NHL

Petr Mrazek gets nod in net for Red Wings' playoff opener

Petr Mrazek will start in goal for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of their playoff series against Tampa Bay. Coach Mike Babcock announced his choice after practice Monday. The 23-year-old Mrazek went 16-9-2 during the regular season with a 2.38 goals-against average.

Mike Babcock selects Mrazek over Howard for Thursday's start

Petr Mrazek was named by coach Mike Babcock to start Detroit's playoff opener over Jimmy Howard beginning Thursday in Tampa Bay. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Petr Mrazek will start in goal for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of their playoff series against Tampa Bay.

Coach Mike Babcock announced his choice after practice Monday. The 23-year-old Mrazek went 16-9-2 during the regular season with a 2.38 goals-against average. He'll start instead of Jimmy Howard, who has been Detroit's No. 1 goalie since the 2009-10 season.

Howard went 23-13-11 with a 2.44 GAA this season. The goaltending situation became a bigger issue as the Red Wings faltered down the stretch. They managed to hold on for third place in the Atlantic Division, setting up a first-round matchup with the Lightning.

The series starts Thursday night at Tampa Bay.