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ABDELKADER GETS THE CALL


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings on Friday recalled center Justin Abdelkader from the Grand Rapids Griffins and assigned right wing Aaron Downey to their American Hockey League affiliate.

Abdelkader is expected to see his first NHL action of the season on Saturday alongside former Griffins teammate Ville Leino, when the Red Wings visit Washington for a 12:30 p.m. start. The Muskegon, Mich., native and former Michigan State star made his NHL debut in two late-season games with Detroit last spring, before remaining with the club as a “black ace” throughout its run to the Stanley Cup.

Named the AHL’s Rookie of the Month for October, Abdelkader currently ranks among the Griffins’ leaders with 14 goals (4th), 27 points (T4th), six power play goals (3rd) and 59 penalty minutes (2nd), while also placing among the AHL’s top rookies in goals (T6th) and points (T12th).

Downey made a piece of Griffins history last night, becoming the 100th Grand Rapids alumnus to skate in the NHL during Detroit’s 4-2 loss to Dallas. Despite logging just 4:41 of ice time, he registered four hits and was selected by FSN Detroit viewers as the Red Wings’ player of the game.

A 2008 Stanley Cup champion with the Red Wings, Downey has totaled six points (2-4—6) and a team-high 71 penalty minutes in 44 games with Grand Rapids this season.

The Griffins (28-9-6-3) will conclude their five-game homestand and continue their chase for first place in the North Division this weekend, when they host a Friday-Saturday set against the Rochester Americans. Faceoff each night is 7 p.m.


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