Red Wings lose Howard for 4-6 weeks with a knee sprain

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Injuries have been a major theme in Detroit this year (see here), and that carried over on Friday, when the club announced that goalie Jimmy Howard would miss the next 4-6 weeks with a knee sprain.

First reported by the Detroit News, Howard’s injury confirmation comes just days after he was hurt in a 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was helped off the ice early in the second period after being crashed into by Nick Jensen and Tampa Bay’s Erik Condra —  prior to that, Howard had stopped 15 of 16 shots for a .938 save percentage.

Unlike most teams, Detroit is equipped to deal with the loss of a starting netminder. Because they have two of ’em, see. Petr Mrazek has shared starts with Howard throughout the year and will now have the No. 1 gig all to himself, with AHL Grand Rapids recall Jared Coreau serving as his backup.

That said, this is still a big loss for the Wings. Though his record leaves something to be desired — he’s just 5-7-1 on the season — Howard has posted both a sparkling save percentage (.934) and GAA (1.96) this season.

Mrazek, meanwhile, has the better record — 9-7-3 — but significantly lower save percentage (.899) and a higher GAA (3.06).