Jimmy Howard robs Alexandre Burrows (via NHL/YouTube)
In consecutive games, a Canucks player has been robbed of a goal. After Alex Edler was stoned by the Flyers’ Steve Mason Thursday, Alexandre Burrows fell victim to an incredible glove stop by Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard in Friday’s outing.
Thursday night, the Vancouver Canucks were shutout at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers and goaltender Steve Mason in a game which included Mason stealing a goal off the stick of Canucks defenseman Alex Edler. So what were the chances that the very next night another Canuck would have a golden opportunity turned aside thanks to some miraculous glove work? Slim, right?
Well, you would have thought so. Friday night, however, Detroit Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard made an incredible glove save to take what should have been the game-opening goal away from Alexandre Burrows. Before the midway point of the first, the Canucks were breaking into the Red Wings’ zone when Burrows made a tape-to-tape feed to Linden Vey. Vey wasted no time getting the puck on net as Burrows drove right towards Howard.
Vey’s initial shot deflected off the stick of Red Wings blueliner Niklas Kronwall, but the puck rolled right to Burrows tape with Howard well out of position. Nine times out of 10, Burrows is raising his hands and celebrating a goal, but Friday night, Howard got the better of Burrows with a spectacular glove stop:
Even with the great save, though, Howard and the Red Wings would end up dropping the contest 5-4 in a shootout. The season has been an up and down one for the 31-year-old netminder, who has a 7-4-4 record, one shutout, a 2.33 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. It hasn’t been easy for Howard, though.
In his past three outings — which have been against the Canucks, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals — Howard has faced at least 38 shots in each contest. Friday’s game was the third time this season that Howard has had 40 shots come his way, and he hasn’t allowed more than three goals in any of those games.
Howard has been fighting for his job this season, though. Petr Mrazek, Howard’s 23-year-old goaltending partner, has been just as good, if not better, than Howard all season. In 18 games, Mrazek has a 9-5-3 record, one shutout, 2.37 GAA and .925 SP. The biggest difference between the two goaltenders has been at 5-on-5. Howard’s .931 SP at 5-on-5 ranks 16th of the 35 goaltenders to play at least 650 minutes, while Mrazek ranks fourth with a .942 mark.