Goalie nods: Mrazek’s back, but in-form Howard starts for Detroit

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Given the importance of tonight’s game in Tampa Bay — read more about that here — you’d think Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill would have started Petr Mrazek, given Mrazek’s healthy enough to suit up.

But instead, Blashill will stick with Jimmy Howard.

Mrazek will be on the bench tonight — his first back in uniform after falling ill last week — as Howard looks to extend his winning streak to three games, and continue his good run of fortune against the Bolts.

Howard has stopped 50 of his last 54 shots faced, good for a .924 save percentage, and has terrific numbers against Tampa Bay this season, going a perfect 2-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and .961 save percentage.

For the Bolts, Ben Bishop starts in goal.

Elsewhere…

Chad Johnson‘s in for Buffalo, as the Sabres visit Carolina. The ‘Canes counter with Cam Ward.

Steve Mason played last night in Philly’s 4-1 win over the Isles but, because backup Michal Neuvirth is out injured, it’s unlikely the Flyers go to third-stringer Anthony Stolarz in another big game for their playoff chances. Sergei Bobrovsky‘s in for Columbus.

John Gibson starts for the Ducks (more on their goalie rotation here), while Mike Condon goes for the Habs.

— Sounds like Braden Holtby will be in goal for the Caps in Ottawa. The Sens are going with Craig Anderson.

Ondrej Pavelec is likely for the Jets tonight as they host the Canucks. No word yet on a Vancouver starter.

Scott Darling will continue his starting streak in place of the injured Corey Crawford, as Chicago hosts Dallas. Kari Lehtonen is likely for the Stars.

— No word yet on a Kings starter after Jonathan Quick got the hook versus Nashville last night. Devan Dubnyk‘s in for Minnesota.

Cam Talbot versus Mike Smith as the Oilers visit the Coyotes in Arizona.

Brian Elliott, who shut out the Canucks on Saturday in his return from injury, goes back in goal for the Blues. Sharks will start Martin Jones.

 

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