Bruised knee or not, Jimmy Howard
will serve as Detroit's backup goaltender in Tuesday's game against Pittsburgh -- because the Red Wings have taken another injury hit.
Rookie goalie Thomas McCollum
, who was recalled to back up Joey MacDonald
after Howard was injured last week, won't be able to play after breaking a finger during the morning skate. That means Howard, who took a puck off his right knee in Friday's game at Columbus and didn't dress for the rematch against the Jackets on Saturday, will serve as MacDonald's backup.
Howard has been the Wings' starter for most of the season, with Chris Osgood serving as his backup. However, Osgood underwent sports hernia surgery last week and isn't expected back until March at the earliest. MacDonald was recalled from Grand Rapids of the AHL on Jan. 9 when Osgood was injured; McCollum got the call on Saturday after Howard was hurt.
Howard did practice Tuesday morning and says he expects to be ready to play Thursday against St. Louis.
McCollum is the latest in a line of injured Wings that includes center Mike Modano (wrist) and Pavel Datsyuk
(broken hand), as well as forwards Danny Cleary
(broken ankle), Tomas Holmstrom
(broken hand) and defenseman Brad Stuart
(broken jaw). None is expected back until after the All-Star break.