Jimmy Howard gets call to help Red Wings out of funk
Philadelphia – Both teams are struggling a bit, and the Philadelphia Flyers will switch goalies Tuesday night while the Detroit Red Wings will stick with their reliable No. 2, Jimmy Howard.
It is the first time this season Howard will make consecutive starts and he knows the Wings face some issues with defense – and, of course, there is always the 12-game winless streak in Philadelphia. But the 10-year veteran’s approach is the same.
“Just go out there and play. That’s all I’m going to concentrate on doing,” Howard said, of his focus and intent. “Going out there and giving the guys a chance to win.”
Howard is 2-2 with a 1.12 goals-against average and .965 save percentage.
Petr Mrazek, the No. 1 goalie coming into the season, is 4-4-1 with a 3.18 GAA and .904 save percentage.
In the Flyers (6-6-1), Howard and the Red Wings face a team with considerable scoring punch that is having difficulty in net, Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason both starting the season slowly.
Mason will start for the first time in five games.
“We can’t give them any freebies,” Howard said.
“They throw the puck into the net really a lot. Their ‘D’ are active in the play. They like to get point shots.
“Their power play is lethal, with shot tips or with (Jakub) Voracek on the one-timer and (Shayne) Gostisbehere going through. We’ve got our work cut out for us. That’s a really good hockey team.
“In order to shut them down, we’ve got to bring our A-game.”
Drew Miller is a scratch, coach Jeff Blashill said, and the Wings welcome Tyler Bertuzzi into the lineup, playing his first NHL game on the first line with Frans Nielsen and Dylan Larkin.
Asked what he told the 21-year-old nephew of the tough, brawny former Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi, Blashill said he should simply be himself.
“The biggest thing for Tyler is to play his game, do what he does well,” Blashill said.
“I think when Tyler’s playing great he’s good on the forecheck, he creates tons of turnovers because his stick is real long, he’s able to get stick on puck, and he gets to the middle of the ice and he gets to the net and he can score in those areas.”
Henrik Zetterberg said he did not tell Bertuzzi much: “No, not really. I think he knows what to do here. He’s done a good job down in Grand Rapids.
“I think he has a lot of good sides to him. He’s skilled. He knows where to be on the ice. He’s tough like his uncle, and he goes into the tough areas.”
Zetterberg said he recalled his first game as being “in Anaheim, on the road.”
Then a reporter corrected Zetterberg, saying it was San Jose.
“Yes, yeah, you’re right,” Zetterberg said, smiling. “First goal was in Anaheim.”
The captain said he is looking forward to the fortunes of the team changing, after five games without a win, on the heels of a six-game winning streak.
“I think in the last few games here we’ve done some really good things, but we haven’t really got the points with us,” Zetterberg said. “We’ve just got to keep doing the good things, and minimize the bad things.
“But we’re not really that far off; we’ve just got to stay the course.”