Wounded Wing: Howard (MCL sprain) out 2-4 weeks


Jimmy Howard’s knee injury is a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to Detroit GM Ken Holland, meaning the Red Wings goalie will miss the next 2-4 weeks of action.

News of the diagnosis comes just one day after Horward said he wasn’t “that concerned about” the injury, telling reporters he didn’t expect to be out of the lineup for very long.

But that was before the MRI.

Howard, who has struggled this season with a 6-8-7 record and .910 save percentage, could miss as many as 12 games should he sit out the full four weeks.

This will also likely jeopardize his chances of suiting up for the 2014 Winter Classic, when the Red Wings take on the Maple Leafs at the Big House and the University of Michigan.

With Howard out, the Wings will turn to Jonas Gustavsson as their No. 1 netminder and recently-recalled Petr Mrazek as their No. 2. Gustavsson has been solid this season, posting an 8-1-2 record with a 1.92 GAA and .933 save percentage, emerging as one of the best backup goalies in the NHL.

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever

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Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…