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Howie's hat trick, plus one

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
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DETROIT – Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard scored a hat trick plus one in March.

On Thursday the NHL named Howard the rookie of the month and the Second Star of the month, to go with the Carhartt Hardest Working Player of the Month Award, which was given to him by the Red Wings coaching staff.

Howard also received the Carhartt award in November.

Earlier this week, Howard was named the NHL’s Second Star of the week ending March 28.

Howard started all 15 games for the Wings in March. He posted a 12-2-1 record with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. Howard also had a shutout, his second of the season – last Saturday in a 1-0 shootout victory at Nashville.

Howard also received rave reviews for his defense of teammate Henrik Zetterberg at the end of the Wings-Penguins game on March 22. Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby repeated cross-checked Zetterberg in front of the Wings’ net when Howard came up behind Crosby and wrapped his catching glove around the all-star’s head and pulled him off Zetterebrg.

At the time, Howard said, “(Crosby) was sort of taking some liberties at Z there, and it was sort of nice how it wasn’t just me, it was all five guys on the ice, everyone came and helped Z out, it just shows people how much of a team we are.”

Howard will set a new franchise record for most consecutive starts by a rookie goalie when he starts his 24th consecutive game Thursday against Columbus. Howard is currently tied with Roy Edwards, who reached 23 straight in the 1967-68 campaign.

"I’m just having a blast right now," Howard said. "I really didn’t know how many starts it was until the other day when somebody asked me, and told me, so you know what, I’m probably very fortunate that I had the two weeks off there in the middle of it in February. I have no excuse to be tired."

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