How about the penalty kill?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 13 | Assists: 9 | Pts: 22
Shots: 71 | +/-: -2
"Penalty killing, I thought was really good, some of our best of the season, carried over from the last game. But I still think we've got to be a lot better. Petr bailed us out a lot there, made some good saves, too many quality chances for them. Got to manage the puck better on the road here. It's good for us to get two points and we can look forward here and keep this going. But we know that we got to be better."
How about your goal?
"That was a good play by that line, Pav getting it on net and it bounced out and I came off the bench and it was kind of perfect timing to come down the slot and I could really step into that."
The penalty kill really stepped up tonight, didn’t it?
"That's huge. The penalty kill kept us in it there, they could easily get a goal or two there and get us back on our heels more. It's tough to play from behind in this league so did a great job. Like I said, we've been better. It helped getting Millsie back, especially when Glennie was in the box there for a couple of penalties. That was positive. I still think our 5-on-5 play has got to be better, managing the puck, getting pucks in. For us, we want more of a cycle and grind game and that was more of an up and down and probably more like these guys like to play."
Did you see the save that Mrazek made before your goal?
"From the bench I saw it. I couldn't really tell exactly how it happened. I imagine on replay it's one of the best, I know he did it to (Brian) Boyle there in the playoffs, probably similar-type play. It's amazing. He's done it to me a few times in practice so I know what that feels like when you don't score. He's really an athletic goalie and can really move laterally, side to side, and is smart that way, got his stick on it. We're fortunate because that's obviously a turning point in the game."
You guys have to have so much confidence with him in net, the way he's playing, right?
"He's played great for us, especially here lately. I think we've gotten great goaltending throughout the year. Both guys have stepped in when they really needed to. Right now we've been riding Petr lately and he's been playing great. We just got to do a little better job in front of him and make it a little easier on him."
How about starting the road trip with three straight wins?
"It's always a tough place to play here. For my career, I haven't had a ton of success. So it's always a lively building and they always play well here. It was good for us to find a way to win. Obviously we know we need to be better but we'll take the two points and move forward."
The Sharks kept coming, didn’t they?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.20 | Sv%: .928
“The first period they came hard. They threw everything to the net.”
What about the three-game winning streak to start this road trip?
“We are playing good right now. We are playing smart defensively and don’t give them many chances.”
How much does playing all these games in a row help you?
“When you play you’ve got the confidence. You feel good. Everything is the same every night.”
What about the two big saves you made in the third?
“The second one was lucky. It hit my stick and then we score a goal. It was a nice save but if they would score the game would be different.”
Are you making a habit of making big saves and then they go back down ice and score?
“It’s a lucky save. I just try to make a save. I thought he doesn’t have the time so I cheat on him on the glove side and he made a nice move.”
Are you just more focused in all of these one-goal games?
“So many games by one goal if we are winning or losing. We have to be focused 60 minutes.”
The PK was huge early on, could you sense right away the difference having Miller in there was tonight?
“Yeah, Millsie’s back. He’s a great guy on the penalty kill as well. They made some huge blocks on the penalty kill today.”
|Petr Mrazek makes a save Thursday night in the Red Wings win over the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center. (Photo by Getty Images) |
How about that PK tonight?
“I thought the penalty kill was the huge difference in the game, especially in the first period with those two right away there. I thought they did a great job. And those were with Glennie in the box. I thought obviously Millsie brings another real good penalty killer to the mix. We’ve been using Abby a little bit more and I thought he did a good job Helmer and Sheahan did too, so good for the kill.”
What did you think of the sequence where Mrazek made two saves before Abdelkader scored?
“It’s a fine line between winning and losing in the league and that was a huge save at a big moment. It’s something I think he’s done a good job of throughout his time. It was a huge, huge save. We shouldn’t have to make that save. We made an error there on a turnover we shouldn’t have made so it’s something we’ve got to continue to go to work (on) and get better at but you also got to win games while we’re getting better and that was a big, big save and obviously the real difference in the game.”
Do you see Mrazek rising to the occasion lately?
“The big thing with Petr is he doesn’t get nervous. The bigger the moment it doesn’t affect his game he just continues to play. I think he enjoys being in those situations. He’s got a special mentality that way and it paid off for us tonight.”
Are you getting used to all of these one-goal games?
“It’s one of those things that they more you’re in it and the more you have success with it you build confidence in it. Obviously early in the year we had given up some but I think we’ve done a good job of finding a way to limit chances against when we have those goals. We did a great job in (New) Jersey the whole third period and I thought once we took the lead here we did a good job. We want to continue to grow as a team. You learn through your experience both in the winning and the losing and I think we’ve done that.”
How important was it to score first in San Jose tonight?
“I don’t know what the stat is in the league but I think scoring first is a big deal. You don’t want to limit yourself to saying you have score first but it’s momentum building for sure. I thought they played extremely well and played extremely hard so to get that first goal is certainly a big thing.”
Do you like DeKeyser jumping in to the rush to score?
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do with our D all year is add reward without risk and have them be active. I don’t think it’ increases your risk. If you do it at the right time it can add reward and I think Danny is real smart about it. I think he’s jumped in his spot at the right time and was able to finish there and that’s something I think we have to continue to do a good job of.”
You don’t want to expect that a lot from DeKeyser, do you?
“He’s got ability and we think there’s offense there. We don’t want to ever detract it from his defense. That’s what he does best. I think he does a great job of outletting the puck and creating offense that way but we think there’s offense there. That was one of the things we talked about a staff this summer. We think there’s more there in terms of production so hopefully he continues to take steps like he did tonight.”
Can you describe your goal?
Defense - DET
Goals: 3 | Assists: 7 | Pts: 10
Shots: 35 | +/-: 6
“Anytime we can get the fourth guy in the rush, in today’s game that’s how you produce a lot of offense, late guy, hitting him behind you. So I saw an opening. Nyquist had the puck in the D-zone on the wall and he had pretty good control of it, so I just went for it, tried to beat their forwards up the ice and it worked out.”
How much of a difference does scoring first matter?
“It’s a big deal, it kind of gets your team going a little bit, especially on the road. It seems it’s tough to score goals on the road, no matter where you play, so when you get the first one and get ahead of the eight-ball, it’s nice.”
What did you think of the job Mrazek did tonight?
“He’s been huge for us all year, he’s been making spectacular saves. If not for him tonight he might not have walked out of here with a win. We have a lot of confidence in him. Obviously, some of those chances we don’t want to give up. Try to limit those as much as we can. He was there to bail us out tonight and he has been a lot of the year.”
How impressed were you with the PK tonight?
“PK was good tonight, I thought. Didn’t give up a whole lot, kind of gave us momentum there.”
What do you think of all these one-goal games?
“We’ve been playing a lot of one-goal games over the last couple years. It would be nice if we had a little insurance but the way it’s going right now, that’s not how it is, so we just got to battle it out. If we win 2-1, we’re happy with that.”
Do you now go in thinking it’s going to be a one-goal outcome?
“The way the league is everybody is so tight. You look at the standings, there’s not much of a difference. Everybody’s got good players and if you play the right way and limit chances, it’s a hard league to score in.”
How much have you developed your game over the past year?
“That’s what I’m trying to do. I try to get better and better every year. I want to take that next step and improve on what I did prior.”
Have you ever scored a prettier goal in your life than you did tonight?
“No. It felt good to get that one, especially missing that tap-in against Pittsburgh. That was weighing on me a bit, so it was nice to put one home.”
Did you hear a lot about that missed opportunity?
“A little bit. It hit the goalie’s knob or something. Had quite a bit of room there to put that one home. I had to see the replay. I thought I just missed the net. I hit the knob and that’s how it goes sometimes.”
DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.