Mike Halford

Detroit’s AHL affiliate is on a pretty impressive streak of its own

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The Red Wings are on a terrific run right now, having secured at least a point 13 straight games (8-0-5).

Yet, amazingly, they might not even be the hottest team within their own organization.

That distinction belongs to the club’s AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids. Last night, the Griffins matched a franchise record with their 11th straight victory, a 4-3 OT win over Iowa at Wells Fargo Arena.

More, from MLive:

This winning streak ties the franchise record set during the 2005-06 campaign (March 5-31, 2006) under Greg Ireland. The Griffins have a chance to break the record on Wendesday against the Lake Erie Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena at 7 p.m.

Trailing 3-0 with less than six minutes remaining in the second period, Mitch Callahan’s eighth of the season put the Griffins (13-8-0-1) on the scoresheet, while Martin Frk and Mark Zengerle each scored in the final 2:19 of regulation to force the extra session.

As the 11 consecutive Ws suggest, many of the Griffins are playing well, and you’ll probably recognize some of the names currently doing the business:

— Xavier Ouellet, who scored the OT winner against Iowa. The 22-year-old d-man has appeared in 25 career games for the Red Wings (though none this year).

— Journeyman Eric Tangradi, who’s appeared in 143 career NHL contests. The former Penguin, Jet and Canadien leads the Griffins with 12 goals and 20 points in 22 games.

— Former Hobey Baker winner Andy Miele, who joined the organization last year. Miele has a team-high 14 assists thus far.

— Youngsters Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha, the latter being Detroit’s first-round pick (20th overall) at the ’13 draft.

As for the future of said streaks?

Detroit looks to get a point in its 14th straight game when it hosts the Sabres tonight. Grand Rapids next plays on Wednesday, at Lake Erie.

Ducks’ Thompson suspended three games for ‘unnecessarily’ hitting Faulk in head

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The NHL has come down on Anaheim forward Nate Thompson for his headshot on Carolina d-man Justin Faulk — on Monday, the league suspended Thompson for the next three games.

“Rather that hitting squarely through his opponent’s body, Thompson extends his body unnecessarily, and makes Faulk’s head the main point of contact,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “While Faulk is low to the ice as he steps up, he does not materially change the position of his head just prior to, or simultaneous with contact.”

The hit, which happened early in the first period of Carolina’s 5-1 win on Friday, earned Thompson a five-minute elbowing major and game misconduct.

Faulk was briefly shaken up but uninjured, and went on to finish the game with 26:22 TOI.

In explaining its ruling, the DoPS noted it has a history with Thompson. In 2013, while playing for Tampa Bay, he was suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of then-Devils forward Matt D’Agostini.

Thompson will now sit out the first three games of Anaheim’s upcoming road trip — Thursday in Buffalo, Saturday in New Jersey and Monday in Brooklyn. He’s eligible to return on Dec. 22, when the Ducks take on the Rangers at MSG.

Thompson will also forfeit $25,806.45 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

Goalie nods: Columbus gives Korpisalo his NHL debut

Joonas Korpisalo, Matt Cullen
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Columbus will get a look at one of its brightest young goalie prospects when it hosts the Lightning.

Joonas Korpisalo, the 62nd overall pick in 2012, will make his NHL debut tonight at Nationwide. The 21-year-old was recalled last week in the wake of Sergei Bobrovsky‘s injury and, with veteran Curtis McElhinney having struggled in his last outing, Korpisalo will get a chance to run with the starting gig — at least for one night.

A former standout in Finland’s SM-liiga, Korpisalo has been pretty good for AHL Lake Erie this year, going 5-4-2 with a .928 save percentage and 2.12 GAA.

Korpisalo gets a pretty decent draw in his first big-league contest.

While the Lightning are offensively gifted and boast one of the league’s best snipers in Steve Stamkos, they head into tonight’s action really banged up at forward, and possibly without five regulars in the lineup.

Speaking of the Bolts, they’ll start Ben Bishop.

Elsewhere…

— Battle of the backups in Boston, where the B’s will go Jonas Gustavsson while the Oilers counter with a rare start from Cam Talbot.

— Marquee matchup in Pittsburgh: Braden Holtby, who’s been an absolute workhorse, starts for the Caps. Marc-Andre Fleury counters for the Penguins, his first start under new head coach Mike Sullivan.

— Looks like it’ll be Jonathan Quick for the Kings tonight as they continue their lengthy road trip, this time in Ottawa. The Sens will go back to Craig Anderson after Saturday’s debacle (a record 27 shots allowed in the first period) against Montreal.

Petr Mrazek gets the call for Detroit, as the Wings host the Sabres. Buffalo will counter with Chad Johnson.

Crawford, Hall, Faulk named NHL’s three stars of the week

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Five
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Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, Edmonton winger Taylor Hall and Carolina defenseman Justin Faulk have been named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Dec. 13, the league announced on Monday.

More:

Crawford went 3-0-0 with a 0.33 goals-against average, .989 save percentage and two shutouts to help the Blackhawks (17-10-4, 38 points) climb into second place in the Central Division.

Hall tied for first in the NHL with 3-3—6, including two game-winning goals, to help the Oilers (13-15-2, 28 points) complete a perfect 5-0-0 homestand with a pair of victories.

Faulk also collected 3-3—6, highlighted by a trio of multi-point performances, to lead the Hurricanes (12-14-4, 28 points) to a pair of wins in three starts.

Worth pointing out that Faulk has 12 goals this year, and all 12 have come with the man advantage (which is crazy).

That’s put him in the conversation for the most power play goals by a defenseman in a season — the record is held by Sheldon Souray, who scored 19 with Montreal during the 2006-07 campaign.

Report: Ducks solve three-goalie problem by waiving Khudobin

Anton Khudobin, Joel Ward
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The crowded crease in Anaheim is no longer.

On Monday, TSN reported the Ducks waived veteran goalie Anton Khudobin, ending the uncomfortable situation of having three netminders — Khudobin, John Gibson and Frederik Andersen — on the active roster.

Khudobin, acquired from Carolina at the draft for James Wisniewski, was supposed to be a one-year stopgap solution as Andersen’s backup, while Gibson got extensive playing time in the American League.

But things didn’t go to plan.

The Ducks have struggled mightily this season and, while neither Khudobin nor Andersen were to blame, Gibson has gone 4-3-1 with a 1.74 GAA and .934 save percentage since his recall.

For a team desperate for wins, those numbers are too hard to ignore — hence the decision to keep Gibson at the NHL level, and send Khudobin to AHL San Diego.

Assuming he clears, that is.

The 29-year-old doesn’t have an ideal cap hit — $2.25 million — but he does come off the books at the end of this season, and has played OK at times. His numbers on the season are pedestrian (3-3-0, 2.70 GAA, .908 save percentage) but he has won three of his last five starts for the club, and posted a pair of shutouts.

Whatever the case, it’s clear Anaheim has decided its two goalies moving forward are Gibson and Andersen.

Which now brings up another intriguing query: Who’s No. 1?