Jimmy Howard stopped 47 shots in a 1-0 loss to the Rangers Thursday. (Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)
Detroit — Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Jimmy Howard will once again be in goal when they face the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.
“Ever since that Dallas game he’s kind of had it going,” said Babcock of Howard. “He struggled on a couple in San Jose, but he’s played real well. The bottom line is for us to have success, like I said with the group we have, we need for him to be at the top of his game and he’s been a world-class goalie for us for a number of years. He had a tough first half, but he’s going now and we need to ride him.”
The Red Wings were 2-3 on a five-game road trip, scoring just six goals during the final four games and losing the final two by 1-0 scores, Sunday at Anaheim and last night against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden.
Howard turned aside 44 of 45 shots in a 5-1 win at Dallas, struggled in a 4-1 loss at San Jose, played extremely well in a 3-1 win over the Kings and in the 1-0 loss to the Rangers.
Howard had a .956 save percentage in his past four starts with a 1.75 goals-against-average, saving 47 of the 48 shots he facedagainst the Rangers.
The Red Wings will try to duplicate that win over the Kings after dropping consecutive 1-0 decisions the last two games. It will be their first home game in nearly a month, actually 26 days since a 3-0 loss to the Islanders Dec. 23.
“We’re expecting no lineup chances other than (Tomas) Tatar,” said Babcock of forward Tomas Tatar who returned last night after attending his father’s funeral in Slovakia. “(Tomas) Jurco’s playing for sure.”