Red Wings' Jimmy Howard out with flu, Jonas Gustavsson starts

Jonas Gustavsson makes a surprise start in Game 4. (USATSI)
Jonas Gustavsson makes a surprise start in Game 4. (USATSI)

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The Detroit Red Wings got Henrik Zetterberg back into their lineup for the first time since February for Thursday night’s Game 4, but lost goaltender Jimmy Howard just prior to puck drop. The Wings pulled a bit of a shocker when they announced it would be Jonas Gustavsson, not Jimmy Howard, starting Game 4 against the Boston Bruins.

Howard apparently came down with the flu, which made him unavailable to start despite the fact that he took the warmup with the team. They didn’t give the Bruins much time to prepare for Gustavsson, but that probably doesn’t change how the visitors planned to approach the game anyway.

With Howard out, the Red Wings lose 45 games of Stanley Cup Playoffs experience, which includes three games in this series in which Howard posted a .931 save percentage to date. Gustavsson has a grand total of zero Stanley Cup Playoffs games played.

In fact, Gustavsson hasn’t played in the postseason since the 2008-09 season when he was playing for Farjestads in the Swedish elite league, though he did play for Sweden at the 2010 World Championship, if you want to count that.

Gustavsson did make 27 appearances this season, posting a 16-5-4 record, .907 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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