- Craig Custance
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DETROIT - Red Wings starting goalie Jimmy Howard left Monday night's game against the St. Louis Blues early with a knee injury -- the same left knee that cost Howard nearly three weeks earlier this season, coach Mike Babcock said after the game.
After allowing three goals to St. Louis on 25 shots, Howard was pulled in favor of backup Peter Mrazek with 9:16 remaining in the second period.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed via email to ESPN.com that early indications suggest it's a minor injury and the team considers him day-to-day.
"Howie just got himself going," Babcock said after the game. "He had a tough first half obviously. Someone else [now] gets the opportunity. It's the NHL, we can whine all we want about injuries. They happen."
It's been a rough season for Howard, named as one of Team USA's three Olympic goalies, as he has missed time with knee and hip-related injuries. Entering Monday night's game against St. Louis, Howard had a 9-11-8 record with a 2.58 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
His play picked up significantly in January after his selection to the U.S. Olympic team. In his first six games this month, he had a 1.90 goals-against average and .950 save percentage, by far his best production of the season.
Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard left the game against the St. Louis Blues midway through the second period with Detroit trailing 3-1.