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Red Wings-Devils wrap-up—sixty minutes of effective hockey

The Red Wings flew home to Metro Detroit for one final day ahead of a 4-game swing to the U.S. West Coast on Monday night, and they did so having out-checked and out-ground the New Jersey Devils en route to a 1-0 win that represented the 2nd win of 2016.

Put a little less fluffily, the Wings won an ugly, ugly game thanks to a beautiful goal...

And after that, the Wings banked on elite goaltending from Petr Mrazek and a lunch bucket full of hard checking, detail work and grit and jam.

Our friends from Newark weren't exactly devastated after the loss, as they told the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti...

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The Mrazek And Larkin Show

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings are counting on Petr Mrazek and Dylan Larkin to lead them into the future.

Monday night, they were awfully good in the present – something that's becoming a regular occurrence.

Both have been among the Red Wings top players this season, a trend that continued Monday night at the Prudential Center.

Mrazek stopped 22 shots for his second shutout of the season while Larkin scored a highlight-reel goal to give the Red Wings a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Mrazek sent a message early that he was on his game when he stoned Travis Zajac on a breakaway before the game was a minute old. That set the stage for the seventh shutout of his brief career.

"He did a good job there and made some real good saves early," said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill. "The one thing Petr does very well is he battles extremely hard around his crease and is able to freeze pucks. So not too many pucks go to those areas.

"Against a team that wants to go hard to the net that's real important."

continued

Below, watch extended game highlights...

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Prospect news: Kadeikin continues to earn solid ice time; Griffins file weekly release

Of prospect-related note:

In the KHL, Alexander Kadeikin finished at -1 with 2 shots in 13:20 of ice time as SKA St. Petersburg lost 5-1 to Dynamo Moscow;

And in the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins filed their weekly release:

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Red Wings-Devils quick take: Wings bedevil New Jersey in a check-fest

This time, the Red Wings couldn't suggest that they were walking into a trap, or that they had underestimated the Devils' pluck. After 2 straight losses to the New Jersey Devils, the Wings came into tonight's game knowing that they faced a team that's had Detroit's number and knowing that the Devils possess an active defensive corps that digs into leads when the Wings sit back.

No excuses, no bullshit. This game couldn't be an ambush.

It wasn't any of those things. The Red Wings defeated New Jersey 1-0 thanks to a gorgeous goal from Dylan Larkin, a 22-save performance from Petr Mrazek, and a whole bunch of solid, stout defensive plays from solid, stout defensive players = Detroit out-forechecked, out-backchecked, out-ground, out-hustled and out-Deviled New Jersey en route to the aforementioned 1-0 victory.

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't necessarily all that entertaining, but it was a win, the Wings' 2nd of 2016, and the 4 points the Wings have accumulated thus far matter more than elegant hockey, as much as it pains me to say that.

With four games against big, nasty and competitive Western Conference teams starting on Thursday, the Wings are going to need to apply the checking lessons they've learned in their 3-game series against the Devils toward playing enough "boring road hockey" to steal some points out West.

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Larkin schools Schneider on a breakaway

This is one helluva goal by Dylan Larkin:

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Evening news: On the goaltending situation and coaching against Larkin

MLive's Brendan Savage posted a clip of Jeff Blashill discussing the decision to start Petr Mrazek this evening...

As did the Free Press's George Sipple, via RedWingsFeed, stating that the goaltending situation will be reevaluated on a day-by-day basis:

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Wings at the WJC: Russia defeats USA, will play Finland for gold

Evgeny Svechnikov didn't fare in the scoring, but Team Russia defeated Team USA 2-1 on Monday, advancing to Tuesday's gold medal game against Vili Saarijarvi and Finland (1:30 PM EST start).

The Americans and Swedes (Axel Holmstrom, Christoffer Ehn) will play for bronze at 9 AM EST.

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Griffins’ Jared Coreau named AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for December

From the Grand Rapids Griffins:

COREAU NAMED GOALTENDER OF THE MONTH

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The American Hockey League on Monday announced that Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Jared Coreau has been selected as the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for December.

Coreau becomes the fifth Griffins goaltender to earn monthly league (AHL/IHL) accolades and the first since Jimmy Howard in December 2007.

Coreau made 11 starts in December and finished with a 9-2-0 record along with a 1.92 goals against average and a .938 save percentage during a historic month for the Griffins. Grand Rapids extended its franchise-record winning streak to 15 games in December before a 3-2 defeat at Lake Erie on Dec. 27 halted the run. The Griffins concluded December with a 10-2-0-0 (0.833) record, marking the best December winning percentage in the franchise’s 20 years.

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Red Wings-Devils game-day articles: Mrazek starts for Detroit; Cammalleri out for New Jersey

Updated 8x at 2:46 PM: Both the Red Wings and New Jersey Devils held optional morning skates ahead of tonight's game (7 PM EST start on FSD/MSG Plus/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).

New Jersey's side of the ice, the news involved the absence of Mike Cammalleri, whose 35 points in 38 games lead the team, as the Bergen Record's Tom Gulitti noted:

"He's day to day right now,” [coach John] Hynes said. “I'd like to give you more. He is skating. We're just trying to figure out really what it is. Right now, it truly is day to day and he's seeing the doctor today and we'll just make sure it's nothing more than that.”

The Devils have not said specifically what Cammalleri's injury is. He was icing his right wrist/forearm after scoring two goals in Wednesday's 3-0 win in Ottawa, but said that was just for maintenance.

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Roose: Jordin Tootoo’s found a happy place in New Jersey

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose profiled Jordin Tootoo, who's healthy, happy and productive with the New Jersey Devils:

Once he completed rehab, Tootoo played one more season with the Predators before signing a three-year contract with the Red Wings in July 2012. But life threw another curveball at him when the Red Wings assigned him to their minor-league club in Grand Rapids.

It was with the Griffins that Jeff Blashill first met Tootoo, and grew to appreciate his commitment on and off the ice.

“It was tough situation. He didn’t want to be down there, but he handled himself great,” the Red Wings head coach said. “He helped our younger guys get better. He came to work every day. He helped me as a coach. He competed every night. He brings great energy. He can really hit. He can skate and is on the puck hard. He brings the competitive level of your team up and that’s what he’s done against us the two games he’s played against us. I’ve got lots of respect for Jordin and he’s done a really good job with Jersey.”

Though he has a team-worst minus-16 rating, Tootoo has earned increased ice time, even on special teams, with the Devils this season. He has three goals, two on the power play, and eight points in 38 games.

“You never ever are gonna as a player say you get too much ice time,” said Tootoo, who has a goal and two assists in two games wins over the Wings this season. “But I understand what my role is and whatever they need me to play I’m willing to do that. I’m just embracing it and enjoying it.”

Roose continues...

Update: Here's a bit more about Tootoo from the Free Press's George Sipple:

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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