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Jimmy Howard Likely Unavailable For Showdown With Pittsburgh

Joey MacDonald looks like he’ll be manning the Detroit Red Wings’ net for at least another game.

Initial hopes were high that regular starter Jimmy Howard would be available for Tuesday’s showdown with Pittsburgh, but the Wings’ top netminder won’t be ready just yet. Howard said that something would have to drastically improve overnight to change his status as he recovers from a bruised knee suffered Friday against Columbus.

I was hoping I’d be ready for Tuesday night. I’ve been progressing with it every single day, but it’s just, you know, getting up and down. … I’m just happy it was just, basically, a bruise.”

MacDonald stopped 36 of 37 shots in relief duty against Colorado and Columbus before surrendering five goals in his first start of the season on Saturday, a 6-5 shootout win.

Pittsburgh will likely be shorthanded as well, with NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby still suffering the effects of a concussion. He hasn’t played since Jan 5. Detroit will be without Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Modano, Dan Cleary, Brad Stuart, Tomas Holmstrom and Howard, so it’s a fair tradeoff (end sarcasm).