Red Wings' 'simple' game pays off with 4-0 win over Oilers

Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Hockey

"It's something we've been continually working on. Our guys have done a good job of understanding that we have to keep getting better every day in how we need to play. I think our guys have bought into it, it's just a matter of executing it on a nightly basis."

Mrazek made 36 saves in his first start in more than two weeks; he said the key was to get a couple of quick saves, and then after that, "we did a great job, we cut the bottom off and we didn't do anything bad in the d-zone -- we just chip it out and regroup. We did a really good job in the defensive zone tonight."

Mrazek had played better than his numbers indicated coming into the game, and he deserved something to show for all the hard work he has put in as he seeks to distance himself from last season's mediocrity.

"He made some saves point-blank on Connor McDavid and we all know how good he is," Blashill said. "Petr has put tons of work in, both in the summer and in the moments when he hasn't been playing here in the last bit. He has improved his technique. He was totally ready for this opportunity so that's great for Pete."

The power play contributed, too; granted it was against a team with a home penalty kill that stood at 54.2 percent, but it was the way it scored that impressed -- Frk wound up his big shot and Mantha connected on the rebound.

"Marty is a dangerous player and at times we haven't had enough dangerous players out there," Blashill said. "That's how that power play is going to score -- it's going to be a hard shot that you can't control and somebody puts a rebound in."

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