Wings recall Coreau, Howard out 'a while'

Ted Kulfan

Tampa — The Red Wings officially recalled goalie Jared Coreau from Grand Rapids Wednesday to replace Jimmy Howard.

Coach Jeff Blashill said the move would be made following Tuesday’s 4-1 loss in Tampa after Howard injured his right leg.

Coreau, 25, made his NHL debut Dec. 3 in Pittsburgh, making 32 saves in a 5-3 loss to the Penguins.

Howard was placed on the seven-day injured reserve list after his leg was trapped under several bodies during a goal-mouth collision in the second period. Unable to put much weight on the leg at all, Howard needed the help of teammates to skate off the ice.

Petr Mrazek replaced Howard and allowed three goals on 15 shots.

General manager Ken Holland said Howard will be “out a while” and a more precise timeline will be determined in a couple days after seeing how Howard’s body responds.

Poor power play continues to plague Red Wings

Losing Howard for an extended period of time would be a huge loss, as Howard has arguably been the Red Wings’ most valuable player this season.

Expected to be Mrazek’s backup, Howard has instead outplayed the projected starter despite a 5-7-1 record, thanks mainly to little goal support.

But Howard’s sparkling 1.96 goals-against average (ranked sixth in the NHL) and .934 save percentage (fourth) have been more indicative of his play.

The Red Wings only have one more game — Friday in Florida — before they and the rest of the league shuts down for a three-day holiday break.

The Red Wings host Buffalo Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena before playing their next seven games on the road.

That streak of 25 consecutive years in the playoffs, and the hopes of extending it in the final sesason at Joe Louis Arena, is beginning to look doubtful.

The Red Wings (14-15-4, 32 points) have lost five of their last six games played, and stretching to their last 10 have lost seven of those games (3-5-2).

Twitter: @tkulfan