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Red Wings recall Griffins' quintet

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- With the conclusion of the Grand Rapids Griffins' season, the Red Wings on Thursday recalled center Matt Ellis, defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Derek Meech, and goalies Jimmy Howard and Stefan Liv.

The five join the parent club as it prepares for Saturday's pivotal Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the San Jose Sharks at Joe Louis Arena.

Ellis, who made his NHL debut this season by playing 16 games with the Red Wings, enjoyed a career year with the Griffins, recording personal bests of 49 points and a team-high 26 goals in 65 games. He was the team's top producer during the playoffs, pacing Grand Rapids with four goals, seven points, two game-winning goals, one power play goal, one shorthanded goal and one overtime goal (tied) during its seven-game loss to the Manitoba Moose in the North Division semifinals.

Ericsson appeared in 67 games with the Griffins as a rookie, tying Meech for top-scoring defenseman honors with 29 points (5-24-29). He also skated in each of the team's seven playoff games.

Meech saw his first NHL action in four games with Detroit this season. In 67 regular season contests, he led Griffins' defensemen in goals (six) as well as tying for the points lead, and he contributed one assist during the postseason.

Howard enjoyed a strong playoff series, currently placing him among the AHL's leaders with a 1.93 goals against average (5th) and a 0.927 save percentage (4th). He served two stints as a backup for the Red Wings this season, while logging 49 games for the Griffins with a 21-21-3 record, a 2.70 GAA and a 0.911 save percentage.

Liv, who was recalled twice by Detroit this season without seeing any playing time, made a promising North American debut for Grand Rapids, posting a 15-15-2 record with a 3.01 GAA and a 0.895 save percentage in 34 games. He did not play during the playoffs.

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