In game one of the NHL Playoffs, Detroit came out on top of the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 3-2 win on the backs of Petr Mrazek, and Pavel Datsyuk. Detroit was manhandled in terms of possession, but whatever Detroit threw at Ben Bishop (albeit, it was very little), was just too much for the Tampa goalie to handle. Let's relive the fun moments we had last evening, yeah? Yeah!
I'm not sure how Pavel Datsyuk does it, but he does. Without this first line, Detroit doesn't stand a chance in this game. Kyle Quincey rips a shot towards the net, and Pavel puts his stick in the right spot to deflect the puck past Ben Bishop. That's elite dexterity right there, folks.
If he can do it once, he can do it twice. The Magic Man, again, dropping the jaws of Detroit-faithful. Darren Helm does a fantastic job of hustling off the face-off, entering the zone, and dishing the puck up to an open Pavel Datsyuk who makes no mistake and snipes it home for a power-play goal. This might have been the best-executed play of the game for either team.
Tampa had a shorthand tally earlier in the game, and it was pretty awful. A botched play by Detroit, and it cost them big time. Well hey, we can do that, too. Luke Glendening, the pride of Grand Rapids and Mike Babcock, races down the ice and dances around Valtteri Filppula (lol) to use that "lethal" backhand shot of his to slide it right through Ben Bishop's five-hole. It was a weak goal by Bishop, but he had a weak game. It happens. We'll take it. This is the game-winner right here.
Last, and certainly not least.. Petr Mrazek. Sometimes you just need your goalie to come out and steal you a game, and that is exactly what Petr did for the Red Wings last night. Petr made 44 saves on 46 shots, finishing with a .956 save percentage, and the first star of the game. Detroit was brutally manhandled in terms of shots on goal, but Mrazek made sure that didn't matter. The 23-year-old goalie made a great impression on his team, coaches, and fans in his first career NHL playoff game.
It really isn't the way we want to win, but it's a win. Detroit came in, and took home-ice advantage away from the heavily-favored Tampa Bay Lightning, and created something to build on. I highly doubt that Detroit comes out and plays another game like that in terms of puck possession, because it's just not the Red Wing way. What matters now is that they won, and they showed Tampa that they aren't to be taken for granted. Detroit held Tampa scoreless on the power play, even after having seven chances. Big game by the PK unit, which acted as a driving force in the game. A big win for the team, and a big win for the fans. See you Saturday afternoon, gang.
Let's Go Red Wings!