In some instances goaltenders will tell you it’s not about how the save looks, just that the job gets done. That’s the theory Jimmy Howard subscribed to on Wednesday night.
Late in the third period of Detroit’s contest against the New York Rangers and with a Blueshirts power play about to expire, Ryan McDonagh unleashed a rocket of a slapshot towards the Detroit goal. The puck bounced high off the glass and back towards Howard and his net. In a split second reaction, Howard read the bounce of the puck off the glass and used his blocker like he was swinging a tennis backhander to swat the puck away:
The stop couldn’t have come at a bigger time in the game, and was one of 39 Howard was credited with on Wednesday night as Detroit went on to down the Rangers 2-1 in overtime. Marek Zidlicky, the Red Wings trade deadline acquisition, scored the game-winning goal little more than one minute into the extra frame.
Howard is now one shy of his 20th victory of the season. With 20 wins this season, Howard will have posted six consecutive seasons of 20 or more wins.