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Mrazek, Red Wings seek 4th-straight win in Pittsburgh

Penguins look to bounce back from 5-0 loss in Vancouver

Petr Mrazek (AP Photo)

PITTSBURGH – Back from a groin injury, Jimmy Howard will be dressed and on the bench when the Detroit Red Wings face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night at the CONSOL Energy Center.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RSN, TVA

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters earlier this week that while Howard is the team's starter, he has to go with the hot goalie, Petr Mrazek. The 22-year-old rookie netminder has stood tall in Howard's absence and earned himself the starting role for now.

Howard, whose stellar start to the season earned him an All-Star Game selection, has been out of action since Jan. 10 when he suffered the injury in the opening minutes of a game against the Washington Capitals. With backup Jonas Gustavsson already out with a shoulder injury, the Red Wings turned to young Mrazek.

The rookie is 9-1 in his past 10 starts. He made 28 saves for the shutout in a 3-0 win last week over the Colorado Avalanche. He's posted a .957 save percentage or better in his past three games, helping put the Red Wings back into a three-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, the Penguins found themselves on the short end of a 5-0 game Saturday in Vancouver. The Canucks were up 4-0 after 40 minutes. It was a poor ending to an otherwise successful western road trip for Sidney Crosby's Penguins. They shut out both the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames last week, but couldn't finish the trip on a high note in Vancouver.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 21 shots he faced in the shutout win over the Flames. He was given Saturday night off, but will be back in net Wednesday night looking for his third consecutive shutout. He leads the league with eight shutouts this season.

NOTES:

This is the second of three meetings between the Red Wings and Penguins this season. Detroit won the first meeting Oct. 23 in overtime, 4-3, at home. The next meeting is March 15 in Pittsburgh.

Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar scored another 3 points Saturday in the 3-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. He now has 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 points this season.

Crosby has 17 goals and 39 assists so far this season. Most of those points (45 of them) are in Penguins wins. He only has 11 points when they lose.