Detroit — Having gotten a good look at one of their young defensemen, the Red Wings are going to take a look at another.
Defenseman Xavier Ouellet was sent to Grand Rapids on Friday, and team officials called up defenseman Alexey Marchenko.
Marchenko was expected to be in the lineup Saturday against the Islanders.
"It's not a reflection on Ouellet," Red Wings general manager Holland said. "We just made a switch of Ouellet for Marchenko. We want to see what Marchenko can do."
Ouellet had a forgettable game against the Lightning on Thursday — he was on the for three Tampa Bay goals in 19 minutes 20 seconds — but mostly has looked ready for the NHL.
Marchenko is a right-handed shot the Red Wings lack on defense and was viewed as closest to being ready for the NHL by many scouts last season before breaking his right ankle.
"X (Ouellet) played real good the last couple of games, but we made this decision a while ago," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We want to have a look at Marchy and see what he could bring."
Ouellet had three points (two goals) in 21 games with the Red Wings and was a plus-4.
Marchenko, a 2011 seventh-round pick, has 17 points (two goals) in 42 games and a plus-17 rating with Grand Rapids.
Back in the cage
Babcock said Petr Mrazek, pulled after two periods Thursday after allowing five Lightning goals on 15 shots, will start Saturday.
"Every shot went in, every scoring chance they had hit the net," Mrazek said. "You have to be mentally strong and enjoy it and that's what I do. I just flush it out and think about it anymore."
Mrazek has allowed 16 goals his last four starts.
"That's what life is about, it's about responding," Babcock said. "Some guys are better at it than others. ... You have to be rock solid between your ears."
Gustavsson to Grand Rapids
The Red Wings assigned goalie Jonas Gustavsson (shoulder) on a conditioning assignment to Grand Rapids, where he'll play Saturday.
Gustavsson dislocated his left shoulder making a diving save Nov. 5 in New York against the Rangers and hasn't played since.
"That's a good step to get back," said Gustavsson, of playing in a minor league game. "I haven't really played much this year and it was a long time ago, so this is a good option."
Gustavsson has been increasing his workload in practice for the last couple weeks.
The Red Wings placed defenseman Brian Lashoff (two assists, plus-4, 11 games) on waivers. He has until noon today to be claimed by another team or be sent to Grand Rapids.
... Babcock, on the all-around performance by the Islanders in their 2-1 victory Dec. 19: "They were great. They have a real good team. We all know that, too. We understand."
Islanders at Red Wings
Faceoff: 2 Saturday, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit
Outlook: The Islanders lead the Metropolitan Division, and are 1-0 against the Red Wings this season. ... The Islanders have the fourth-best road record (15-10-1). ... The Islanders rank last (30th) on the penalty kill (73.7 percent).