CALGARY -- Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard will get a rare night off as the Red Wings try to tackle the Flames in Calgary tonight.
In his place, Ty Conklin will draw into the crease for just his fifth start and sixth appearance this season.
"Jimmy's been playing so well, too, and it'll be nice to get in there and get some action," Conklin said.
Keeping focused while waiting for an opportunity to get back between the pipes has been the mandate in practice for Conklin, who hasn't played since a Dec. 4 loss against Colorado.
"Just trying to stay sharp in practice," he said. "When you don't get in there that often you want to make sure you take advantages of the opportunities you do get. It's always difficult. It's been my role for most of my career. That's just the way it is."
It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..
— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday