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HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU, MANNY

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Manny Legace was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday for conditioning. He is scheduled to start tonight when the Griffins host the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 7 p.m. start at Van Andel Arena.

Legace, 32, has been sidelined since spraining his left knee during a 3-1 loss at Anaheim on Nov. 25. He has posted a 13-4-0 record in 19 games with the Western Conference-leading Wings, ranking among the NHL’s leaders with a 2.21 goals against average (4th), a 0.914 save percentage (T7th) and two shutouts (T4th). Legace established an NHL record for wins (10) by a goaltender in the month of October, when he was named the league’s defensive player of the month.

A 1993 draft choice of the Hartford Whalers, Legace broke into the NHL with Los Angeles in 1998 and signed with Detroit as a free agent on July 16, 1999. He has played more games for Detroit (148) than any other goaltender over the last five seasons played, and his 0.713 winning percentage since the start of the 2003-04 season is the best among all NHL goalies with at least 40 decisions.

Legace spent most of his first four pro seasons (1994-98) in the AHL with Springfield, earning First Team All-Star honors and the league’s outstanding goaltender award during his sophomore campaign with the Falcons in 1995-96. In 118 career AHL games, he shows a 53-45-15 record with eight shutouts and a 2.93 GAA.

Legace is slated to become the second Red Wings goalie this season and the third since 2003-04 to make a conditioning start with the Griffins. Chris Osgood posted a 2-1-0 record with a 3.34 GAA and a 0.882 save percentage in three October starts for Grand Rapids, while Curtis Joseph made 20 saves to lead the Griffins to a 4-1 win over Utah in his AHL debut on Oct. 24, 2003.

Tickets for tonight’s game can be purchased at The Zone at Van Andel Arena and all Star Tickets Plus locations (including Meijer stores), by phone through Star Tickets Plus at 800-585-3737, or via the web at griffinshockey.com. B2 Networks’ live video web cast of the game will be available for $6 to anyone with a high-speed internet connection, through a link at griffinshockey.com.

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