What was the difference in third period?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 1 | Pts: 2
Shots: 2 | +/-: 2
“We knew we played last night and if we stayed in the game as long as we could we would get a little legs and a little bit of energy. Blash and the coaching staff made a pretty good move there switching the lines around. It gave us a little extra boost and we got results right away.”
The early-season back to backs can’t be easy on a team?
“No it’s not. Coming into the pre-season you’re basically playing once a week and then all of a sudden you’re playing two days in a row. It is a little different obviously but it will be easier next weekend once we’re in the season. Obviously it’s tough to start back to back.”
Early penalties had to hurt your team early?
“We ended up in the box way too much. Mrazek played unbelievable the whole game, not just the first period. He basically kept us in the game. The PK did a really good job too with the penalties. We gave ourselves a chance in the end.”
Did Pulkkinen show you what he can do as a scorer?
“He finds ways to score goals. He’s not the biggest guy but he knows where to be and he knows how to score goals. That’s pretty nice to have that in this game.”
What about Abdelkader’s start to the season?
“He’s been taking steps here the last three years here as soon as he got the opportunity to play more. He’s taking advantage of it. Even this year he’s playing on the PK and does a really good job. Those kind of players, you don’t see them all that often in the league – strong, big guys that really can do everything and score goals, too.”
You feeling good after scoring five points in two nights?
“It’s been a good start obviously but I’ve been playing with some young fresh guys, too, so that keeps me younger.”
|Tomas Tatar helps celebrate Teemu Pulkkinen's first goal of the third period. It pulled the Red Wings even at 2-2 against the Hurricanes. Detroit scored two more times to win 4-3 Saturday in Carolina. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings) |
Your thoughts on the rally after line shuffling?
“The first two periods obviously we weren’t skating well enough, weren’t playing to the capabilities that I think we’re able to, that we think we’re able to. Petr held us in for those two periods, we killed two many penalties. But then in the third period I thought we really started skating. We juggled the lines. I don’t know if that really had an impact or not but in the end our guys as individuals started playing a lot better and as a result we carried the third.”
Was there no energy because of playing back-to-back nights?
“You can have lots of reasons why. We played our home opener, it was a lot of emotion involved with that. We come in here late but none of those things matter, all that matters is who gets the two points. You’d love to play three great periods, you’d love to not have to come from behind, but in the end we were only down by a goal, we hadn’t played our best hockey, we came out and played real good hockey and found a way to win.”
Pulkkinen doesn’t need many chances to score, does he?
“We were trying to get him in a different situation to see if he could … with Larkin, if that could have some chemistry and as a result they did. He’s a goal-scorer, that’s what he does. He finds ways to score goals. I’ve seen him score lots of different ways. What you want to have in order to be a real good hockey team is have lots of different guys score on different nights. You want depth of scoring, for sure, so on the nights when maybe you’re not playing great you still find a way to score. If you get real good goaltending you still find a way to score. We scored four goals and good for Pulky.”
How important is it for Pulkkinen’s confidence to get off to good start?
“Yeah, with Pulky, it’s extremely important he scores, and he’s got to do it the right way. He knows he’s not getting on the ice if he doesn’t play a 200-foot game, if he doesn’t play from the defensive side. But with that he also has to score. That’s what he does. Some guys bring other things to the table, that’s what he brings to the table. I think it’s important for him to score and he did tonight.”
Killing 5 on 3 was big, but was Abdelkader’s goal bigger?
“You get up two it gives you a little breathing room. It was a big goal. What a job by (Zetterberg) holding people off, holding people off, our penalty kill was obviously a big reason we won. I thought our penalty kill did a great job, too.”
Your thoughts on the job Drew Miller did on the PK?
“Yeah, Millies and Glennie both did a good job I thought. I think Millsie’s an elite penalty killer. I think he has elite defensive smarts and that’s why he’s a big part of our hockey team.”
How’d you think Mrazek did, especially in a heavy workload in first 40?
“Ken Holland actually brought this up when we were in the room, we gave up lots of good chances over two periods. I don’t know if we gave up great chances, but certainly real good chances where Petr had to be strong on. The other thing, there was lots of action around our net, so you have to be real strong on the rebounds. I thought he held his ground really well. Two nights in row we’ve gotten great goaltending. That’s what I think these two guys are. They’ll continue to get opportunities to prove it.”
Who starts Tuesday against Tampa Bay?
“We’ll make the decision come Monday or Tuesday on who will start Tuesday and then certainly both of them are going to play next weekend. One will play Friday and one will play Saturday. There will be lots that goes into that decision, but we will have to get together as a staff.”
Happy with the job Larkin did at center in the third period?
“I think that’s an important part as a player, especially as a young player to be able to play different positions. We didn’t move him to center because he was struggling. On the wing I actually thought he was doing a pretty good job I actually thought Z’s line was the one line that was going, but we thought we had to get some other combinations going so we could get more one through four action. The thing that I like about Larks is that he can do both at a young age and that’s important.”
Do you have a lot of trust in Larkin?
“Going back to the days when I was coaching juniors in Indianapolis the age doesn’t matter to me at all. Experience certainly matters, resume matters. I know Henrik Zetterberg’s cool under pressure, so he’s built that over time, but age doesn’t matter. The guys that I think give us the best chance to win are the ones that I’m going to play in the situations.”
You looked awfully comfortable, were you?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 3.00| Sv%: .936
“We knew it was going to be a hard game for us and in the second minute of the game they got a power play five on three. That helps you when some pucks hit you and doesn’t go in.”
Did you feel good facing that many shots in your first time out?
“It always feels very good when you face so many shots and you let in only three goals and you win. I wouldn’t say it’s basically important how many shots I face. The two points are the most important thing in the game.”
How important was kill the penalties?
“That was huge for our team. Early on five on three, if they would go in that would be a different game.”
Sounds like you and Howard will alternate. Can you stay sharp in that type of situation?
“Yeah, it’s 82 games in a season and you are playing maybe 12 games a month, so it’s lots of games, back to back, too. I feel like were both going to stay sharp and be ready for our games.”
PK created lanes so you could see puck, did that help you?
“Guys did a hell of a job in front of the net. The one timers, they went out of the shooting lanes when they couldn’t get there so I could see the puck and stop it. Sometimes they made big blocks and didn’t let the puck go on me.”
Did you lose sight of puck on Victor Rask’s goal in the second period?
“When my turned my head I saw it coming but then it bounced off the post and on the other side and I lost it.”
Feeling pretty confident after scoring twice in the third period?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 2
Shots: 3 | +/-: 2
“I think that’s why I’m here. My strength is to play in the offensive zone and score goals. It was nice to get a couple of goals. If you don’t get goals, you might get frustrated. It was nice to get a couple. It’s nice to move on.”
Did you see a good opportunity on your first goal, did they kind of leave you alone?
“Actually I think it was a lucky bounce that just came to me. I just barely hit it and it went into the net. It was a lucky one and I think the second one was a lucky one, too, but like I said before, I just need a couple of lucky ones and then it gets way easier.”
Did the team get an energy boost after line shuffling?
“I think it was good. We didn’t get our legs going in the first 20 or the first 40 so the last one was good. We were down 2-1 and all of a sudden in a minute or two we were up by a goal. It was a huge for our team and I think we got lots of energy there. I think the third period was the best for sure.”
Feel good knowing you will be in lineup even if you do make mistakes?
“I don’t think of it that way. I think it’s great depth at forward here. We have Datsyuk out, we have Helmer out, so every night, you just have to work hard and skate hard and do your best. There’s no guaranteed spots here so that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m here to work hard on the ice, off the ice. It’s obviously nice to get a couple of goals and get your confidence up.”