Jimmy Howard suffers hip flexor injury

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Jimmy Howard turned aside 43 of 44 shots to lead Detroit to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings, but just when things were finally starting to look up for him, his campaign was dealt another blow.

He sustained a hip flexor injury during the contest and won’t start in today’s game against Anaheim, according to MLive.com. Last night’s start was just his fifth since returning from a knee injury.

Howard still expects to serve as the backup, so his injury isn’t believed to be serious at this time. If that changes though, it could alter things for the Olympics. Howard is one of Team USA’s three goaltenders and if he’s not available then Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop will take his place.

Of course, Bishop has been sidelined lately too due to a wrist injury.

Even when he’s healthy, Howard has had difficulty finding his groove this season. His 2.67 GAA and .913 save percentage are a step behind what he’s accomplished in recent years.