Babcock tabs Gustavsson to start Friday at New Jersey

DETROIT – Wings coach Mike Babcock didn’t hesitate when he was first asked about goalie Jimmy Howard.

“Gus is going (Friday),” Babcock shot back.

Howard allowed five goals on 33 in the Wings’ 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Wednesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Jonas Gustavsson, who will start Friday in New Jersey, is 7-0-1 this season with a 2.15 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

“I haven’t broke down the tape, so I’ve got no idea,” Babcock said when asked to assess Howard’s play. “I just know when you give up as many goals as we did, it’s not a good thing.”

Howard’s record dipped to 6-8-6, while his goal-against average ballooned to 2.70 and save percentage dipped to .909.

It’s not the start that Howard wanted to get off to in the month of December after going 2-3-4 in November.

Howard had a stretch last month going seven games without a win (0-3-4).

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