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Mrazek to start, Abdelkader to return fo Red Wings

by Corey Long /

TAMPA -- Detroit Red Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek will start Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA, SN, FS-F, FS-D), when Detroit is expected to have forward Justin Abdelkader return to the lineup.

Mrazek was pulled for Jimmy Howard after allowing four goals on 18 shots in Detroit’s 5-1 loss in Game 2 at Amalie Arena on Saturday. But Babcock said afterward Mrazek would start Game 3.

Mrazek made 44 saves in a 3-2 win in Game 1 on Thursday.

"I think Petr played good, we have to give him a chance," Babcock said after the loss Saturday. "We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, but when we did, they capitalized, and you can’t expect your goalie to make all those saves. So it’s a five-game series now and we’ll focus on Game 3."

Abdelkader missed the first two games of the best-of-7 series, which is tied 1-1, and he missed the final five regular-season games after injuring his hand blocking a shot on April 4 against the Minnesota Wild.

"I expect to have Justin back for Tuesday," Babcock said. "He should be ready to go."

Abdelkader was fourth on the Red Wings with 23 goals and tied for fifth with 44 points.

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