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Babcock says Red Wings will go with Mrazek in goal for playoff opener at Tampa Bay

NHL.com @NHL

DETROIT - Petr Mrazek will start in goal for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of their playoff series against Tampa Bay.

Coach Mike Babcock announced his choice after practice Monday. The 23-year-old Mrazek went 16-9-2 during the regular season with a 2.38 goals-against average. He'll start instead of Jimmy Howard, who has been Detroit's No. 1 goalie since the 2009-10 season.

Howard went 23-13-11 with a 2.44 GAA this season. The goaltending situation became a bigger issue as the Red Wings faltered down the stretch. They managed to hold on for third place in the Atlantic Division, setting up a first-round matchup with the Lightning.

The series starts Thursday night at Tampa Bay.

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