By: Will Burchfield
Erik Karlsson could utter but one word after Jimmy Howard robbed him of a go-ahead goal midway through the third period Wednesday night: “How?”
Then he stood in the corner to Howard’s left, stared up at the video board and watched the replay in amazement.
Karlsson had joined Ottawa’s rush up ice, as he’s so good at doing, and taken a cross-ice pass from Mark Stone. When the puck reached his stick he was looking at an open net.
But Howard lunged across the crease from his right to his left, thrust out his glove and snatched Karlsson’s shot out of the air.
Howard’s save kept the score tied at 1. The Wings would go on to win 2-1 in overtime for their third straight victory.
At one point, Karlsson smiled and turned to the referee, as if to say, “Is that even allowed?”
Howard finished the night with 33 saves on 34 shots. He’s 3-0 with a .964 save percentage over his last three starts and looks to be rediscovering the stellar form he enjoyed early on.
After Wednesday’s win, both head coach Jeff Blashill and Dylan Larkin noted the importance of Howard’s stop on Karlsson. Against a team like Ottawa that clogs up the ice, especially with a lead, a goal there very well could have meant the game.