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Red Wings Recall Givani Smith for Tonight’s Game; Husso in Net



Givani Smith, Detroit Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wing recalled tough forward Givani Smith from the Grand Rapids Griffins to replace suspended center Michael Rasmussen on their roster.

Rasmussen was suspended for two games by the NHL for a blow to the head that caused an injury to Boston Bruins center David Krejci.

The Red Wings play a home game against the Minnesota Wild tonight at Little Caesars Arena. Rasmussen will sit out this game and Monday’s road game against the Buffalo Sabres. The Red Wings will also be without injured winger Oskar Sundqvist. He has an upper body injury. Earlier this week, the Red Wings recalled forward Matt Luff. 

Detroit Red Wings reporter and producer Daniella Bruce also is reporting that Ville Husso will start in net. That’s the first time  coach Derek Lalonde has deviated from a strict goalie rotation. Husso has been the more consistent performer of the two.

Also,  defenseman Jordan Oesterle will play for the first time this season.

The Red Wings didn’t need to call up another center because Pius Suter can move the center. The four centers with Rasmussen out now are Dylan Larkin, Andrew Copp, Pius Suter and Joe Veleno.

Griffins are in Texas

Smith, 24, has one assist, four penalty minutes and a minus-four rating through three games with Grand Rapids this season. The Griffins are in Texas to play games tonight and tomorrow against the Texas Stars.

At one point, Smith was considered a top Red Wings prospect. He offers a physical presence with some offensive ability. It seemed possible the Red Wings might lose him when they sent him down to Grand Rapids before the season. But he cleared waivers.

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In 83 games with the Red Wing, Smith has seven goals and 138 penalty minutes. Smith scored nine goals and had 19 points in 37 games for the Griffins in his best AHL season of 2019-20. He can’t seem to replicated that level of play at the NHL level.

Oesterle can also play forward. Lalonde has said he might consider using seven defensemen this season.