He's obviously not a kid anymore, but Jimmy Howard was bubbling like a mini-mite after the Red Wings defeated the Blues on Tuesday.

"That was a fun game," Howard said over and over. "Felt like a playoff game, how energized the crowd was."

If Howard keeps playing the way he is, Joe Louis Arena could remain electric for six more months.

After the victory, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock pointed out a key reason why Howard, 26, has taken a seemingly big step in his development this season.

On the second Blues goal, Howard seemed to control the puck only to see it squirt out.