Howard Out 2-4 Weeks with Groin Tear

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Tuesday that starting goalie Jimmy Howard is expected to miss two-to-four weeks with a slight groin tear.

The injury occurred just 1:53 into Saturday night’s loss to the Washington Capitals. Howard made an awkward slide across the crease, failing to stop a Troy Brouwer attempt, and had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.

An MRI showed damage on Sunday when the team got back to Detroit and an ultrasound on Monday confirmed the severity.

Howard will be unavailable for the All-Star Game. He was named as the Red Wings’ lone representative only an hour before the injury occurred.

With backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson still out with a separated shoulder, Petr Mrazek takes over between the pipes for Detroit. Tom McCollum will be his backup. As the shift cascades down to the Red Wings’ affiliates, Jared Coreau is now the starter for the Grand Rapids Griffins (backed up by pro tryout Pat Nagle) and Jeff Lerg starts for the Toledo Walleye (backed up by Neil Conway).

Lerg, Abdelkader Lead Spartans to National Championship

Detroit Red Wings prospect Justin Abdelkader scored with just 18.9 seconds remaining and goaltender Jeff Lerg made several key saves as the Michigan State Spartans claimed the university’s third National Championship with a 3-1 win over the Boston College Eagles.

“Jeff Lerg has been our MVP all season and he showed why tonight,” Abdelkader said.

The victory for MSU ended a 13-game Boston College winning streak.

Abdelkader’s goal gave the Spartans their first lead of the game and snapped a personal eight-game scoring slump.

After Abdelkader rang a shot off the crossbar, MSU held the puck deep in the Eagles’ zone. Tim Kennedy got the puck behind the net and threw it out front to Abdelkader, who banged it past BC netminder Cory Schneider from the slot.

Chris Mueller added an empty-net goal with 1.2 seconds remaining, wrapping up the win for the underdog Spartans.

“What a gritty group of kids,” said MSU head coach Rick Comley.

Boston College had opened the scoring when a Brock Bradford shot from the right circle deflected off the leg od Brian Boyle before hitting Lerg’s glove and going into the top of the net at 6:50 of the second period.

The Spartans tied things up at 9:53 of the first period, when Abdelkader tied his man up on a faceoff in the neutral zone and Tim Kennedy jumped in to pick up the puck. He raced into the Eagles’ zone and wristed a shot from the left side of the slot past Schneider.

Abdelkader was voted the MVP of the finals after the game.

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