DETROIT — The injury to Jimmy Howard appears to be nothing serious.
At least that’s what Wings general manager Ken Holland is saying, calling it an upper-body injury.
“It doesn’t appear to be anything significant, day-to-day,” Holland said. “Looks like a strain or a sprain. He’s going to go for a precautionary MRI, but he looked to be OK.
“Unless the tests come back anything different, doctors don’t think so (it’s serious),” Holland added.
Holland said the club likely will recall somebody to back-up Joey MacDonald for Monday’s game against Chicago.
Howard was injured 6:11 into the third period and immediately left the game.
The injury happened when Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul fell on Howard’s left shoulder while the Wings’ netminder was on the ice.
Howard was hunched over as he left the ice, favoring his left shoulder.
Joey MacDonald replaced Howard.
On the replay, Lupul clearly collided with Howard, but was forced on top of him when Kris Draper ran into the Leafs’ forward.
“Lupul went into the crease and he bumped into our guy,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Draper pushed him in after and fell on him. It’s easy for us because we all saw the replay so it’s easy to evaluate officiating.
“Guys get injured,” Babcock added. “You just have to keep playing.”
Lupul scored on the play, whirling the puck in while on top of Howard to tie the score at 2-2.
“The referees are out there trying to make the right call,” Babcock said. “The part I don’t like is when (Tomas) Holmstrom is near the net the whistle goes and the goals are waved off. They’re allowed to fall on the goalie. It’s one of those things that happen in hockey, but ideally we’re making sure we’re looking after the goalies.”
MacDonald replaced Howard and stopped all seven shots he faced.
“It’s tough coming in, especially when your No. 1 gets hurt like that,” MacDonald said. “The whole 13 minutes out there I was wondering what was wrong with him.
“We’ve got to take the positives out of it,” MacDonald added. “I’ve just got to keep coming in and doing what I’m doing, giving the team an opportunity to win every single night.”
Howard, who made 15 saves before departing, did not say anything to MacDonald when the two passed during the change.
“For me I’m going to keep on focusing and get ready,” MacDonald said. “You never know what’s going to happen here in the next couple of days.”