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Howie breaks finger in Wings' win

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Jimmy Howard suffered a broken finger on his right hand during the third period of Thursday's 4-3 shoot-out win in Vancouver. (Photo by Getty Images)
EDMONTON, Alberta – The Red Wings have learned that they will be without their All-Star goaltender for the remaining two games of their road trip after Jimmy Howard suffered a broken index finger on his right hand in Thursday’s 4-3 shoot-out win at Vancouver.

The injury occurred early in the third period when Howard made a blocker save on a close-range shot along the ice by Canucks center Max Lapierre. Howard skated to the Wings’ bench during the next stoppage where he was examined by Piet VanZant, the team’s athletic therapist, who taped up the finger.

Howard finished the game and didn’t allow a goal in the shoot-out, stopping the Canucks’ Alex Edler and Mason Raymond to earn his league-leading 32nd win of the season. Howard is also third among league starters with a 2.03 goals-against average, and second with five shutouts.

For someone who wasn’t among the 18 goalies on the All-Star ballot, Howard sure has had a remarkable season. He has been a workhorse for the Wings and at one point even started 17 straight games. He has also played every minute of the Wings’ current 17-game home winning streak.

Detroit is three wins away at home from matching the NHL record of 20, set by the 1929-30 Boston Bruins, and matched by the 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers. The Wings are 20-2-1 at home this season and haven't lost at Joe Louis Arena since Nov. 3.

Howard will have the finger re-evaluated by the team's medical staff when the Wings return to Detroit next week.

In the meantime, the Wings have recalled Joey MacDonald from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. This season, he has posted an 11-11-3 record with a 2.63 GAA and a .913 save percentage with the Girffins.

For MacDonald, who turns 32 on next Tuesday, this is the second time that he has been called up by Detroit this season. He backed-up Ty Conklin for one game in late October when Howard was given a few days off for the birth of his first child.

MacDonald will be in Edmonton in time for the Wings' game Saturday against the Oilers.

He has played parts of five NHL seasons with four different teams. Last season, he played 15 games for the Wings while posting a 5-5-3 mark with a 2.58 GAA.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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