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Red Wings G Jimmy Howard to start against Winnipeg Jets

Howard hasn't started since Jan. 10 when he left game with groin injury

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a shot by Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) as Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall (55), of Sweden, also defends in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DETROIT – Jimmy Howard will start in goal for the first time since Jan. 10 when the Detroit Red Wings host the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

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Howard has been out of the lineup with a groin injury he suffered in a game against the Washington Capitals. He returned this week to back up Petr Mrazek in Pittsburgh.

Mrazek and the Red Wings had a tough night against the Penguins. The 22-year-old rookie allowed 4 goals on 17 shots and was relieved by Howard in the 3rd period. Howard stopped all 4 four shots he faced.

Coach Mike Babcock told reporters ahead of the Penguins game that despite Howard's return he was going with the hot goalie. Mrazek entered the game with an 8-1 record in his past nine starts. Unfortunately, his hot streak came to an end as the Penguins scored early and often to secure a 4-1 victory.

While Mrazek's play has helped the Red Wings in the second half of the season, Howard was the story at the beginning. He posted 16 (16-7-7) wins on his way to an All-Star Game selection. He was injured on the same day his selection was announced, and subsequently missed the All-Star Game.

The Jets will be his first real test in about a month. They made a blockbuster trade this week which sent Evander Kane to Buffalo and Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford to Winnipeg. Both Myers and Stafford debuted with the team Thursday night in their 3-1 loss the Nashville Predators.

So both the Red Wings and Jets will have losses to put behind them when they meet Saturday night. Howard might have to be the difference. Michael Hutchinson likely will be between the pipes at the other end.

NOTES:

Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson still hasn't returned from a shoulder injury he suffered back on Nov. 5.

The Red Wings will host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night before embarking on a six-game western road trip, starting with the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.