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Trending: Mrazek holds off Blues in shootout victory

Henrik Zetterberg nets shootout winner as Wings win sixth straight game

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji / DetroitRedWings.com

ST. LOUIS - The Red Wings like playing in St. Louis so much that they tend to delay their departure.

 

For the third straight year, the Wings needed more than regulation to earn a victory over the Blues, in this case an eight-round shootout that captain Henrik Zetterberg ended for the 2-1 win.

The Wings have won six straight games, their longest streak since winning six in a row from Jan. 13-27, 2015.

 

Thomas Vanek was a late scratch with a lower-body injury. Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Vanek is day-to-day.

 

1. Petr Mrazek: The Wings have been up and down in many areas of their game but one: goaltending. Mrazek and Jimmy Howard have provided just what the Wings have needed this season, ranging from very good to spectacular play in the first eight games. Mrazek had to perform spectacularly throughout the first half of the game when the Wings were turning pucks over and spending too much time in their own zone. Once the game reached overtime and the shootout, Mrazek showed again why he deserved to be the first star. Mrazek had 31 saves in regulation and overtime and stopped seven of eight in the shootout. Mrazek won his very first NHL game in St. Louis in 2013 and this one was his 50th win and 100th overall NHL game.

 

Quotable: " Petr kept us in there in the first for certain. We've had real good goaltending all year. It's a big part of having success in this league. You look around the league and whether it's (Montreal's) Carey Price or other goalies, that's part of the league. I was glad for the fact the fact we stayed with it, we found a way to kind of grind it out." - Blashill

 

2. Steve Ott: Ott played in his 800th career game against his former team, the one he spent the last three seasons with, including an injury-plagued one last year. Wings coach Jeff Blashill started Ott's line and Ott immediately tangled with Ryan Reaves on the opening face-off. During the commercial break at 6:44 of the first period. the Blues showed a highlight video of Ott, ending with, "Thank you, Otter" on the screen. Blues fans gave Ott a standing ovation and both the Blues and Wings applauded. After the game, several Blues came over to the Wings dressing room to see Ott one more time.

 

Quotable: "That's a testament to the organization here, first class all the way. There's a reason why the alumni always stayed around for such a long time and always come back to this place, too. They have great fans, great ownership and obviously their general manager is world class and so is the coaches. You add all those things with the training staff here and it's always been a first-class organization. Kind of got me emotional, that's for sure." - Ott, on the video tribute

 

3. Frans Nielsen : Nielsen has been flying under the radar in the early going. But Nielsen got the Blues' attention when St. Louis was on the power play in the second period. Darren Helm brought the puck into the Blues zone and dropped it to Nielsen, who took it to the net and tucked it behind goaltender Jake Allen at 13:54, tying the game at 1. The goal seemed to spark the Wings, who played much better afterward.

 

Quotable: "It's crazy how much talent there is on this team. I think that's the one thing. I knew there was young kids and talented guys but wow, so many guys that can really play. But then again, we won six in a row, especially some of those games on the road, Ottawa at home, I think our goalie stole the game for us. So I don't think we've been perfect but we found ways and when we didn't play well, the goalies have stepped up. We still working. I think there's still a lot of place for improvement. We just got to keep working on it." - Nielsen, on what he's learned about the Wings

 

4. Henrik Zetterberg : Unlike Nielsen, Zetterberg has never been a shootout star. But when the shootout dragged on to eight rounds with only Gustav Nyquist and Alexander Steen scoring goals, Blashill turned to Zetterberg. Zetterberg delivered the shootout victory with a goal that went through the five-hole. Zetterberg said he didn't choose a move until about halfway into it. 

 

Quotable: "I was just saving him for the right time and obviously it was the right time. You know, we continue to evaluate every game. We look at the success rate over the last few years. Obviously it was a good move by Henrik. The one thing with him is he's got big-time poise under pressure. The one thing I was thinking was if they did score and we needed somebody to come back with a goal, he was the guy that would have went for me at that point because he's got that kind of poise under pressure." - Blashill

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