The Detroit Red Wings lost the game and their starting goalie on Saturday night.
Jimmy Howard, just an hour removed from being named to play in the NHL’s All-Star Game, injured his groin on Washington’s first goal, just 1:53 into the game.
With the Capitals on a power play, Mike Green dumped the puck into the Detroit end. Howard came out to play it behind the net and left it there, while defenseman Danny DeKeyser seemed to think he was going to pass it out. With DeKeyser slowed up, Troy Brouwer raced in and grabbed it for a wraparound attempt. Howard couldn’t get back fast enough and was seemingly injured doing an awkward split in a failed attempt to stop Brouwer’s chance.
Petr Mrazek would replace Howard in net and make it almost twenty minutes before allowing his first goal against.
At 1:35 of the second period, the Caps gained the Red Wings’ zone on a three-on-three break. Andre Burakovsky dropped the puck off to late-man John Carlson for a blast from the high slot past Mrazek to make it 2-0.
Joel Ward made it 3-0 with 8:21 left in the middle frame. His initial chance from the right faceoff circle was blocked by DeKeyser but Ward stuck with it and swatted a shot from the slot past Mrazek for what would be Washington’s last goal of the game.
Detroit broke Braden Holtby‘s shutout with twelve seconds left in the period but would be unable to get more. Jonathan Ericsson‘s shot from the blue line deflected through traffic and past Holtby for the game’s final goal.
Holtby finished the night with 26 saves on 27 shots. Howard made two saves on three shots before his injury, after which Mrazek stopped 12 of 14.
Each team had two power play chances on the night, with Washington scoring once and Detroit held scoreless.
The Red Wings will play the fifth game of their six-game road trip on Tuesday in Buffalo.
Teemu Pulkkinen made his season debut for the Red Wings, called up to replace the injured Johan Franzen… Tomas Jurco missed the game with a back injury… Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff were healthy scratches… Howard will be re-evaluated in Detroit on Sunday.