(SportsNetwork.com) – Peter Mrazek carried Detroit to a win in Game 1 before
getting pulled from a Game 2 loss.
The rookie netminder hopes to return to his winning form on Tuesday when the
Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third encounter of this Eastern
Conference quarterfinal series.
After earning a split of the first two tilts of this best-of-seven set in
Tampa, Detroit will try to regain the series lead in Game 3. The Red Wings
were thoroughly outplayed in the series opener, but Mrazek stopped 44-of-46
shots in his playoff debut to guide the visitors to a 3-2 victory.
Detroit, which was outshot by a 46-14 margin in the opener, played better as a
whole in Game 2, but wound up losing 5-1. Mrazek was yanked after allowing
four goals on 18 shots through 40 minutes of play and Jimmy Howard yielded one
goal on 12 shots in the third period.
Mrazek’s teammates took most of the blame for his poor outing on Saturday,
copping to several defensive breakdowns that led to a few of Tampa’s goals.
Meanwhile, the 23-year-old goaltender is eager to get another chance at
shutting down the Lightning’s offense, which ranked first overall in the
league during the regular season.
“It’s just over,” Mrazek said of Game 2. “When the game’s over you don’t think
about it anymore, you’re just looking forward to a new day and a new game.”
While Mrazek struggled in Game 2, Ben Bishop turned in a strong effort to pick
up his first career playoff win. The Lightning netminder stopped 23 shots to
back a solid offensive showing by his teammates.
The victory halted Tampa’s six-game postseason skid, giving the Bolts their
first playoff win since taking Game 6 of the Eastern Conference final against
the Boston Bruins on May 25, 2011. Tampa Bay was swept out of the first round
by Montreal last spring after missing the playoffs in both 2012 and ’13.
Tyler Johnson scored twice, Valtteri Filppula tallied a goal and an assist and
Alex Killorn and Andrej Sustr each lit the lamp for the Lightning on Saturday
to help even the series at 1-1.
Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Nikita Nesterov each supplied two
“I just think we played very similar to what we did the other night,”
Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said. “I think we’ve played two pretty solid
Tomas Tatar supplied Detroit’s lone goal, while Gustav Nyquist and Kyle
Quincey each posted an assist.
“Overall we played a better game today than we did the first one,” Red Wings
captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Spent more time in their end, they just got
the goals today.”
Detroit is hoping the return of forward Justin Abdelkader to the lineup can
help the club reclaim the series lead. The forward missed a sixth straight
game Saturday with a hand injury, but is expected to replace Stephen Weiss in
the lineup for Game 3. Abdelkader was fourth on the Red Wings with 23 goals
during the regular season.
Tampa’s Jason Garrison is expected to sit out again tonight with an upper-body
injury. The defenseman has missed the last eight games dating back to the
The Lightning struggled on the road during the regular season, but will try to
put that behind them over the next two games. Tampa was 18-16-7 as the guest
this season compared to a 32-8-1 record at home.
Detroit was 22-10-9 at Joe Louis Arena this season and also will host Game 4