Howard, Holmstrom injured as Wings fall in shootout



The Detroit News

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Red Wings lost a game Friday.

And of course, it being the Red Wings, they also lost a couple more players to injuries.

The loss isn’t typical, a 3-2 shootout to Columbus. But the injuries, well, as Tomas Holmstrom said, “it’s ridiculous.”

Goaltender Jimmy Howard bruised his right knee with 7:17 left in the first period and gave way to Joey MacDonald.

Holmstrom fractured his right hand and will see a specialist today, but coach Mike Babcock said it’s possible Holmstrom could be out a month.

“It feels (bad),” Holmstrom said. “We’ll see what the specialist says. I was battling around the net and then felt something. I got to the bench and I couldn’t hold on to the stick.”

As for Howard, a shot by Blue Jackets forward Derick Brassard caught Howard in the right knee. Howard sustained a bruise, but general manager Ken Holland said tests showed no further damage, although the knee is swollen.

Howard writhed in pain in the crease momentarily before getting on his fours, then slowly getting up. He needed help skating off the ice.

Howard was unavailable to the media after the game.

And the Wings felt last season’s slew of injuries was bad?

“There’s no sense whining,” Babcock said. “Just go out and play. It’s disappointing.”

Antoine Vermette of Columbus was the only player to score in the shootout against MacDonald, who was impressive in relief of Howard.

The Red Wings had to overcome a Jonathan Ericsson slashing penalty hat 19:29 of the third period that carried into overtime. MacDonald made several fine saves during overtime.

“I felt great,” said MacDonald, who had 21 saves and didn’t allow a goal in regulation. “I had a couple of point blank shots there and I got out in front of them. We’ll just build from this.”

Said Babcock: “Joey did a good job. Obviously we were down. He did a good job. We pressed them real hard in the third period and weren’t able to get it done in overtime. We should had our opportunities and that’s life.”

Drew Miller (shorthanded) and Jiri Hudler scored for the Red Wings in the second period, as they erased a 2-0 deficit.

Jakub Voracek and Grant Clitsome (power play) had first-period goals for the Blue Jackets.

Hudler, Todd Bertuzzi, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen failed to score in the shootout against Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason (26 saves).

“It’s a huge win,” Vermette said. “Our team (is) trying to gain confidence and some momentum and this is exactly the game you want to play.”

Jan. 15, 2011