Red Wings look to Mrazek versus Canadiens

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings (10-10-1) will be without their most important player this season when they host the Montreal Canadiens (15-4-2) Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has been outstanding in 2016-17, left Friday night's 5-4 overtime win over the New Jersey Devils midway through the first period with a groin injury.

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Howard is expected to miss about a week.

Howard has a 1.82 goals-against average and .940 save percentage and is 5-5-0.

Petr Mrazek got the win in relief Friday.

"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," Blashill said. "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."

Mrazek has started only one of the past nine games. He allowed four goals in each of his past four starts, going 0-3-1, before stopping 13-of-16 shots Friday.

He is 5-5-1, with a 3.18 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.

"We know Petr's a big-time goalie in this league," Blashill said. "I know it's a young career, but he's proven that lots of times. I've got tons of belief in Petr. Now he gets a chance to go tomorrow night and win a big hockey game for us."

Mrazek said he is ready.

"I work hard with Jeff (goaltending coach Salajko) on the ice, so I've been working hard to be ready every game," Mrazek said.

The team is recalling goalie Jared Coreau from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Canadiens are coming off a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday and begin a five-game road trip Saturday.

"It's a trip that's coming at just the right time for us," Montreal coach Michel Therrien told the Canadiens website. "It's going to be tough. We'll face good teams, and I'm eager to see how we respond. We've been playing with confidence, but we'll take things one game at a time,"

Said Canadiens goalie Carrie Price: "We're happy to have this time together. And also to enjoy a bit of sun."

The trip also takes Montreal to Anaheim, San Jose and Los Angeles.

The Canadiens also sustained an injury on Friday.

Forward Charles Hudon suffered an upper-body injury during practice Friday morning and did not travel to Detroit as a precautionary measure.

Since being called up from the St. John's IceCaps on Nov., 17, the 22-year-old has a pair of assists in three games.

Defenseman Mike Green got the overtime winner for the Red Wings on Friday, Frans Nielsen scored twice and Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha also scored to give Detroit a modest two-game winning streak.