Preview: Avalanche at Red Wings

Mrazek started 17 of the first 31 games while sharing the duties with Jimmy Howard, but Howard has started only five times – with four losses in second contests of back-to-back games – since Mrazek took over Dec. 20. “I think he’s played real good for a while now,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told reporters of Mrazek after Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Ottawa. “I’d also say that our team defense has something to do with that. Our guys have really, really played good defensively.” <BR>While Mrazek’s play has helped Detroit move into second place in the Atlantic Division, Colorado gained possession of the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference after snapping a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) with a 4-3 victory in Ottawa on Thursday. “It was a big win for us when it hasn’t been going our way,” right wing Jarome Iginla told reporters after scoring a pair of power-play goals to increase his career total to 604. “… It is a weight off our shoulders breaking the bad slide. Now we’ve got to build upon this.”<BR><BR><STRONG>TV:</STRONG> 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), FSN Detroit

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