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Let’s Hear It For The Rookie

Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi became the first goaltender in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs to record a shutout. Niemi isn’t the only starting goaltender who lacked experience coming into this year’s post season. In fact several different teams have turned to a newbie in an effort to get a run at the cup.

This is not only the first post season between the pipes for Red Wings net minder Jimmy Howard, it is his first NHL season as well. Not to be out done, he stopped all 29 shots to earn his first career playoff shut out in last night’s 3-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the first this post season for a rookie.

Howard has been the Wings go to guy for a good part of the season, playing more games than veteran Chris Osgood and earning the starting spot in the playoffs due to his impressive play. He finished the regular season 37-15-10 with a top five goals against average and save percentage. After a rough loss in Game Three, giving up four goals on just a few more shots than last night, Howard has shown a veteran-like ability to bounce back and shake the previous game off.

The series between the Wings and the Coyotes is now tied 2-2. Game Five goes back to Jobing.com Arena on Friday night at 10p.m. ET on Versus

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