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Mrazek makes 38 saves, shuts out Ovechkin, Capitals

by Paul Harris /

DETROIT -- Petr Mrazek made 38 saves, 15 against Alex Ovechkin, to give the Detroit Red Wings a 1-0 win against the Washington Capitals at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

Ovechkin matched his NHL high for shots in a game but could not score to pass Sergei Fedorov for most career goals by a Russian-born player.

"I knew he was going to shoot from everywhere. You could see it from the beginning of the game," Mrazek said. "I think he had seven shots in the first period (six). I was trying to be focused and be out of the crease every shot that he had."

Ovechkin said, "Just sometimes that kind of night. The shots didn't go in."

Andreas Athanasiou scored his first NHL goal 4:06 into the third period for Detroit (8-6-1).

"I mean, Washington's such a good team out there," said Athanasiou, who played his second NHL game. "I wanted to get a win while I was here, so it feels good and I'm happy about it."

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said, "We ground out two points. I thought for lots of the game we did a lot of good stuff. I thought through 50 minutes we played very well. I thought the second period was really, really good again. We've still got to hit the net more, but I thought we did lots of good stuff."

It was Mrazek's first shutout of the season and sixth in the NHL.

"The penalty kill was outstanding today (3-for-3). We were practicing that," he said. "We had to be ready for them because their power play is very good with Ovechkin and [Nicklas] Backstrom on the line. The penalty kill was the most important part."

Braden Holtby made 26 saves for Washington (10-4-0).

"I think [Holtby] was really strong in the first two periods. Gave us a chance for a point," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "Unfortunately, a goal that he would probably want back went in. A one in a thousand shot."

Athanasiou squeezed a shot between the left goalpost and Holtby from below the bottom of the left circle after a rush down left wing.

"A shot that shouldn't go in, but I'd play it the same way every time," Holtby said. "Just didn't have my equipment right."

Ovechkin shot off target twice, high and wide, on successive chances from his usual spot in the left circle on a Washington power play with a little less than seven minutes left in the first period. Mrazek also stopped Ovechkin's tip attempt with 2:25 left in the first period, and made a right- pad save with 7:05 remaining in the game.

"He played unbelievable," Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin said of Mrazek. "We knew their power play was dangerous. I thought we did a good job bearing down, so it was a good team win."

Ovechkin had 15 shots on goal on Oct. 7, 2006 against the Carolina Hurricanes when he scored twice in a 5-2 win. According to Sportsnet, his 15 shots Tuesday were the most in a game without a goal since the 1967-68 season.

"He had some good looks," Trotz said. "They were pucks that looked like they were going right in the net but someone would tip it at the last moment."

Ovechkin and Fedorov are tied with 483 NHL goals. Fedorov was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Monday and dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff between Ovechkin and Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg.

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