Frk's Pair Lead Griffins Over Moose 4-1|
Howard leaves in the third after re-injuring knee...
By Jason Kasiorek
February 8th, 2017
Jimmy Howard's second rehabilitation start was supposed to be the big storyline for the night, but the Red Wings veteran netminder re-injured his knee making a save in the third period and had to leave the game. Martin Frk wrote his own chapter, scoring a pair of powerplay goals to lead the Griffins over the visiting Manitoba Moose 4-1. Eric Tangradi (6) and Tyler Bertuzzi (6) also added goals to the attack for Grand Rapids. Howard took the win, stopping 16 of 17 shots, while Eddie Pasquale helped preserve the margin of victory stopping all 6 shots he faced in relief.
Manitoba got on the board early in the first on a goal that Jimmy Howard would probably like back. Kosmachuk walked up the slot and fired a low shot through Howard five-hole for a one goal lead. Dan Renouf took exception to something that Lemieux did behind the play, dropping his gloves at center ice and chasing him down. Renouf got a couple of shots in, but Lemieux didn't want to fight. The officials tied up Renouf and then Lemieux took advantage of the situation and started throwing punches. Renouf eventually had to take down the official to get free and they both ended up in the box. Tanev blocked a Frk shot off the ankle and was clearly in pain as he tried to hobble off the ice and back to the Manitoba bench. Shots on goal: GR 10 - Man 7.
The game is starting to get rough early in the second with lots of late hits and people getting knocked around in front of the net. Grand Rapids Glennie took a double-minor for high-sticking, giving the Griffins a four minute powerplay early in the period. Callahan in front of the net screening, and Frk fired a blast from the point that beat Comrie five-hole for a powerplay goal. Nosek with a steal and started to pull away with the puck and was hauled down, setting up another Griffins powerplay. Low percentage play by Frk trying to push a pass through and it was picked off and cleared. Tangradi in the slot with his back to the net took a pass and spun around, sneaking the puck between Comrie and the post, low glove side, to take a 2-1 lead. Frk led Nosek just a little too much on a play that looked to be a great scoring chance. Shots on goal: GR 11- Man 6.
Frk made it 3-1 when he fired a laser from the circle on the powerplay that beat Comrie and was back out again before anyone saw it. Midway through the period, Bertuzzi pushed the lead to 4-1 when he picked up his won rebound and beat Comrie low, glove side. Howard tweaked a knee making a save and had a hard time getting back up. Play continued and Howard was flexing it and trying to put weight on the leg. At the first whistle he gingerly came to the bench and went down the tunnel to the dressing room. Pasquale in in relief and tested immediately. The moose with a 3-on-0 and Pasquale made the firs stop and the post is credited for stopping the 2nd. Shots on goal: GR 16 - Man 10. For the Game: GR 37 - Man 23.
Tangradi - Street - Callahan
Lorito- Nosek - Frk
Bertuzzi - Criscuolo - Svechnikov
#32 Drew Miller - Turgeon - Campbell
Lashoff - Allen
Renouf - Russo
Paetsch - Hicketts
Starter: #33 Jimmy Howard
#11 Cleary - Veteran
Lorito - Nosek - Callahan
Frk - Street
Tangradi - Criscuolo - Svechnikov
Bertuzzi - Russo
Callahan - Tangradi
Paetsch - Russo
Miller - Campbell
Lashoff - Allen
No word yet on Howard's injury, hopefully not too bad. The one goal he gave up looked soft, but he made some big saves in the second.
Martin Frk connected on two powerplay goals, and was involved all night. He was blasting shots from the circle and the slot on the PP, and just narrowly missed a hat trick a couple of times.
Drew Miller drew into the lineup tonight for the first time, displacing Matt Ford. Dylan Sadowy and Cal Heeter were re-assigned to Toledo earlier in the day.