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Petr Mrazek to Make NHL Debut Tonight

February 7th, 2013 at 3:57 PM
By Frank Vajcner

The Detroit Red Wings have turned to a rookie netminder to start between the pipes.

Petr Mrazek, a fifth round draft pick of the Red Wings in the 2010 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight in St. Louis when the Wings take on the Blues.

Mrazek, 20, has posted a 16-7-1 record, with a 2.26 GAA and a .916 save percentage in 25 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins this season. He recently played in the AHL all-star game, and was named AHL player of the week for February 3 after going 2-0-0 while stopping 53 of 54 shots against Hamilton, and recording his first career shutout against Abbotsford.

Despite facing a Blues team with one of the top offenses in the league, Mrazek isn't intimidated.

"I'm never nervous," he said. "I will go out there and play my best and enjoy every minute on the ice."

As for Jimmy Howard, who has played in all nine games, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock says Howard needs rest.

"We didn't think he could play 48 straight," Babcock said. "So we thought we'd better give him one. We felt, after the last two games, that Howie needed a mental break. He needs a day where he doesn't have to think about getting ready to start."

Mrazek has drawn a lot of comparisons to former Red Wing netminder Dominik Hasek (minus this, however.)

Tags: Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Jimmy Howard, Mike Babcock, NHL, Petr Mrazek

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