Detroit’s Howard breaks finger, out at least two games

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The Detroit Red Wings announced that All-Star goalie Jimmy Howard will miss at least the next two games after breaking his right pinkie finger against Vancouver Thursday night. The club also reported that doctors will re-examine the injury when the Wings return to Detroit on Tuesday, after they finish a Western road swing in Edmonton and Phoenix.

While Detroit doesn’t expect Howard to miss a ton of time — early speculation suggests two weeks at the most — not having him in the lineup will be a shock to the system. Howard’s been an absolute workhorse this year, playing in 44 of the Wings’ 52 games while leading the NHL in wins (32), second in shutouts (five.)

It’s expected backup Ty Conklin will get start in Howard’s absence, meaning goalie Joey MacDonald, recently recalled from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, will assume Conklin’s usual backup role. The 31-year-old McDonald is 11-11-3 this year with a 2.63 GAA and .913 save percentage.