|Petr Mrazek was outstanding Saturday night, making 30 saves and assisting on the game-winning goal in overtime. (Photo by Getty Images) |
Difference between the second and third periods?
“Well, our compete level and our battle level think rose to the level that it has to be in order to be successful. I think Henrik Zetterberg, from the drop of the puck, was the one guy on our team that was competing and battling at that champion-type level and I think the rest of the team followed suit in the third. It’s fine line between winning and losing in this league. You have to be at your very best every single period and I thought for sure by the third we rose and did a real good job.”
Was Mrazek your No. 1 star?
“Well, Petr kept us in. Petr kept us in it for sure and you know he made some real good saves no question. He obviously made a real good play on the goal there. But I would I say to you that there were co-number ones, I would say Petr and Z. I just think when your leader says that you the rest of the guys have no ability but to follow suit and we certainly did.”
How big are these two points just to stop the bleeding?
“Well confidence is a big thing and I think winning can breed confidence for sure. How big it was, we’ll help determine that by how we play on Tuesday thought. It’s a relentless nature in sports where you’ve got to continue to be at your very best. We’re going to have to follow this up with a great performance on Tuesday and then continue from there. But we were staring at one point out of six going into the third period there and we were able to get three on the trip and it’s not what we wanted, but it’s certainly better than one.”
What was said during the second intermission?
“Again our guys came out and played hard in the third and played at a level that it takes, and I would just give lots of the credit to Z and the approach that he took.”
Do you hope guys learned from this adversity?
“I think the big part of becoming a real good team is growing as a hockey team. I think you learn from lots of things. You certainly better learn from adversity. We talked about two things being real keys to success and that’s the inner drive and perseverance, showing up to work every day and persevering through tough times. We’ve had a little bit of both, a tough stretch here and I thought we showed great perseverance in the third and found a way to win.”
Is the key to play with that kind of desperation going forward?
“We showed ourselves the battle level we can play at, so now we have to hold ourselves to that standard. I thought individuals played at a way higher level than we have previous. You have to find a way to win puck battles, you have to find a way to win stick battles, you have to dig deep every single shift. So now we have to hold ourselves to the standard we played with in the third.”
Is there advantages to having a puck-moving goalie like Mrazek in OT?
“I saw Nyquie on the far side and when you can play it like that it’s certainly an asset. When it’s hard to change and guys get tired … I don’t know how many guys that had on the ice there, I thought it was lots. Good for Nyquie to finish that but it’s certainly good to have.”
What do you now think of 3-on-3 overtime?
“I had some experience with it last year in the American League. The one thing that’s different here is that you have a full five minutes with it, whereas in the American League sometimes you go 1:30 before you get a whistle (to change to 3 on 3 after the 4-minute mark of OT). I think we’re all learning. I think players are learning. You want to stay fresh and change when you can change. What I liked about it is it comes down to players and it’s kind of man on man. It’s unbelievable to watch.
“It was intense at the bench for sure and it’s real exciting hockey.”
What sparked the turnaround in the third period?
Left Wing - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 3 | Pts: 5
Shots: 15 | +/-: 1
"For sure. We didn't play good enough first two periods. Then the third, I feel like everybody were thinking about it in the locker room. We step out, I think the Red Wings showed up, we played a way better game, everybody was battling and put their heart on the ice. I think it was how it should look like."
Were guys angry after the second period?
"For sure. We knew we didn't play good enough and we didn't put enough effort last few games. It gets you real mad for sure. We stepped up and showed we can play hockey."
Were you surprised by how poorly you guys played in the first two periods?
"You can say surprised, we just didn't play good. We lost many battles and we knew that we had to change something, skate more and win 50-50 puck battles. That's what we did in the third period and we come back."
How much of a lift did Pulkkinen’s goal give the team?
"For sure. Even when we didn't play good first two periods, we still had chances to score goals, especially on the power play. I feel like we played well, we couldn't put that in and that's what was kind of slowing us down, too. So after Pulkki's goal, it was a release for sure."
How much did you guys feed off of Zetterberg’s example tonight?
"He's a great leader, he did the right thing whole game and I feel like it was only guy who was playing three periods. He's how a captain should be, he's a great leader and we have lots to learn from him,"
What did you think of Nyquist’s overtime goal?
"It's two points. We need those two points a lot. We were really happy. He made a nice shot and Petr made a nice assist."
Will you buy Mrazek a drink for his efforts tonight?
"He stands strong the whole game. He's terrific. At the end of the game, he made that play, too, so that's what you need from a goalie, this kind of game, and we're really happy we have him."
Was it fitting with how well he played throughout that Mrazek get the assist on the winning goal?
"It seems lots of guys don't have enough points so Mrazek helps that way too."
How big of a role did Abdelkader play in your goal?
"For sure. Right when I received the puck I just looked up and I wait for Abby to give me a little space there and he did. He read it so well. He's a big guy, tough to get away from. He's standing really strong there, too. That was his goal, too. He really helped me."
Did anyone say anything after the second period?
"We tried to say something after first but after second was more intense. We need that kick to start playing a little better. I'm glad we did that and it helped us.”
What did you think of the overtime?
Right Wing - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 2 | Pts: 6
Shots: 18 | +/-: E
"That's what happened. Three on three, you gotta get off the ice, they made a change and Mrazek real nice heads-up play."
What changed for you guys after the second period?
"Obviously had a talk in here about losing four in a row. We gotta go out there and win some battles, that was the biggest thing. I thought we really did. We skated hard, especially our battle level, we out-battled them and won more pucks and wanted it more. I thought that showed in the third. Nice to be able to tie it up and win it in overtime."
Were you guys frustrated after the second period?
"Losing four in a row shouldn't happen for this team. It's not acceptable. How we play in the last four games showed that, it's not how we play as a team. I think in the second we really addressed that and guys really showed up in the third. This time it worked. Most nights it probably won't work to just play real hard in one period, we gotta start on time. But this will give us energy for sure coming back home."
What about the job that Mrazek did tonight?
"Absolutely. He kept us in the game for sure. He made some unbelievable saves. In the first, first five minutes, they had, I don't know, we just kept turning the puck over, they kept flying in on us and Mrazek made some huge saves. Breakaways. He was for sure our best player tonight."
Can you describe your game-winning goal?
"Again, nice play by Mraz. I just came in, I was pretty tired. I knew I wouldn't be able to break in 'cause I still had some back checkers coming off the bench. Just tried to find an open spot and it was nice to see it go in."
Is it fitting with the way he played all night that Mrazek picked up an assist?
"I guess that was a good end of the night for him. Obviously after a great performance, making that play, making that play happen, it's all on him so good for him.
Can a puck-moving goalie like Mrazek be a big asset in new overtime format?
"I saw they were changing. Again, I was just lucky that Petr saw it too. That's what's going to happen. At some point, you have to get off the ice because the last thing you want to do is get tired out there when you're only three guys. I think that's what happened last night in Calgary. We got some guys out there on the winning goal that had been out there for so long. You're just so tired out there you can't even think. You gotta get off at some point and it was nice to take advantage of that tonight.”
What did you think of that game?
Goalie - DET
GAA: 2.75 | Sv%: .925
“We weren’t good enough in the first two periods. After that we were talking in the dressing room that we have to be better and play smarter. In the third period I think we played really well. We didn’t give them any chances. We tied the game and win in overtime.”
Have you added playmaker to your skill set?
“I saw Gus the first thing on their blue line and guys were changing so I just wanted to play it off the boards and get it to him. It was a nice goal by him, a nice finish.”
Did you gain confidence as game went on?
“They had some chances. I had some luck that maybe helped me there on the line. It could be 3-0, maybe a different game. When the game goes you get more confident and you build on that.”
How badly did you guys need these two points?
“It’s a huge victory for us. We had four games where we didn’t win so the last game on the trip it’s nice to have the two points.”
How do you explain first two periods tonight?
“We’ve got I think too many turnovers. But how I said we talk about it in the dressing that it can happen. We could see it in the third period we were quite better.”
What do you think of the OT?
“We had power play for two minutes so there wasn’t many chances in 3 on 3 for me to see. It’s good to see one mistake can go over and you can have a breakaway or 2 on 1 situation.”