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Scuffling Jimmy Howard starts for Wings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Jimmy Howard

Brooklyn – Petr Mrazek is getting the day off Monday, which means Jimmy Howard will be in net for the Red Wings.

Howard will face the New York Islanders in a rare weekday matinee (1 p.m., FSD / 97.1 FM) as the Red Wings attempt to win two games in about 24 hours. The Red Wings defeated Boston 6-5 Sunday afternoon at Joe Louis Arena.

Howard, 31, is struggling through his most difficult season of 10 years with the Red Wings. His last victory was Dec. 3 against Arizona, and he’s gone eight games (0-5-3) without a victory since.

Howard has had only three other starts since being pulled in the second period Dec. 29 in Winnipeg.

Since then Mrazek has started in 15 of the next 18 games, nailing down the No. 1 job and relegating Howard to the bench.

For the season Howard is 7-8-4 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .904 save percentage.

Conversely, Mrazek was leading the NHL in both GAA and save percentage last week until dropping to second in GAA (.202) and fifth in save percentage (.930) after Sunday’s 6-5 victory over Boston.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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