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Red Wings Notebook: Nedeljkovic Starts Sunday If Husso Can’t Go



Red Wings Alex Nedeljkovic

If injured goalie Ville Husso is still not ready tomorrow, Alex Nedeljkovic will be the Detroit Red Wings’ starter against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Coach Derek Lalonde said after the Red Wings’ 4-1 loss to the Islanders that he has already decided not use Magnus Hellberg in back-to-back games. The Red Wings haven’t provided any details about Husso’s injury.

“It’s gonna depend on the availability of Ville,” Lalonde said. “… If Ville’s healthy, he will go. If not, then we’ll probably go with Nedo.”

Nedeljkovic, 27, hasn’t played an NHL game since Dec. 8, but has been playing impressively for the Grand Rapids Griffins. Since being demoted to Grand Rapids in early January, Nedeljkovic is 9-7-2 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Before being sent down, he owned a 4.09 GAA and .880 save percentage for Detroit.

As a pending unrestricted free agent, Nedeljkovic needs to continue to look sharp. He undoubtedly wants to return to the NHL with the Red Wings or any other team.

Hellberg made 32 saves in the loss. “It’s tough to talk about goaltending when we only score one goal,” Lalonde said. “It’s fine.”

Chiasson Thankful

Alex Chiasson seemed sentimental and thankful when Bally’s Trevor Thompson interviewed him between periods of the game against the Islanders about returning to the NHL with his seventh team.

“Lots of emotions today,” Chiasson said. “It’s been a tough road but there’s nothing like the NHL. This means a lot to me. Obviously, wearing an Original Six jersey, a lot of history. Trying to soak it in as much as I can.”

Chiasson posted one shot on goal, one hit and one blocked shot in just over 10 minutes of playing time against the Islanders.

“Maybe a little bit nervous here in the first period,” Chiasson said. “The first one’s out of the way. I’m sure I’ll find my legs and find some poise into my game.”

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This was his 632nd NHL game. He previously played for Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators, Calgary Flames, Washington Capitals, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks. Chiasson has always been hard to play against. He scored 13 goals last season for the Canucks. Chiasson had nine goals and 20 points in 29 games for the Griffins when the Red Wings gave him a one-year contract.

“Looks comfortable,” Lalonde said. “Was smart, responsible (against the Islanders). Actually made a really nice play on the power play. A little touch from the goal line to the bumper. Positive for sure.”