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Post-Game Quotes: vs. Capitals

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

Andreas Athanasiou
Center  - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 0 | Pts: 1
Shots: 3 | +/-: 1
Can you take us through your first NHL goal from an improbable angle?

“Yeah, I mean, I picked up the puck at our own end and it was at the end of my shift, so I was just trying to get it deep. I had some speed and I thought I could take the D wide and I lost it there, but I threw it on net, and it was lucky enough to squeak through.”

What does it feel like to get a goal like that in a game like this that was so tight?

“Yeah, definitely, I mean, Washington’s such a good team out there. I wanted to get a win while I was here, so it feels good and I’m happy about it.”

Must feel sweet to get a game-winning goal in just your second NHL game?

“Yeah, I’m just happy the team won obviously. It’s my first win here, so it’s a big deal for me.”

Can you talk to the transition that you’ve made in a short time?

“Yeah, me, Andy and Pulky have been clicking pretty good out there and we’ve been generating some chances, so that’s always good.”

How shocked were you that the puck went in?

“Yeah, I mean, it was a tough angle there and just slid on the goal line all the way through, and I guess he didn’t have his pad on the post. Just squeaked through.”

How much does that say about the line coaches use about putting the puck on net and good things will happen?

“Exactly, we always talk about it in-between intermissions there. Just over-shoot the puck and you never know what could happen and I was lucky there.”

Who got the puck for you?

“Helmer got the puck out there, so I was pretty happy to see that.”

How about the job that Petr Mrazek did tonight?

“Oh, unbelievable, I mean, he stopped some big shots there from Ovie. He’s got a cannon over there on the one side, so he definitely kept us in the game and he was definitely a big part of the win.”

Wild to look back on this one day and remember that it came on the day they honored Sergei Fedorov?

“Yeah, exactly, he was such a legend here, so I’m happy to get one in front of him.”

How difficult is it to shutdown Ovechkin and what did you learn from playing against him for the first time?

“He’s an unbelievable player to watch and you can see how hard his shot is, so you shoot the puck and you never know what can happen. You see he shoots the puck a lot and he scores a lot too. It’s just that.”

What have you learned from your two games here and what do you need to do to stay here?

“It’s definitely a step up and you know you have to bring it every day whether it’s practice or a game. Everyone is going to come ready to play. This is the National Hockey League and you have to be ready to be 100 percent every night.”

Did you have family tonight?

“Yeah, I had my mom and my sister here. My brother and one of my trainers were here for the first game, but my mom and sister came tonight.”

Pretty special night then to score your first goal?

“Yeah, I think my god-parents came and they mean a lot to me too, so I was happy to have them here.”

Speed is your asset, does getting around the best defensemen in the world give you a lot of confidence?

“I mean, I just try to play my game. Obviously they’re good players out there, so I just try to do the best I can and help the team win, whether that’s drawing penalties or getting pucks on net and scoring. So it’s just trying to do my best every night.”

What have they told you about your immediate future?

“Oh they don’t say anything. It’s just day by day and I know I have to work my butt off to try to stay up here as long as I can.”

Are you staying at a local hotel?

“Yeah, in a hotel room right now.”

PETR MRAZEK

Petr Mrazek
Goalie  - DET
Record: 5-3-0
GAA: 2.07 | Sv%: .938
Was that a stiff test for you, facing 15 shots from Ovechkin alone?

“I knew he was going to shoot from everywhere. You could see it from the beginning of the game. I think he had seven shots in the first period (six actually). I was trying to be focused and be out of the crease every shot that he had.”

What’s most gratifying aspect from tonight’s game?

“The penalty kill was outstanding today. We were practicing that. We had to be ready for them because their power play is very good with Ovechkin and Backstrom on the line. The penalty kill was the most important part.”

Facing a guy like Ovechkin do you mentally keep track in your mind of how many times he takes a shot at you?

“You don’t think about it. You just go there. Every pass goes to him so you just try to be big in the net and try to stop everything.”

What did you think of Athanisou’s goal?

“He just put it to the net and somehow it went in. That’s the great way how to win a game, especially for him in his second game in the NHL and he scores the goal.”

Do you enjoy the challenge of facing Ovechkin?

“It’s always nice to have a challenge against the best players in the world. It was nice to get some shots and not let any goals in.”

Nice to get a shutout on Fedorov’s night?

“It’s awesome getting the shutout but two points are more important than having a shutout.”

Was it more satisfying because it was a 1-0 game?

“You don’t think about it in the game that you are going for a shutout. You just try to play and stop everything. In the end if you have a shutout it’s good, but if you don’t and you still win it’s the best way to have a game.”

DYLAN LARKIN

Dylan Larkin
Center  - DET
Goals: 4 | Assists: 6 | Pts: 10
Shots: 39 | +/-: 11
What kind of a challenge to face Ovechkin and the Capitals, lot of shots on net?

"I think the shutout was thanks a lot to Petr. He played unbelievable. We knew their power play was dangerous. I thought we did a good job bearing down so it was a good team win."

What is Athanasiou going through with the thrill of scoring his first NHL goal?

"I think it's a huge goal for us. I know he's probably got a lot of texts and tweets and everything. I couldn't be happier for him. It was a big goal for us."

How can Athanasiou use his speed at this level?

"You've seen it in the past few games and just puts defenders on their heels and they have to respect it. When I see it, too, it gets me going a little bit, makes me want to skate like that."

Why is the team struggling to score 5 on 5?

"I don't know. I think it's just puck luck sometimes, getting to the net. Every game it seems to be a little different. Hot goalies, every goalie in this league is good and I think just bearing down on our chances."

Like on Athanasiou's goal, throwing pucks at the net is often a good idea?

"You never know. It was a good play, actually. I don't think Holtby expected it. I think sometimes you gotta do that."

What was it like playing against Ovechkin?

"I played against him in the world championship. It doesn't seem like he's doing much and then he's right there ripping a shot. He had 18 shot attempts tonight, obviously probably the most dangerous player in the league. His shot's something else."

Can you imagine 15 shots on net in one game?

"I think sometimes you gotta pass. I think he just shoots everything. Like you said, sometimes you throw pucks on net and see what happens. He scores a lot of goals like that."

What was it like to see Sergei Fedorov tonight?

“It was pretty cool. Obviously a legend, a great skater. I love the way he skates, just seeing the highlights. I never really got to watch him play until the end of his career. He could fly and he had some good moves. It was pretty cool seeing him."

JEFF BLASHILL

Andreas collected his first goal and game-winning goal in the Red Wings' 1-0 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

What are your thoughts on the game?

“We ground out two points. I thought for lots of the game we did a lot of good stuff. I thought through 50 minutes we played very well. I thought the second period was really, really good again. We still got to hit the net more but I thought we did lots of good stuff. I didn’t think on the penalty kill we were good enough. We gave up too many one-timers from Ovie there. They obviously gained momentum there in the last 10 but that’s going to happen. They’re a really good hockey team. So good two points.”

What did you see from the no-goal call on Pulkkinen in the first period?

“We still haven’t seen a picture where you can see the puck over the line. I guess it’s just a decision where you have to decide the glove’s in so it must be in and they haven’t done that, which I understand.”

What did you think of Athanasiou’s tough-angle goal?

“Shots from the side are a hard thing, especially as the goalies get bigger and bigger. It’s awkward when they’re coming in from the side. I got to look at that again. I’m sure Holtby would like to have that one back from where it came from, but, yeah, you got to get the puck to the net. The best part of that play was he got the puck in his own end and skated it down the ice. You got to skate the puck out of your own zone to have success.”

Pretty wild to see Ovechkin get 15 shots tonight?

“We had a little plan to tire him out. We thought if he could get 15 (shots) … he’s got ice bags on his arm right now. We’re going to try to come up with a different plan.”

Do the coaches stress shooting shots from sharp angles?

“We’ve said at different times, especially on difference goalies who might cheat off the post a little bit. The bigger the goalie the more awkward it is, so you can kind of throw them in from the sides. That was a Chris Osgood thing, telling me in GR, he would tell me that a lot. So we talked about that. Overall in the O-zone we wanted possession time, wanted to be strong on the puck and wanted to involve our D and I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”

What did you think of the atmosphere with Fedorov’s pre-game honor?

“I got a chance to meet Sergei before the game. It was the first time I really met him – I think I said hi to him once before – what a class act, it was great to spend some time with him. He was a great Red Wing for a long time, was a big accelerator in the process of the Red Wings becoming what the modern-day Red Wings are. It was great to see the crowd. The seats were filled early, it was out of respect to him and they wanted to cheer him on. It was great.”

Did Athanasiou make a claim to stay up for now?

“Those are day-to-day decisions we’ll have to sit down and evaluate tomorrow but what AA did when he came up here is he said he wanted to stay. He said that through his play. His gives us lots of speed, gives us an accountability defensively as well, he’s got to continue to be accountable defensively, which I think he was.”

Did you like the job that your penalty kill did tonight?

“I think we gave up too many shots to Ovie in the one-timer spot. You can’t give those up to have long-term success on the penalty kill. We play them next week so we got to come up with a different though process on that, which we will. But I did think the guys battled real hard on the penalty kill, which is a positive.”

How close is Athanasiou from staying up longer?

“There’s lots of players that are real close, I saw that in the American League. You have to come up and grab a spot. You only can grab it by playing great, you can’t play OK, you have to play great. It’s really hard to earn your way into this league unless you’re a superstar and I think he took a good step in the right direction so we’ll see.”

Are you seeing enough from Sheahan line and from Helm?

“We’d like more scoring, we need more scoring, five on five for sure. It’s been a problem here for last two seasons, from five-on-five aspect. We don’t want to just rely on the power play. It’s a hard way to win consistently year after year, we need to get more five on five scoring. But I do think the process of that was better. We had lots of chances against Dallas, we had lots of chances tonight. At some point those chances – if you keep getting them – I believe will go in. I think we’re taking steps in the right direction that way. Sheahan’s line has had a part in that for sure. Darren Helm has played very, very well the last three games. We put him with Glenny and Millsie because of how good a hockey player he is and I think that gives us another athlete to go up against a line that’s as good as the one they faced tonight.”

DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji help compile this report.

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