They haven’t quite clinched their mind-boggling 22nd consecutive postseason berth just yet, but with plays like Jimmy Howard’s Thursday night, the Detroit Red Wings should be able to keep the streak alive.
With the Nashville Predators working the puck to slapshot specialist Shea Weber on the power play, Howard is forced to dive across the crease when Weber’s blast goes wide right and rounds off the end boards to the left side.
But Howard’s goal stick gets caught up in skates of screener Nick Spaling. The goalie ditches the stick, lunges across the open cage and, with his blocker, gets a piece of Bobby Butler’s attempt to bang in the rebound. At the time, Howard’s save preserved a 3-2 lead for his team.
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In a crucial Wings home stand this week, Howard allowed just three goals in three games and helped his team move all the way into the seventh slot in the West.
The 29-year-old goaltender’s .922 save percentage is the best it’s been since the 2009-10 season.