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Red Wings going with Mrazek against Canadiens

Detroit can move into Stanley Cup Playoff position with win

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

RED WINGS (38-27-11) at CANADIENS (34-36-6)

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FS-D, RDS, SNE, NHL.TV

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek will start against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Mrazek gets the nod for Detroit's completion of the first of three sets of back-to-back games for the Red Wings through the end of the season. 

Jimmy Howard made 18 saves in Detroit's 3-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. Mrazek was pulled from his previous start after allowing four goals on 27 shots in the Red Wings' 7-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

"Sometimes goalies have games like that," Mrazek told the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday. "Just keep going and do the best. Every game is different, and you have to battle through this."

Mrazek, who confirmed he would start, and Howard were on the ice for Detroit's optional morning skate at Bell Centre along with defensemen Brendan Smith and Alexey Marchenko, and forwards Teemu Pulkkinen and Tomas Jurco.

The Red Wings, who have six games remaining, trail the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. Detroit and Philadelphia each have 87 points, but the Flyers have played one less game.

The Red Wings are one point behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. Boston has six games remaining, including at the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Montreal rookie forward Michael McCarron grew up a Red Wings fan in Michigan, but he's not concerned about Detroit's motivation to extend its streak of 24 consecutive playoff appearances.

"We're just worried about ourselves," McCarron said after the morning skate at the Canadiens practice facility here. "We haven't won too many games as of late and we want to come out and win tonight. We don't care whether they want to win and get a playoff berth, we're ready to take two points tonight."

Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk said it will be crucial to play a full 60 minutes against the Red Wings, who held on to defeat Montreal 4-3 at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday after taking a four-goal lead through the first two periods. 

"When we were playing in Detroit it was a tough second period for us, but we bounced back," Galchenyuk said. "We battled back and almost tied the game, and that's the way we've got to play from the start. We've got to come up and dictate our game, and not let the game dictate to us, and you know it's going to be a hard game tonight. They're going to show up, they will be ready to go because it's so close in the playoffs they're battling for, and we've got to show up and be ready to play."

Galchenyuk has career highs with 50 points and a Canadiens-leading 27 goals. He has scored two goals in his past eight games after an outburst of 11 goals in eight games put him within reach of a 30-goal season. 

"It's obviously something that would be nice to have but I don't come into games thinking, 'I need to score 30 goals,' because I think you will spend and lose a lot of energy on thinking about it," Galchenyuk said. "You've just got to go out there and play your game."

Injured defenseman P.K. Subban will miss his ninth straight game for Montreal with a neck injury.

The Canadiens begin a two-game trip at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Goalie Carey Price, sidelined by a lower-body injury since Nov. 25, may accompany the team on the trip. Montreal will make that decision Wednesday.

Forward Brendan Gallagher practiced Tuesday for the first time since he sustained a lower-body injury March 5. Gallagher said he will make the trip and hopes to return to the lineup Thursday or Saturday at the Florida Panthers.

"It's getting there," Gallagher said. "It's taken longer than I would have liked, so that part's a little frustrating, but the last few days we made some good strides here. It was nice to get back with the guys for a morning skate today and hopefully get back as soon as possible, just play as many games as I can."

Here are the projected lineups:


Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin

Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Anthony Mantha

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Brad Richards - Luke Glendening - Andreas Athanasiou

Danny DeKeyser - Kyle Quincey

Niklas Kronwall - Alexey Marchenko

Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Green

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Injured: Drew Miller (knee), Johan Franzen (concussion)

Scratched: Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith


Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Paul Byron

Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Torrey Mitchell

Phillip Danault - David Desharnais - Sven Andrighetto  

Jacob De La Rose - Michael McCarron - Mike Brown

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin  

Nathan Beaulieu - Greg Pateryn

Joel Hanley - Darren Dietz

Mike Condon

Ben Scrivens

Injured: P.K. Subban (neck), Carey Price (lower body), Mark Barberio (concussion-like symptoms), Brendan Gallagher (lower body), Daniel Carr (lower body), Jeff Petry (sports hernia), Brian Flynn (lower body), Tom Gilbert (knee), Lucas Lessio (knee), Victor Bartley (lower body).

Scratched: Stefan Matteau.

Status report: De La Rose will dress for the Canadiens in place of Matteau.

Who's hot: Sheahan has three goals in three games. Glendening has four goals in six games. Zetterberg had two assists Monday.

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