stopped 22 of 25 shots in 30-plus minutes before being replaced by rookie Petr Mrazek at 10:44 of the second period. As Howard skated off the ice during a TV timeout, Detroit’s starting goaltender appeared to be in pain and did not return to the game.

“He got hurt,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “The same knee, I guess.”

Howard initially suffered a sprained left knee in practice at Tampa Bay on Dec. 11, and missed the team’s next eight games.

Wings general manager Ken Holland decxribed Howard's injury as "minor" and that he's day to day, and that he will be re-evaluated Tuesday.

In his place against the Blues, Mrazek stopped 13 of 14 shots as backup Jonas Gustavsson continues to recover from a groin injury.

“It’s a big loss,” Mrazek said of Howard. “He’s No. 1 goaltender and he’s been great for the last couple of games, right now. But we have to think of the positive and play the same game.”

Gustav Nyquist scored Detroit’s lone goal in the 4-1 loss to St. Louis. The forward’s power-play goal with 27 seconds left in the opening period tied the game at one and gave Nyquist his first regular season and second career power-play goal with the Red Wings. Nyquist also notched a power-play goal – which happened to also be the game-winner – against Anaheim in Game 2 of last spring’s Western Conference quarterfinals.

The goal ended Nyquist’s eight-game scoring drought, as he hadn’t netted a goal since Detroit’s 4-3 victory in Florida on Dec. 28.

“It was a real good entry,” Babcock said of Nyquist’s goal. “Riley Sheahan made a play and Nyquist scored. But there wasn’t enough good things for us tonight. There were a few we’ll look at tomorrow. We’ll break down the game and we’ll get ready for the next one.”

The Red Wings had several scoring opportunities throughout the game, including a 5-on-3 advantage, but were unable to overcome the deficit. St. Louis received three unanswered goals from defensemen Barret Jackman, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Bouwmeester to seal the victory.

“They were better than us,” Babcock said. “I thought we had been playing pretty well, pretty hard and pretty competitive. I didn’t think we were as good tonight whether they were on us better, whether they we couldn’t execute out of our zone. I don’t know what parts us and what parts them. They were on us. They were heavy. We never got anything sustained going.”

Detroit continues to struggle offensively without Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Daniel Alfredsson (back spasms), Jonathan Ericsson (fractured ribs), Johan Franzen (concussion), Joakim Andersson (lower body) in the lineup, as the club was outshot 39-23 in 60 minutes of play and only netted one goal in its 11th home loss.

While the Red Wings have scored two or fewer goals in 53 percent of their games this season (26 of 49), that statistic is almost dead even through last year’s shortened 48-game schedule (26 of 48), when the club extended its playoff streak to 22 straight seasons.

“We've gotta take it one game at a time,” forward Justin Abdelkader said. “With the group we have, we've just got to work hard and outcompete the team across from us because we do have a lot of young guys, a lot of young guys filling in, but we can still get it done with this group. For us to be getting wins here, it's not going to be the prettiest, it's going to be the grinding-type, 2-1, 3-2 games, lower-scoring. We've got to be good on specialty teams, defensively, not give up too much."

Detroit is currently tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings with 52 points, and will welcome an Original Six foe, the Chicago Blackhawks, to The Joe on Wednesday night.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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