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Detroit Red Wings

Czarnik Called Up, Sprong Scratched vs. Coyotes



Austin Czarnik, Red Wings

Coach Derek Lalonde’s lineup shake-up continued this morning with Austin Czarnik called up from the Grand Rapids Griffins to replace Daniel Sprong on the Detroit Red Wings’ fourth line

Czarnik presumably will play alongside Jonatan Berggren and Christian Fischer tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. Lalonde rearranged all of his lines and defensive pairings in Wednesday’s practice.

The press release says Czarnik is being called up under emergency conditions. But the lineup change is part of Lalonde’s effort to get the offense moving again. The team has averaged only 1.83 goals per game during its six-game losing streak. It had been averaging about 3.5 goals per game before the slump.

Sprong has one assist in the Red Wings’ skid, and was minus-4 in their lopsided loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. The Red Wings have been outscored 32-11 in the six losses.

Czarnik, 31, has played 18 games for the Red Wings this season and shows one assist. He has nine goals and 26 points in 36 games this season for the Griffins in the American Hockey League. Czarnik recently helped the Griffins put together an 18-game points streak, which is the second longest in team history.

Czarnik’s lure is that he’s a responsible, veteran player who is mindful of his defensive responsibility. He has played 189 NHL games during his professional career.