Goalie Nods: Detroit continues rotation as playoffs near

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Petr Mrazek starts for Detroit as rotation continues

Jimmy Howard turned aside 22 of 24 shots in regulation en route to a 3-2 shootout win over Minnesota on Saturday, but Red Wings coach Mike Babcock announced well in advance that Howard and Mrazek would split Detroit’s goaltending duties this weekend. That’s nothing new for the Wings as Howard’s recent struggles have thrown his status as the team’s number one netminder in question.

The debate was also fueled by Mrazek’s strong play in March (2.18 GAA and .932 save percentage in six games), but he allowed three goals on 25 shots against Boston on April 2.

It remains to be seen if Detroit will enter the playoffs with a clear starting goaltender. Then again, it remains to be seen if Detroit will enter the playoffs at all. A loss against Washington tonight could certainly complicate matters for the Red Wings.

It’s not clear who will play between the pipes for Washington, although it wouldn’t be shocking to see Braden Holtby start on no rest.

Elsewhere…

Habs at Panthers: No confirmed goaltenders yet for this one, but Carey Price is rested so odds are Montreal will start him. Dan Ellis might get the nod for Florida after Roberto Luongo surrendered four goals on 22 shots on Saturday.

Sens at Leafs: Andrew Hammond vs. Jonathan Bernier

Blues at Hawks: Jake Allen vs. Corey Crawford