Backup goaltenders in the NHL hold a special responsibility, called on when the starter begins to slip, needs a break or falls to injury.
The Detroit Red Wings found themselves relying on Ty Conklin after losing all-star Jimmy Howard for the last six games with a broken finger.
Conklin has slipped to 3-5, with a 3.40 goals against average this season and was recently waived by Detroit.
He last appeared in the 5-4 overtime loss to Edmonton on Feb. 4 when he was replaced by third-string netminder Joey MacDonald.
Despite dropping the game to Edmonton, MacDonald has led the team to six straight wins, building up a 6-1-1 record in the month of February.
MacDonald holds a 1.66 goals against average, solidifying his position as No. 2 netminder.
Conklin has until noon Tuesday to be claimed before being sent down to the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland said he believes Conklin still has some “good hockey in him,” though he added that his play has been “sporadic” this season.
The Red Wings are expected to welcome Howard (32-11-1) back Tuesday when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago.
The starting goalie leads the NHL in wins (32), despite being sidelined for more than two weeks.
Expect to see Howard catch more breaks throughout the remainder of the season after MacDonald proved his worth recently.