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Post-Game Quotes vs Blackhawks

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

PETR MRAZEK

Petr Mrazek
Goalie  - DET
Record: 24-12-6
GAA: 2.16 | Sv%: .925
How did you feel in you first game back?

“I felt pretty good. It was good so I was really excited for the game but we didn’t have any points there.”

Was the first goal one that you thought you should have stopped?

“Yeah, the puck dropped in front of me, so it went through my glove. That is probably the one that I would want back.”

How damaging was the stretch in the second period when they scored two power-play goals?

“Yeah, no doubt that was big for them I think in the second period. We pushed hard. We had some chances, you know, and then they get power play, 5 on 3, and 5 on 4 right after and scored two goals. So that was a big moment for them.”

Seemed to gain momentum from Richards’ goal, but was their fourth goal the killer?

“Yeah, I think the fourth goal killed the game, killed us a little bit because we had some chances after Richy’s goal. We couldn’t put anything in and then they scored fourth and then fifth one.”

What can you take from this game before you play in Chicago on Sunday?

“We have to play smart the whole game there. Don’t give them many chances and be good on the power play and the penalty kill.”

Did you see the first goal cleanly or were you screened by Kronwall?

“Yeah, I didn’t see it first of all but then I looked one the left through my left shoulder and tried to get there. Just went in.”

You’ve allowed five goals in three of the last six starts, can you access where your game is right now?

“Well, every game is different. Those games, sometimes you know, you try to battle hard and pucks go in. Just have to battle hard and don’t worry about the five goals, the game is over. You have to look forward.”

What are your thoughts on making the Czech Republic’s World Cup of Hockey roster?

“It’s awesome, very happy for that but you know, we have 18 games left so we worry about this right now and then we can look forward.”

HENRIK ZETTERBERG

Henrik Zetterberg
Left Wing  - DET
Goals: 12 | Assists: 29 | Pts: 41
Shots: 156 | +/-: -1
Did you feel that you had momentum until those two penalties led to Chicago goals?

“I thought we came out in the second and played good. The first is not too bad either. Obviously, they had a few shifts where they dominated in our end but we had some decent shifts as well in the first. In the second we worked ourselves into the game, had something going there and then unfortunately, I take a bad penalty and all the sudden we’re down two guys and they score two quick ones. And it’s tough to come back three goals against this team but I thought we battled hard all the way until the end.”

Richards’ goal seemed to give you spark, but was Chicago’s fourth goal a back breaker?

“That fourth one definitely killed the game. It was a nice goal by Richy to get that, two-goal game again, but then they fought right back. Now we just got to go into Chicago and play a better game.”

What are your thoughts on making Sweden’s World Cup team?

“It’s so far away now, but obviously it’s going to be fun when it starts. But we got a lot of things in between that that we got to focus on.”

JEFF BLASHILL

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford tries to clear Justin Abdelkader out of the shooting lane Wednesday night. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

How damaging was that stretch in the second period?

“The whole game, I thought really shifted on the 5-on-3 and 5-on-4 goals against. I thought actually in the second period we were playing good hockey. I thought they played better than us in the first, probably were a little fortunate to be down 1-0 but I actually thought we were playing really good in the second. Had some opportunities, had a power play, then they get the two power-play goals and it really shifted the game."

The Richards goal gave you some life but how much of a killer was their fourth goal?

“Yeah, it's tough when you give that up. It did give us a little bit of life and you have an opportunity maybe at that point. It was unfortunate. Again, the game, to me, really hinged on the specialty teams there in the second."

Was Corey Crawford that good?

“I liked our chances. I thought Crawford was very good. That's what he does for them, I think. He consistently does that. He makes big saves at big moments, that's why he is who he is. He's a big piece of their team, similar to what we've gotten a lot this year as well. We know that's going to happen, we've got to keep plugging. You want to stretch the game out longer than that you can't give up the two goals on the specialty teams. It wasn't necessarily breakdowns on the specialty teams. I thought our penalty kill was fine. But 5 on 3, it's a tough thing."

Mrazek said he'd like the first goal back, what did you think of his play?

“I thought he played good. I agree with him, the first one is one he normally has. Unfortunately, he didn't tonight. They're a hard team to chase. You'd like to have a lead on them for sure. But even then, it's 1-0, it's not anything that's insurmountable by any stretch and I thought we were playing good and if we make it 1-1, it might be a different game."

Mrazek has allowed five goals in three of his last six starts, what do you make of it?

“The one thing I'd say first is the stretch he went through in January is not sustainable, he was at .956 save percentage, you don't do that for a season, there's no way. To me, it's just the natural ebb and flow of the season, you're going to have some stretches like he had during January on the road there and you're going to have some stretches like recently. Outside of the first goal, I didn't think there was much he could do on those. The other thing I'd say is give Chicago some credit. They have some elite offensive talented players. Obviously, Panarin and Kane are real, real special, talented players."

How do you defend Kane?

“He's one of the best players in the world, has been for a long time. We just got to do a better job of being tight to him. We've got to do a better job of not giving him as much space. It's not an easy thing to do. He's great at creating space but you have to limit his opportunities. You're never going to shut him down from having opportunities but you have to limit them. You'd like to not get in a 5-on-3 situation."

This game was considered a measuring stick, what's your overall assessment?

"I would say I think every game's a measuring stick in this league. I think you constantly have an opportunity to say what type of team you are. We had an opportunity tonight to take two points, we didn't take them. We've got an opportunity on Sunday to go to take two points. We've got to have a great practice Friday and get prepared to try to take two points."

JONATHAN ERICSSON

Jonathan Ericsson
Defense  - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 8 | Pts: 10
Shots: 49 | +/-: 10
It's pretty hard to kill off 5 on 3 against this team, isn’t it?

"Absolutely. They've got a deadly power play. I thought it was a little bit of an easy call and then they kind of make a little pick, too, but that's how it goes. We can't really control anything else."

What happened on the Desjardins hit?

"I wasn't sure if it was a bad hit. I know he kind of went in a little awkward into the boards. I couldn't really tell if it was a bad hit or not. I thought he was going to come and challenge me. I asked him but he didn't say anything, so I didn't think it was going to be anything but he dropped them on me there and I wasn't really ready for it."

You meet them again Sunday. What do you take away from this game?

"I think we did a lot of good things. Obviously we've got to stay out of the box. Their power play is really good. I think we did a lot of good things but they're a hard working team as well as they're really high skilled so I think getting out of our own end a little quicker. We've got to communicate a little better so when we get that puck we get those legs moving a little quicker. I think they got the puck back a little too often on our blue line on our way out of our own end. We've got to do a better job there and be on their D a little bit more and don't let them get so much time and spend a little more time in the offensive zone."

What does Panarin add to that skill level?

"Him and Kane, they find each other pretty much anywhere. They've got this little Hank and Pavel connection so obviously they're good. We've got to be aware of them wherever they are. They're a little unpredictable on the ice, too because they maybe don't follow the standard routes, so you've got to keep an eye on them and try to stay close and not give them as much room as they had tonight."

How does that conversation with Desjardins go before the fight?

"As I said, if it was a bad hit I understand if he wants to fight me. It would have been better for me if I was ready for it. I saw him coming at me right away so I just said if he wanted to go. He did but I didn't know it."

JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Justin Abdelkader
Left Wing  - DET
Goals: 15 | Assists: 18 | Pts: 33
Shots: 128 | +/-: -7
Do you credit Chicago’s offense for that one?

“Yeah, for sure. High-powered offense. Obviously I think the turning point was that penalty kill, the 5 on 3. Those are tough to defend. We almost had it killed off and obviously they moved it quick and made it tough on us. Once you’re down 3-0 against a team like that it’s tough to come back even though we got that next one. They’re a good team, no question about that. I still think we can be better defensively and have some more O-zone time. It was kind of an up-and-down game and that’s the type of game these guys want to play.”

Was it frustrating when they had a stretch like that in the second period?

“I thought for a lot of the game we were fine, we were getting chances. Crawford made some good saves for them, maybe some lucky ones he didn’t see, but that’s how it goes. They get a couple there and they got those two power-play goals. It’s tough to come back against that team. A lot of positives but obviously I think we got away from our game a bit. We’re best when we’re hanging onto pucks, grinding in the O-zone, rather than just trying to play that north-south game which these guys like to play.”

Was what they did the difference not what you didn't do?

“Yeah, for sure. They executed their game plan better than we did.”

Was their fourth goal a case of a good team coming back with a killer instinct?

“They’re a good team. Obviously, Stanley Cup contender the last handful of years here, have won a few Cups. They’re a really good team. All you gotta do is look at the standings, and obviously Kane and Panarin and Anisimov are having a great year, probably the best line throughout the year out of anyone. They’re dangerous offensively. I think we could have made it harder on them in their D-zone but they executed their game plan well.”

What can you learn from this game for Sunday’s trip to Chicago?

“Obviously our penalty kill’s been great for the last bit here. It’s tough with the 5 on 3s. Good teams, skilled players are going to make it tough on you. The odds are against you. They got one there and then got another power-play goal at the end of a power play. Specialty teams are big. Obviously we got that late goal by Richy there to get one back but in these tight games, specialty teams battle is big and they won it tonight.”

What an honor it must be for you to be named to Team USA’s World Cup roster?

“It’s huge, obviously a huge honor, really excited. There’s nothing like going out and playing for your country, putting the red, white and blue on. So much pride in doing that. Like I said, just really honored, excited for the opportunity and looking forward to it.”

Will it be strange seeing Larkin being an opponent on the North American team?

“That’s how it’s set up this year. They’ll have a fun team, entertaining team to watch with all the young guys. They’ll be flying all over the place. But there’s a lot of good teams. It’s a fun tournament. I’m looking forward to it.”

DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.

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