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Trending: Wings overcome deficits and loss of Howard

Frans Nielsen scores twice; Mike Green gets overtime winner

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

NEWARK - The Red Wings overcame deficits and another injury to defeat the New Jersey Devils in overtime, 5-4.

The Wings couldn't afford any more injuries and they certainly couldn't afford one to one of their best players this season.

But that's what happened at 11:31 of the first period.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard, making his eighth start in nine games, had to leave after making two saves and allowing one goal. Petr Mrazek replaced Howard.

The team announced Howard had a lower-body injury and was questionable to return.

The Wings play the Montreal Canadiens at home Saturday night.

1. Jimmy Howard/Petr Mrazek: Howard worked diligently over the summer and throughout training camp and preseason to be the goaltender he believed he always was.

The work paid off and Howard is among the league leaders in goals-against and save percentage.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill said he believes Howard caught his skate a little, causing a lower-body injury.

Blashill said it is not believed to be too serious but that he will miss at least a week and the team is recalling Jared Coreau from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

That means Mrazek will get another opportunity, starting with the Canadiens.

Quotable: "With Petr to come in and make the saves and get the win, I think can do similar for him what the Buffalo win did for us on Wednesday, and that's build his confidence and hopefully he can come out with a real good outing tomorrow. When you haven't played a bunch in a little bit and it's not going your way to get in there and get a W is great thing for Pete." - Blashill

2. Frans Nielsen : The other day after practice, Nielsen said it would be telling which players stepped up to get the Wings going. Apparently, Nielsen wasn't excluding himself. With Riley Sheahan in the penalty box for a double minor for high-sticking, Justin Abdelkader stole the puck from defenseman Damon Severson and shot the puck. Goaltender Cory Schneider made the save but Nielsen was there to put home the rebound at 7:23 of the first period. Right after the Devils' power play expired, Sheahan had a shot on goal that Schneider saved. Once again, Nielsen was there for the rebound at 10:41. Nielsen also set up the game-winner in overtime.

Quotable: "We talked about being a little more aggressive down there and he went right down and created a turnover. It was just a little lucky. I did have the whole net but I still managed to almost miss it but it was good to see it go in." - Nielsen

3. Dylan Larkin /Anthony Mantha : Youth was served against the Devils. Larkin scored with 1.2 seconds remaining in the second period to give his team a 3-3 tie heading into the third. Then Mantha scored just 43 seconds into the third period to give the Wings a 4-3 lead. Mantha also assisted on the overtime winner by Mike Green. Larkin and Mantha led all skaters with five shots each.

Quotable: "(Henrik) Zetterberg, maybe two, three seconds that he hold onto that puck, just dished it wide, I was coming with speed. The coaches want me to fire the puck so that's just what I did and found the back of the net." - Mantha

4. Mike Green: Although Green is among the team leaders in points, he hadn't scored a goal since he recorded his hat trick on Oct. 17 against the Ottawa Senators in the team's home opener. Green played 27:25, more than any player on either team.

Quotable: "I just saw Nielsen had a little bit of time there. He made a great play. I just had to get around that first guy who was in close, so I decided to hit the net and hopefully create something. It was a great play by Niels and Mo down low. They did a great job of holding on to the puck." - Green

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