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Howard returned to Grand Rapids; Hasek off IR

by Randy Cleves / Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings on Tuesday assigned goalie Jimmy Howard to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League.

Howard, 23, made his first NHL start since Dec. 13, 2005 in Detroit’s 1-0 loss at Dallas on Feb. 17, stopping 30-of-31 shots to earn third star honors. Although he had a tough-luck 0-2 record in four games with the Red Wings since his NHL recall on Feb. 11, Howard compiled a solid 2.13 goals against average to go with his sparkling 0.926 save percentage.

In 39 games with the Griffins this season, Howard shows a 17-19-2 record with a 2.61 GAA, a 0.914 save percentage and two shutouts. The third-year pro played in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic and was named the AHL Goaltender of the Month for December 2007, after he posted the best numbers of his career for a calendar month with a 1.72 GAA and a 0.939 save percentage.

Howard is expected to make his first appearance for Grand Rapids since Feb. 9 on Wednesday, when the Griffins visit the Hamilton Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m.

Goalie Dominik Hasek will be available for action when the Red Wings play the Oilers tonight in Edmonton. Game time is 9 p.m. ET. The game can be seen live on FSN Detroit.

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