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Mrazek Stands on His Head and Wings Deliver

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Mrazek, Nielsen and Zetterberg heroics lift Wings past Blues

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Wings are on a 5 game winning streak but face a good test on the road against the St. Louis Blues. Is it their first and only visit to St. Louis this season.

Abdelkader made his return to the Red Wings after missing two games and Petr Mrazek got another start in net. Vanek was out of the line up and is nursing a minor injury. Ouellet was also not in the lineup and was a healthy scratch. Zetterberg continues to search for his first goal of the season (sigh), I miss the good old days.

First Period

Petr Mrazek had a very good first period, he made some key saves against the Blues at various times in the game. His positioning was very sound but he didn’t have an easy time managing rebounds, especially against the bouncy boards at the Blues’ arena. He turned away 12 shots from the Blues, pretty good if you ask me.

Justin Abdelkader was back in the line up and didn’t skip a beat. He gave the Wings perhaps their best chance in the period with a great little pass to Green who was on the doorstep during a Wings power play.

Ken Daniels noted that Larkin is having greater success and more shot attempts (11) playing on the wing rather than center. He suspects that Larkin will continue to play on the wing for the majority of his time with the Red Wings.

Shots at the end of the period as 12-4 for the Blues, but thanks to Mrazek the score remained 0-0.

Second Period

The first period started with an Ott a breakaway, which turned to a 2 on 1 with Glenedening. After this it felt like the majority of the period was played in the Wings’ zone. The Blues also did a little tribute to Steve Ott who played over 100 games with them. Good on them for recognizing Ott.

Less than 5 minutes in, Blues scored off the draw from the point. A Shattenkirk shot was redirected off of Nielsen’s skate and into the net on Mrazek’s stick side. At this point the Blues had thrown 15 shots at Mrazek to Detroit’s 6 shots.

Athanasiou responded by racing up the ice and showing off his velvety mitts and slick moves but failed to score. I will never get tired of watching him maneuver his way to the net.

The Blues challenged the Wings a lot more during this period. There was a heart attack moment when they stormed the Wings’ net and pandemonium ensued in the crease. The puck somehow stays out of the almost empty net.

Abdelkader continued his dominant play during a Red Wings power play and gave them a great chance to tie the game.

Ken and Chris really praised Neilsen’s play with the Red Wings so far especially his great positioning that makes him “less noticeable at times”. Well he certainly was noticeable during this game with a beautiful shorthanded goal which he was able to tuck home short side!

Score after two periods: 1-1

Shots after two periods: 23-12 Blues.

Third Period

The Wings started the third period with a power play. They increased their shot count during this period, getting up to 17 within the first few minutes, but ultimately were unable to score.

They got another chance on the power play during this period but again, no dice.

Aside from their failure to convert on the PPs, the Wings had a great third period. They passed the puck well and were strong on the forecheck.

The Wings gave up a powerplay in the middle of the period but Mrazek kept them in it with some key sprawling pad saves. The Wings kill off yet another PP, staying perfect so far (4-0).

Lots of action in the third period but no goals. We’re going to OT and the Wings increase their point streak to six games.

Overtime

Typical heart attack hockey we’ve come to expect from the 3 on 3 overtime. Lots of good chances both ways, including an absolutely unreal move by Tatar near the end of the period. I had to go back and watch it a few times.

This resulted in a penalty but the Wings were unable to materialize on it due to lack of time.

Off to the shootout we go.

Shootout

Steen: ✓

Nielsen: ✖

Tarasenko: ✖

Nyquist: ✓

Shattenkirk: ✖

Larkin: ✖

Perron: ✖

Athanasiou: ✖

Yakupov: ✖

Tatar: ✖

Fabbri: ✖

Sheahan: ✖

Berglund: ✖

Helm: ✖

Jaskin: ✖

Zetterberg: ✓

In the eight round Zetty makes a vintage move to slip it between Allen’s pads. It’s not quite the first goal of the season that he’s looking for, but we’ll take it. Red Wings win and extend their streak to 6 games!

Final Shots: 32-27 St. Louis

Final Score: 2-1 Detroit (SO)