Wings scratch ailing Howard, call up Mrazek as backup

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Goaltender Jimmy Howard wasn't starting Saturday — he had a scheduled night off as the Red Wings played the second of a back-to-back against the Maple Leafs — but he was expected to back up Jonas Gustavsson.

Not going to happen. Howard, who stopped 23 of 24 shots in a 4-1 win Friday in Toronto, experienced tightness in his groin afterward. He was placed on 48-hour goalie injured reserve and will be eligible to play Tuesday night in Montreal.

The Wings called up goalie Petr Mrazek from Grand Rapids to back up Gustavsson.

"Initially we were concerned," coach Mike Babcock said before the game Saturday. "By the time we got back home last night we weren't as concerned. But every time it's a groin, you tell me it's day to day and then 10 days later you get the news that he might be ready to start skating again.

"So, I don't know."

Babcock said he didn't know exactly when or how Howard sustained the injury.

In two games for Grand Rapids, Mrazek has allowed four goals.