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Red Wings blank Maple Leafs

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- Petr Mrazek is slated to play in the American Hockey League this season, but he's doing everything he can to change that.

Mrazek was the best player on the ice Monday at Joe Louis Arena, stopping all 27 shots he faced to lead theDetroit Red Wings to a 3-0 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs in his first preseason start.

Mrazek, 22, is third on Detroit's depth chart behind Jimmy Howard and Jonas Gustavsson and is scheduled to spend the season with Grand Rapids of the AHL.

"We'll see what happens in couple days and then go from there," Mrazek said.

"I'm trying to do my best. Work hard every practice and every game I get so I'm happy for that."

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was certainly happy with Mrazek's performance.

"Your best penalty-killer is your goaltender and I thought he was really good, solid, good plays with the puck," Babcock said. "He gave us an opportunity."

It was a penalty-filled game, with each team receiving eight power plays. The Red Wings scored on two and held Toronto scoreless.

"I couldn't believe all the penalties. We have to be more disciplined I guess," Babcock said. "Don't know if they're trying to get their quota up during exhibition, don't know what it is exactly. I don't know if we needed that many, but obviously we got some work. There was no flow. Zero flow. That's the problem with it. You want to play all your guys and you can't play them. We got good work from our guys."

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle wasn't happy with his team's lack of discipline.

"I think we played OK but got frustrated and took some dumb penalties," he said.

Riley Sheahan had a goal and an assist and Nick Jensen and Tomas Jurco scored for the Red Wings, who lost veteran defenseman Aaron Rome, who is on a tryout, early in the game with a lower-body injury.

James Reimer made 14 saves for Toronto.

"It was one of those games where I didn't get a lot of shots but I thought I played well," Reimer said. "I was playing well, out on the top of my crease. Nothing you can do about it."

Jensen's power-play goal 8:58 into the second period put Detroit ahead to stay. The defenseman one-timed a slap shot from just inside the blue line in the middle of the ice that deflected off the stick of Maple Leafs forward Daniel Winnik and went past Reimer. It was Jensen's first goal of the preseason.

"It was more on [Andrej] Nestrasil, he made a great play. He's been working that over there and he's always getting the puck through to me. He made a great pass to me," Jensen said. "One of our plans today was to shoot the puck and crash guys to the net, three guys to the net, I shot it. Did a great job of screening. [Justin] Abdelkader, I saw him in front. Got a lucky bounce off their D-man's stick. Sticking with the system really paid off."

The goal came with Josh Leivo off for hooking.

Sheahan made it 2-0 at 5:45 of the third period with another power-play goal. With Leivo again in the box, this time for holding, Sheahan put in the rebound of defenseman Ryan Sproul's shot for his first preseason goal.

Sheahan, a center, emerged last season after being called up from Grand Rapids when injuries decimated the Red Wings. He is slated to center the third line this season and spent the night between Tomas Tatar and Jurco, who added an empty-net goal.

"Sheahan's group has been the best group [of the preseason]," Babcock said about the line.

Mrazek stopped Toronto's Brandon Kozun on a shorthanded breakaway 6:39 into the game, and Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner hit the goal from the slot 7:31 into the second period.

Detroit forward Tomas Nosek received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct for hitting Toronto defenseman Stuart Percy into the boards from behind 3:16 into the second period.

Toronto got news on two players injured over the weekend earlier on Monday.

Forward David Booth will miss at least four weeks with a fractured foot sustained blocking a shot against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night. Forward David Clarkson has a fractured orbital bone from a fight against Buffalo on Friday night but still hopes to play in the regular-season opener on Oct. 8, against the Montreal Canadiens.

Also, Toronto released defenseman Henrik Tallinder from his professional tryout contract and assigned goaltender Antoine Bibeau to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The Maple Leafs also assigned forwards Sam Carrick and Petri Kontiola and defenseman Petter Granberg to the Marlies.

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