The Detroit Red Wings (6-2-0) came away with their sixth straight win last night against the St. Louis Blues (4-2-2) in a shootout, thanks in large part to the play of Petr Mrazek. Mrazek stopped 31 of 32 shots in regulation and overtime along with seven straight saves in the shootout.
St. Louis dominated the Red Wings in the first period, outshooting the Red Wings 14-4. It could have easily been a 2-0 game after the first if not for some highlight-reel saves by Mrazek.
“Petr kept us in there in the first, for certain,” said coach Jeff Blashill.
The Red Wings found themselves trailing 1-0 after a goal by Kevin Shattenkirk early in the second period, but Frans Nielsen evened up the score later in the period after receiving a nice drop pass from Darren Helm. This pushed the momentum in Detroit’s favor, as they drastically improved their play throughout the rest of the game.
Of the goal, Blashill said: “That’s a big momentum change for sure. That was a big, big goal for us.”
After a scoreless third period and overtime which saw plenty of chances for both teams, both Mrazek and Blues netminder Jake Allen stole the show in the shootout. Mrazek stopped seven straight shots after allowing a goal on the first attempt, and Allen stopped five straight before Henrik Zetterberg slid a shot through his five-hole in the eighth round to secure the win for the Red Wings.
While the Red Wings continued their six game win streak, Zetterberg admitted there are still things to work on.
“They’re a good forechecking team, but we shot ourselves in the foot a little bit too much with turnovers at the blue lines,” stated Zetterberg. “Then they got all over us again. We have to be a little smarter, execute a little better.”
The Red Wings will be back in action at home Saturday night against the Boston Bruins (3-4-0), who have lost three straight.
H/T to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press for quotes used in this piece: http://www.freep.com/story/sports/nhl/red-wings/2016/10/28/detroit-red-wings-henrik-zetterberg/92874114/