Wings return Tatar to Grand Rapids
Tatar was Detroit’s second selection (60th overall) in the second round of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He played in his first NHL game on New Year’s Eve against the New York Islanders and scored the game-tying goal with 9:42 remaining in the third period. Detroit eventually dropped a 4-3 overtime decision to the Islanders. He became the first Red Wings' player to score in his NHL debut since Ville Leino did so on January 31, 2009, against the Washington Capitals.
At the time of his recall, Tatar was leading the Griffins with 29 points (9-20-29) in 35 games. He initially replaced Patrick Eaves in Detroit’s lineup. Eaves missed three games with an elbow infection. Tatar played an additional two games for the Red Wings while Valtteri Filppula nursed a groin injury.