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Howard starts for Red Wings; Islanders counter with Greiss

Detroit goalie allowed five goals in most recent start on Feb. 4

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

RED WINGS (29-18-9) at ISLANDERS (29-19-6) 
  
TV:
1 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-D, MSG+ 
  
NEW YORK -- More than two months have passed since Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard has won a game, but he'll get another chance to turn things around against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Monday. 

Howard, who lost the starting job to Petr Mrazek, has allowed at least three goals in each of his past seven starts. He gave up five in his most recent start, a 6-3 loss at the Florida Panthers on Feb. 4. 
  
But with the Red Wings playing the second of a back-to-back -- Mrazek made 17 saves in a 6-5 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday -- coach Jeff Blashill is turning to Howard against the Islanders after Mrazek started the past five games. 
  
"He doesn't have to worry about what's happened up to this point," Blashill said. "Let's worry about tonight's game, that's the No. 1 thing. Let's continue to look ahead. Let's have a next-shot mentality so after each shot, let's not worry about whether it was a big save or whether it hit the post or whether it went in. Let's worry about the next one. I think he's done a good job of that. 
  
"He's in a good spot mentally, to be honest with you. He's really, really put in a lot of extra time with (goalie coach) Jimmy Bedard. I think he's prepared here tonight and now he's gotta go execute." 
  
Islanders coach Jack Capuano will start goalie Thomas Greiss, who has been solid all season. Greiss, who is battling for starts with Jaroslav Halak, has a .930 save percentage and has won his past four starts. He's allowed two goals or less in the past three. 
  
Would Capuano consider riding Greiss if he puts in another strong performance against the Red Wings? New York hosts the Washington Capitals on Thursday before visiting the New Jersey Devils on Friday. 
  
"We had this kind of laid out with this stretch," Capuano said. "I know we've got Washington on Thursday, but I haven't even really thought about it right now, to be honest with you. But goaltending, as you guys know, it's crucial going down the stretch if you want to have a chance to make the playoffs or make a push." 
  
Here are the projected lineups: 
  
RED WINGS 
  
Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader  
  
Dylan Larkin - Brad Richards - Tomas Tatar  
  
Gustav Nyquist - Andreas Athanasiou - Tomas Jurco  
  
Riley Sheahan - Luke Glendening - Darren Helm  
  
Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser  
  
Brendan Smith - Mike Green  
  
Xavier Ouellet - Alexey Marchenko  
  
Jimmy Howard  
  
Petr Mrazek 
  
Injured: Jonathan Ericsson (lower body), Niklas Kronwall (knee), Drew Miller (knee), Johan Franzen (concussion) 
  
Scratched: Jakub Kindl, Teemu Pulkkinen  
  
ISLANDERS 
  
Mikhail Grabovski - John Tavares - Ryan Strome  
  
Nikolay Kulemin - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo  
  
Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey  
  
Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck  
  
Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk  
  
Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic  
  
Thomas Hickey - Marek Zidlicky  
  
Thomas Greiss 
  
Jaroslav Halak 
  
Injured: Eric Boulton (lower body), Adam Pelech (upper body) 
  
Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube, Steve Bernier, Brian Strait  
  
Status report:
Ericsson remains day-to-day after getting injured late in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. … Clutterbuck returns to the lineup after missing the Islanders' 6-3 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday because of an illness. He replaces Bernier.   

Who's hot: Datsyuk has five goals and four assists during a five-game point streak. He had two goals and an assist Sunday. … Tavares has a five-game point streak (four goals, five assists).

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