The Red Wings are getting their No. 1 goaltender back in time to start their California trip.

General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press on Sunday that Jimmy Howard is ready to go. He has missed the past three games with a groin injury that forced him from the net March 4 after playing one period. Howard ranks third in the NHL with 33 victories and has a .923 save percentage and 2.05 goals-against average.

The Wings didn't practice Sunday, common procedure after playing back-to-back games. But Howard has been skating for the past few days and has been deemed fit to return. That enabled the Wings to return goalie Jordan Pearce to the minors.