Goalie nods: With Mrazek (flu) still out, Red Wings turn to Howard again

Associated Press

The Detroit Red Wings are in the middle of a heated playoff race and on Saturday, they’ll be without starting goalie Petr Mrazek (flu), again.

Jimmy Howard will be between the pipes for the second straight game. Howard stopped 27 of 28 shots in a win over the Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

“The guys played a tremendous game in front of me all night long,” Howard said after the win over Columbus, per the Detroit News. “They battled hard in front and didn’t allow them to establish net presence and made my night relatively easy.

Howard’s starts have been few and far between for the most part in 2016, but he’s happy to be contributing in Detroit’s playoff hunt.

“You cherish these moments (in a playoff race) when you’re a player and competitor. You just want to go out there and play. Everyone in here just needed to take a deep breath and relax and get back to paying attention to details.”

The Red Wings currently own the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, but they’re only one point ahead of the Flyers.

Roberto Luongo will get the start for the Panthers.

Elsewhere…

Henrik Lundqvist will start for the Rangers. The Sharks will counter with starter Martin Jones.

Keith Kinkaid will make his eighth straight appearance for the Devils. The Blue Jackets will counter with Sergei Bobrovsky.

–The Canadiens will turn to backup goalie Ben Scrivens. The Senators will use their backup as well, as Andrew Hammond will be in goal.

Chad Johnson will likely get the start for Buffalo. The Maple Leafs will go with rookie Garret Sparks.

–With Jaroslav Halak still out, the Isles will start Thomas Greiss. The Stars haven’t named a starter, but Kari Lehtonen should be between the pipes.

Brian Elliott will make his return to the Blues lineup after missing 10 games with a lower-body injury. The Canucks are expected to go with Ryan Miller.

–Look for Ben Bishop to start for the Lightning. Louis Domingue will be in the crease for the Coyotes.

Tuukka Rask and Jonathan Quick are expected to face-off when the Bruins and Kings square off. Neither team has confirmed their starting goaltender.

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