The Malik Report
from Brendan Savage of Mlive,
The Red Wings won their third straight game Wednesday, when Mrazek made 22 saves and flirted with a second straight shutout before settling for a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena.
But it was the penalty killers who got much of the credit for helping the Red Wings (28-18-8) beat Ottawa and assume sole possession of second place in the Atlantic Division, six points behind the Florida Panthers.
The Red Wings killed their first six penalties before Ottawa finally connected on the power play, cutting Detroit's lead to 2-1 with 2:24 left after pulling goaltender Craig Anderson for a 6-on-4 advantage.
The 6-for-7 performance by the penalty killers made the Red Wings 15-for-17 – that's an 88.2-percent success rate – during the winning streak, which also included victories over the New York Islanders and Florida Panthers.
"Once again – the last game too – they really saved us," said captain Henrik Zetterberg, who scored the winning goal 2:01 into the third period. "With them and Petr, they really kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win here because we were in the box way too much."
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet talked with Petr Mrazek after last night's win over the Senators.
Below awood40 with the extended game highlights...
Of prospect-related note:
In the Finnish Liiga, Julius Vahatalo played 11:39 in TPS Turku's 3-2 win over Lukko;
In the QMJHL, Evgeny Svechnikov had a goal and two assists, finished at +2 and went 8-for-13 on faceoffs in the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles' 10-3 win over Baie-Comeau;
Adam Marsh scored 2 goals, finished at +3 and was named the first star in his Saint John Sea Dogs' 7-2 win over Charlottetown;
And in the WHL, Dominic Turgeon scored a goal in the Portland Winterhawks' 3-2 OT win over Spokane.
The Red Wings earned their 3rd straight victory and 3rd straight home win in the form of a 3-1 decision over the Ottawa Senators, and while the Wings did lose Danny DeKeyser to a bruised knee, the Wings didn't miss a step without their 20-minute-playing defenseman, killing 6 of 7 power plays against and plain old out-working, out-hustling and out-grinding the Senators when they weren't out-scoring 'em.
This is just damn impressive...
As is this:
The Senators weren't in nearly as good spirits after the game, and their newest acquisition was disappointed in his performance, as the Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan noted:
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with the Toronto Sun's Mike Zeisberger regarding the almost-trade in which the Wings weren't quite willing to give up Stephen Weiss, Brendan Smith, and either Teemu Pulkkinen or Anthony Mantha...
“Obviously, any time you are talking trade with anybody, unless the trade is consummated, you haven’t found something that both sides are comfortable with,” Holland said during a one-on-one interview on Wednesday night. “I talk to lots of people about lots of things. Some come to fruition, some don’t.”
In the case of the Dion-to-the-Wings scenario, it didn’t.
“I do think Dion’s a legitimate top-four NHL defenceman,” Holland said. “He’s only 30. He’s still in his prime. I hear good things about him as a person. He competes. He treats people with respect. Everything I hear sbout Dion has been positive.
“We did have some conversations with the Leafs at the deadline, but we didn’t obviously get far enough to get anything done for various reasons. But Dion is a top-four NHL defenceman with lots of years ahead of him.”
Not in Detroit, obviously. At least, not at this point.
Interestingly, when you read between the lines, note that Holland called Phaneuf a top-four defenceman, not a top-two. For the hefty cap hit he carries, obviously sacrificing a young player such as Smith or Manta just wasn’t worth it.
Here's the update on Danny DeKeyser, who took a Dion Phaneuf shot off his knee in the 3rd period of the Wings' 3-1 win over Ottawa:
Here's the play, from Sportsnet:
Update: And here's what Blashill had to say, per MLive's Ansar Khan:
"It's a bruise is what it looks like. It's a not a break by any means," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said following his team's 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena. "It was sore. It hit in a spot that's going to be painful. He'll be day-to-day. We'll see tomorrow where it's at. He just couldn't put enough weight on it to finish the game."
The Red Wings hoped to earn a 3rd straight home win against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night, but Dion Phaneuf's Senators presented no easy task, having won their previous 2 games by an 11-2 margin. Detroit is determined to continue its climb back into the thick of the Atlantic Division playoff race, while the Senators are plain old desperate to make the playoffs.
The Red Wings did exactly what they needed to do, stifling the Senators' offense for nearly 57 minutes thanks to some sterling goaltending by Petr Mrazek and generating balanced scoring of their own en route to a 3-1 win over Ottawa--despite losing Danny DeKeyser to what looked like a bruised knee and despite taking SEVEN penalties.
The Wings' effort wasn't perfect, but it was damn close, and close against a team riding the high of a reinforcing trade, and in its own way, this was a statement made as the Wings won their 3rd straight game and 3rd straight home game for the first time since December.
Sportsnet posted a feature about Dylan Larkin having grown up as a Red Wings fan who now plays for his childhood team:
Of Red Wings-related note this evening:
1. The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan asked Jeff Blashill about the Larkin-Richards-Tatar line:
“Dylan can self-generate a lot of times regardless of who he’s playing with,” said Blashill of his new lines. “But it had more to do with my belief in Brad Richards is a second-line center. He did it last year on a Stanley Cup-winning team (Chicago). With Hank and Pavel, it gives us a 1-2 punch up the middle that is a real important piece. We wanted to, in (general manager) Ken Holland’s words, get 2 percent better. By putting them together, we hoped that synergy would create a little more offense and also have a real good No. 2 center in Brad Richards, who can also be accountable defensively.”
Signed to a one-year, $3 million contract as an unrestricted free agent last summer, Richards has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in 39 games, with a plus-7 rating. Blashill believes there are potential match-up strengths for his team with the current line combinations.
“Who you’re playing against matters a ton,” Blashill said. “If Glennie (Glendening) can go punch for punch with the other team’s best players, it frees up other guys to do things offensively.”
2. Among MLive's Brendan Savage's Game Day notes:
Holland did an interview on TSN1200 in Ottawa, talking goalies, Larkin, Phaneuf and more.
Listen here, or click below:
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.