The Red Wings don’t yet know the extent of goaltender Jimmy Howard’s injury but a quick return to action does not seem likely.
The Wings placed Howard on injured reserve Sunday and recalled goaltender Thomas McCollum from the Grand Rapids (AHL) Griffins to back up Petr Mrazek.
McCollum, 25, is 10-8-3 with a 2.33 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in 21 games with the Griffins.
Howard injured his groin at 1:53 of the first period in Saturday night’s game in Washington, D.C.
Howard, who had found out an hour before the game that he had made the All-Star team as the Wings’ only representative, underwent an MRI Sunday afternoon.
Wings general manager Ken Holland said the doctors are also ordering an ultrasound on Howard’s groin for Monday so they have a better idea of the severity of the injury.
A miscommunication between Howard and his defense led to a power-play goal for the Capitals.
Howard injured himself while trying to rush back after playing the puck behind the net. He couldn’t get up, and trainer Piet Van Zant called for a stretcher to get Howard off the ice.
Backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson dislocated his left shoulder Nov. 5 in New York. Although he’s been practicing with the team, he still believes it will be a couple of weeks before he’s ready to play.
Mrazek, who is 5-3-1 with a 2.29 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in nine games with the Wings, has his teammates’ confidence.
"For being a young guy, he plays with a lot of confidence," defenseman Jonathan Ericsson said. "I like the way he wants to stay in the game. He wants to play the puck for us. He looks confident doing that, and that makes us confident about him."
The Wings play at Buffalo Tuesday night, when the Sabres will hold a ceremony to retire the number of goaltender Dominik Hasek, one of Mrazek’s heroes from growing up in the Czech Republic.