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Red Wings' Gustavsson 'awesome' in surprise start

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 1:18 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / Bruins-Red Wings series blog

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Bruins-Red Wings series blog
Red Wings' Gustavsson 'awesome' in surprise start

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson had no idea he'd be making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut when he arrived at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday evening.

Jonas Gustavsson
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.43 | SVP: 0.925
"I got told that I might go just before warmup," Gustavsson said, "and after warmup they made the decision."

It's a good thing he was prepared and ready to play because No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard had the flu, and Gustavsson in turn had to be on just to give the Red Wings a chance against the Boston Bruins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series.

Gustavsson made 37 saves, but was beaten on a triple-deflection shot 13:32 into overtime as the Bruins pulled off a 3-2 come-from-behind win to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

Game 5 is Saturday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN), and there's a chance that Gustavsson could get the start again.

"I thought [Gustavsson] did good, so we'll decide on that," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Babcock said he had already filled out the starting lineup sheet with Howard's name on it when he found out that Howard couldn't play.

"It was last-second, and he just couldn't go," Babcock said.

Gustavsson said the key for him was to stay ready. He said it's the key for any backup goalie because they never know when they'll be called upon.

"You prepare like you're playing, and especially in the playoffs it's not hard to do that," Gustavsson said. "I was approaching it like any other playoff game even before I got to know."

Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall said he was hoping the Red Wings would win the game for Gustavsson. Kronwall said the 29-year-old Swede played well enough to deserve the victory.

"[Gustavsson] was awesome for us," Kronwall said. "He came up huge for us at times. Gave us a chance. It's one of those, obviously you feel bad we couldn't win this one for him. I thought he was awesome all game."


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