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It’ll be Howard vs. Bernier in goal at the 2014 Winter Classic

2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Team Practice Sessions

ANN ARBOR, MI - DECEMBER 31:(EDITORIAL USE ONLY) during 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium on December 31, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Gregory Shamus

The goaltending match-up for the 2014 Winter Classic is set.

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier said he was getting the start against the Detroit Red Wings on New Year’s Day following Leafs practice at Michigan Stadium today. Detroit will counter with Jimmy Howard who returned from an injury on Monday night.

Bernier’s career numbers against Detroit aren’t so hot. In five career games, he’s 1-1-1 with a .893 save percentage and a 3.13 goals-against average. Oddly enough, those numbers are better than James Reimer’s against the Wings.

In two games against the Wings, Reimer is 0-1-0 with a 4.95 goals-against average and .850 save percentage. With the game set on the massive stage of The Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan going with Bernier is the logical call.

Howard struggled in his return against the Nashville Predators last night allowing five goals in a 6-4 loss. His numbers are equally poor against the Maple Leafs going 0-1-0 in two career games with a 3.43 goals-against average and a .829 save percentage.

Those are some small sample sizes for everyone to make wild judgments from.

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