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Post-Game Quotes vs. Panthers

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

PETR MRAZEK

Petr Mrazek
Goalie  - DET
Record: 20-10-4
GAA: 1.97 | Sv%: .933
How did the game go from your perspective?

“You know we did a great job with the penalty killers, they did a great job today, so that’s one of the keys and one of the reasons I had the shutout today. Yeah, I had five shots maybe in the first 25 minutes or 30 minutes. So I had to stay focused but we did a great job in front of the net.”

How tough is that when you see so few shots and then they turn up the heat?

“It’s always a little tougher when you don’t have any shots but you have to be focused, you have to do the best there and try to get as many saves as you can.”

Team has scored eight goals in the last two games, how much does that relieve some of the pressure from the goalie?

“Yeah, when team scores it’s way easy job, you know, for the goalies to be in the net. We did a great job against the Islanders and today.”

Dominik Hasek used to say that hockey is supposed to be fun and ‘for me fun is stopping all the shots’. How much fun is it for a goalie to get a shutout?

“Yeah, every goalie that gets a shutout it’s fun and, you know, every puck he stops in a game makes him feel better and get confident, but it over and you have to look forward now.”

Jagr seemed to have a few chances against you, what was that like?

“Yeah, he got a couple there, I think the 2 on 1 was the hardest. He fanned on it a little bit and it hit my glove, so that was one of the hardest ones.”

PAVEL DATSYUK

Pavel Datsyuk
Center  - DET
Goals: 8 | Assists: 20 | Pts: 28
Shots: 94 | +/-: 12
Looks like you like playing on a line with Zetterberg, is that fair to say?

“Yeah but it’s only one game. I hope we just keeping going, find it more together and whole team come together and play better.”

Is it important for a team to figure out how to win these tight games?

“Yes of course it is. It’s important to play 60 minutes and that’s what we did today. We all played together today.”

This is two solid games in a row, can this spark this team?

“Last game it take us more than 60 minutes, probably two hours with the delay in between. Now I think it’s everybody having good chemistry and everyone in a good mood. Everybody play hard. Everybody understands what we need from us.”

It’s also two wins in a row at home, talk about the importance of racking up points at home?

“I think we have three more games at home (on current homestand) and it’s important for us to make this building tough for opponents.”

Abdelkader played a strong net-front role on your first goal, can you describe it?

“I think he learn from (Tomas) Holmstrom. He just always make it bad, tough for the goalie. He did a good job today. He wanted to make sure I not hit him or that he was not touching the goalie.”

What do you think of the job that Mrazek continues to do this season?

“Petr played well, plays with more confidence.”

The team now has scored eight goals in the last two games, how much of a confidence boost is that?

“Eight goals, but another time it’s four games with 10 goals. It’s not enough. We just need more score, especially when we play at home.”

JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Justin Abdelkader
RIGHT Wing  - DET
Goals: 14 | Assists: 13 | Pts: 27
Shots: 95 | +/-: -3
What are your thoughts on this game?

“I think we did a lot of good things, just trying to get pucks to the nets, screens, tips, second and third opportunities. I thought it was a good play on our first goal. Jakub (Kindl) made a fake and then walked the line and then got the puck through and Tats made a good tip. That’s what we need to do more of, try to get pucks through from the point with players and bodies at the net.”

How nice is it to see contributions throughout the lineup?

“I think up and down our lineup it’s just important each night different guys stepping up and stepping in. We’ve done a pretty good job of that. We’ve had contributions from all over. Our defensemen have been doing a great job of jumping in the play and getting pucks through. We’ve been getting opportunities that way. We’ve got to continue to do that and continue to play good, tight defensively.”

How was this game scoreless first two periods?

“Our execution, whether it was on faceoffs or forecheck, it made it hard on those guys up the ice and didn’t give them a lot of time in the zone. Then when we got a chance we got pucks down the ice and had an opportunity to change. Petr made some good saves for us when he had to and I thought we had a good game plan coming into tonight.”

What happened on your hit on Barkov?

“Obviously not trying to hit him in the head or contact him that way. I thought my feet were down and I thought I followed through, through his body. But sometimes those hits can change momentum. Hopefully he’s all right. I don’t think he returned but hopefully he’s all right. Our power play I thought did some good things tonight. Just got to continue to get more pucks on net.”

Talk about the importance of scoring first here tonight?

“It’s very important. Games are going to be tight. We’ve been in tight games all year, one-goal games, and that’s not different tonight. Whoever gets that first goal can kind of get momentum. It was big for us here on home ice and it’s a big two points.”

Florida players and coaches are complaining about your hit; can it carry over to next time you face these guys?

“I’m the type of player that is going to go out and play hard and my job is to go out there and finish checks. I don’t think I’m a cheap player or try to make cheap shots out there. I don’t think I was coming into hit with my elbows or my arms up. I was coming in to finish his body. His head was a little low I guess but at the same time I thought I finished through his body. Not trying to make it cheap, but I guess those guys can talk whatever they want about it. But move on. It was a big win for us, and look forward to keeping this momentum.”

HENRIK ZETTERBERG

Henrik Zetterberg
Left Wing  - DET
Goals: 9 | Assists: 27 | Pts: 36
Shots: 121 | +/-: 3
Pavel said playing with you is like a holiday, do you feel the same way?

“It’s fun. We’ve been playing on the same team for many, many years and basically seven years since we played with each other for almost a full season, so it’s fun when we get a chance to play with each other.”

What did you think of the penalty kill?

“They did a huge job. Petr, too, was involved in that. We have to do that to win these kind of games. It’s a big division game. PK came up huge and then we found a way to score in the third.”

What opened up in the third?

“I’m not sure. We just kept going like we did the first two. We knew if we kept putting pucks on net we’d have a good chance at scoring goals. That’s what happened.”

Wasn't that second goal vintage Pavel?

“Yes. He had good speed there and put a good move on the goalie.”

What did you enjoy more, eight goals or one goal against the last two games?

“The eight goals for. You ask the coach, probably different answer.”

Is this how you want to play, holding them to four shots in first, as opposed to four days ago?

“Totally different games, totally different starts. We were down 3-0 from the get-go down there but we kept it together in the first period and I think we got better as the game went.”

JEFF BLASHILL

Pavel Datsyuk scored twice Monday to help the Red Wings to a 3-0 win over the visiting Florida Panthers. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

This was basically a four-point game, wasn't it?

"We had a good game, obviously, the other night, we were able to win against the Islanders so you want to build off that momentum, especially at home. We talked about doing a better job at home than we had previously in terms of results. Playing a team in our division that we're chasing, it's a big game. The other thing I'd say is they're a really, really good hockey team so I thought from a process standpoint you had to play real good in order to have an opportunity to win and I thought we did play real good. Real positives, I think, from our end."

You said you thought Datsyuk and Zetterberg together had more to give, did you see that tonight?

"I certainly thought that looked a lot like what we've all seen at different times in the past. To their defense, they haven't had much opportunity to jell and that's what they asked me for was more time to be able to play together. They do play off each other so well. I thought they looked dynamic at times tonight."

What did you think of the penalty kill tonight?

"I thought our penalty kill was great. Honestly, our specialty teams have taken hits here. I'm not saying that's wrong but I thought it was a specialty teams win tonight. I thought our penalty kill was great, especially in the third. You've got to kill penalties and then we go and score a power play goal. I thought it was a great specialty teams win tonight."

Do you think to yourself where would you be without Petr Mrazek?

"I look at teams as teams, I don't look at them as individuals. We've got multiple guys that have had big impacts on this team having success in a lot of different ways. Some of it's easily seen, some of it's not. Certainly Petr's been one of those guys at the goaltending position. You have to have elite goaltending, I think, to have an opportunity to be real good in the league, unless you just have unreal abundance of talent, more than teams usually face and that doesn't seem to happen in the league anymore. Certainly Petr's a big piece of our puzzle but he's a piece of our puzzle. We need all the pieces to be real good in different guys in different nights. But he's been consistently good."

You had mentioned not getting net-front presence, against this team in particular?

"It's a team that's hard to get to the net, especially the game here. I think if you go back, maybe a month, two months, I think we've done a real good job of being net-front. I think we've really made a concerted effort to get there. They make it real hard to get to seconds. They were obviously missing Gudbranson and missing Mitchell so they're missing a couple pieces that make it hard to get to the net but to our our guys' credit, we fought hard to get there."

What did you like better, eight goals for or one goal against?

"I like the eight goals for and one goal against combined, I like that combo. I think it's important for us to have opportunities to score goals. It allows you to easier chances to win. Defense wins in the end. Everybody watched the Super Bowl last night, that's a good message again that in the end you have to play good defense. It doesn't mean you can't have great offense but you have to play good defense. But certainly the ability to score goals is something that takes some pressure off. I think we're a team, I've really thought this all year, that we should have an easier time scoring than we have so hopefully this is a sign of things to come."

What did you think of Abdelkader's hit on Barkov?

"I don't want to speak on their behalf. From my vantage point, both live and then when I watched the replay, I thought it was a totally clean hit. My understanding of the rule is he hit right through the body, but I thought it was a totally clean hit. Just a good hockey hit."

DetroitRedWings.com editor Dana Wakiji contributed to this report.

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