Goalie nods: Howard makes season debut for Detroit

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Busy morning for goalie news (see here and here and here), juxtaposed with a relatively quiet evening on the ice — there are only two games and, therefore, only four starting announcements.

Let’s begin in New York, where Jimmy Howard will get his first start of the year as the Red Wings visit MSG.

Howard, who sat while Petr Mrazek got the nod in Detroit’s first three contests, jumps in to face a Blueshirts team he’s had good success against over the last three years, going 2-3-2 with a 1.84 GAA and .945 save percentage (stats courtesy Daily Faceoff.)

While Mrazek is the Red Wings’ No. 1, that job isn’t entirely locked in. Detroit hasn’t looked great to start the year and neither has Mrazek, though he did stop 31 of 32 shots against Ottawa in Monday’s win at Joe Louis.

For the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist returns to action after Antti Raanta beat the Sharks two nights ago. Lundqvist lost his last start, 3-2 to St. Louis, and wasn’t overly tested, facing just 18 shots.

Elsewhere…

— Tonight’s only other game has the Maple Leafs in Winnipeg to face the Jets. Toronto will continue to ride Frederik Andersen, starting him for the third straight game, and Andersen will look to build off Saturday’s 24-save effort in a 4-1 win over Boston.

For Winnipeg, Michael Hutchinson returns to the net as the Jets look for some consistency in goal. Connor Hellebuyck started two of the first three games but didn’t fare especially well, allowing seven goals on 51 shots (.863 save percentage).

The Jets are trying to figure out what they have in goal this year, and it looks like both Hutchinson and Hellebuyck will get a shot at proving they’re No. 1-caliber netminders, now that Ondrej Pavelec is buried in the American League.