DETROIT >> Shootouts have not been very kind to Jimmy Howard this season.
Let’s just say they’ve been downright brutal for the Wings netminder.
Howard dropped to 0-4 in the skills competition this season, allowing two goals on three shots he faced in a 2-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.
“We’ve got to be better at it,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve got to score for Howie and Howie’s got to make saves for us. That’s the reality of the situation.”
Pavel Datsyuk was the lone shooter to score for Detroit in the shootout. Gustav Nyquist shot high and Tomas Tatar shot into the pads of Toronto goalie James Reimer.
“We try to treat it like a specialty teams, try to go through it and be as prepared as we can,” Babcock said. “No one did anything that surprised us. Bottom line is you’ve got to find ways to score goals in those situations and you’ve got to find ways to stop them.
“For me, let’s just win the game,” Babcock continued. “That’s what I focus on. Win the game. We played lots of time until the shootout but let’s just win the game.”
Howard has now allowed seven goals on 10 shots faced in shootouts this season.
“Yeah, especially when you work on it, it’s tough,” Howard said when asked if losing this way was frustrating. “You guys can come and watch practice. You see that we do work on it. It’s frustrating, it really, really is.”
Petr Mrazek has the Wings’ only shootout win this season.