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Wings goalie Jimmy Howard leaves tonight’s game with injured knee

Jan 14, 2011, 8:21 PM EDT

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While the Red Wings are dealing with the loss of backup goalie Chris Osgood to sports hernia surgery, they’ve gotten a major scare tonight to their starter Jimmy Howard. Howard left tonight’s game with Columbus in the first period with what the team is calling a bruised knee.

Howard went down with 7:17 to go in the first period after going down to block a shot by Derick Brassard. Howard laid on the ice in pain and was helped off the rink by team trainers. Joey MacDonald replaced Howard. Depending on the severity of the injury to Howard, the Wings are looking at possibly having both of their AHL goalies getting called into action. Thomas McCollum would be the next guy in line to play in goal. McCollum was Detroit’s first round pick in 2008, 30th overall.

That speculation is premature right now as the severity of Howard’s injury isn’t known at this time. Being out with bruised knee may just be the initial diagnosis but if it’s just that, the Wings will breathe a sigh of relief as they’re without Osgood, Dan Cleary, Mike Modano, and Brad Stuart with a variety of long-term maladies.

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