DETROIT – Wings backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson capped off his best week between the pipes in two years by being named the NHL’s No. 1 star.
Gustavsson, who had to fill in for an injured Jimmy Howard, won all three of his starts and had a 1.67 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.
“It’s important for us to have two good goaltenders and obviously we know what Howie’s capable of,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “He gave us a chance to win every night. You got to give him credit.”
Gustavsson was rushed into duties in Boston when Howard couldn’t go due to an injured hand. After a 28-save performance against the Bruins, he had made 36 saves to top Columbus the very next night to win on consecutive days for the first time since Jan. 23-24, 2012 while with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“It’s important for the team to know (he’s reliable), it’s important for him to know,” Babcock said. “It was real positive for us. We won three games with him in net. We feel good about it. It’s like anything, it’s three games, he wants to keep building on it.”
He ended his week by helping to hand Colorado its first loss of the season with 38 saves in a 4-2 win.
“It’s awesome to see,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “He comes in that first game and probably got the note five minutes before the game that he’s going in there. He played really good, really aggressive, played with a lot of confidence and kept going. He probably stole those two points in Colorado.”
The No. 2 star was Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, while San Jose’s Patrick Marleau was the third star.