Howard returns in goal for Wings

March 30, 2012

DETROIT — Jimmy Howard will start for the Red Wings on Friday night when they play the Nashville Predators at Joe Louis Arena.

A groin injury had kept Howard out the past four game. It's the second time in the past two months he's had groin problems.

"Everything seems to be OK," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday after the team's morning skate. "He (Howard) says he's feeling good about himself, and obviously we'd like to get him going."

Howard is 33-15-3 this season with a 2.15 goals-against average and .920 save percentage.

Ty Conklin will back up Howard. Joey MacDonald is still out with a sore back.

The matchup with the Predators is crucial for playoff seeding. The Red Wings have a one-point edge over Nashville or the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and home-ice advantage for the first round.