Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Apr 26 2015, Page 17

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - April 26, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE B2 T AMPA, Fla. — Petr Mrazek’s confidence is growing by the victory. One more win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Detroit Red Wings and their young goaltender will advance in the NHL playoffs. “ Calm, solid all the way through,” veteran defenceman Niklas Kronwall said about the 23- year- old goalie from the Czech Republic. “ Doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low.” Mrazek stopped 28 shots for his second shutout of the series Saturday night, helping the Red Wings rebound from a disappointing loss in the previous game to beat the Lightning 4- 0 and take a 3- 2 lead in the best- of- seven first- round matchup. Riley Sheahan, Drew Miller, Pavel Datsyuk and Danny DeKeyser scored for the Red Wings. They can eliminate Tampa Bay by winning Game 6 at home Monday night. “ No team’s been able to win two games in a row in this series, and so now we’ve got to get our mind right, get it ready for the next game,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “ That, to me, is the biggest thing in the series. You’ve got to keep getting better, and you’ve got to find a way to do it when you get your opportunities.” The shutout was the second in three games for Mrazek, who had no previous NHL playoff experience before being named Detroit’s starter over veteran Jimmy Howard. He blanked the Lightning 3- 0 in Game 3 at home and also had the only shutout against the league’s highest- scoring team during the regular season. “ He’s an elite competitor... and he’s got good savvy about him. He thinks he’s going to win,” Babcock said. “ He’s a real confident guy, and he’s got great athleticism.” It was a frustrating evening for Tampa Bay, which rallied to win Game 4 on the road, evening the series after fizzling in Game 3 and being outplayed for 54 minutes before Tyler Johnson revived their hopes Thursday night. The Red Wings outshot the potent Lightning 30- 28, and held Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos — one of the NHL’s most prolific scorers — without a goal again. “ It’s tough,” said Stamkos, who got off just two shots against Mrazek and has just one assist in the series after scoring 43 goals — second- most in the league — during the regular season. “ Obviously, I want to produce, and it’s not for lack of effort... It’s just not going like I want it.” Sheahan and Datsyuk scored on the power play. Miller’s first goal of the series made it 2- 0 through the second period, and DeKeyser added an empty- net goal with 1: 38 remaining. Thursday night in Detroit, the Red Wings were six minutes away from taking a 3- 1 series lead before Johnson led a stirring Tampa Bay comeback that brought the series back to Amalie Arena tied at two games apiece. The Lightning went 118 minutes without a goal before Johnson beat Mrazek twice and assisted on a third within a span of less than eight minutes to turn a 2- 0 deficit into a 3- 2 overtime win, yet that didn’t translate into momentum for Game 5. This time, they went more than 20 minutes bridging the first and second periods without getting a shot. “ It’s been frustrating not to score, especially for a team that’s used to scoring,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “ If you take the overtime out of this, we haven’t scored in eight of the last nine periods. When the object is to score, it’s tough to win without scoring.” The Red Wings weathered an early barrage of shots, as well as Tampa Bay’s first power- play opportunity, to take a 1- 0 lead on Sheahan’s second goal of the series late in the first period. Niklas Kronwall and Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg assisted on the goal, coming with Tampa Bay’s Ondrej Palat in the penalty box for hooking and just 23 seconds remaining in the opening period. Luke Glendening, playing despite a right hand injury that forced him to leave Game 4, assisted on Miller’s goal that made it 2- 0. The Detroit centre scored in each of the Red Wings’ first two victories and his only shot Saturday caromed off Ben Bishop’s right leg, leaving the puck in position for an easy tap- in for Miller skating into the middle. “ We kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the first period, and by the third period it was too little, too late,” Stamkos said. — The Associated Press RED WINGS 4 LIGHTNING 0 B2 WINNIPEG FREE PRESS SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2015 winnipegfreepress. com NHL PLAYOFF REPORT OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators will tell you their unsung sacrifices have played a huge role in getting them back into their first- round series against the Montreal Canadiens. Down 3- 0 to the Canadiens, Ottawa has won two straight and will look to tie the series tonight at Canadian Tire Centre. Head coach Dave Cameron says seeing his team block shots, take whacks on the back of the legs as they try to mess with the goaltender’s sight lines, take hits to make a play, and playing through injuries is inspiring. “ The reason this team is on the roll it’s on is they do that,” said Cameron. “ It’s a sign, from a coaching point of view, it’s a sign that your team is committed to winning at all costs. You see guys in front of P. K. Subban teeing it up and they’re going to be there and they’re going to continue to be there. It’s one of those intangibles that goes into winning.” Seeing Jean- Gabriel Pageau get in front of a P. K. Subban one- timer didn’t go unnoticed by teammates. “ It lifts the team, it lifts the bench,” said Cameron. “ He did it the other game on the penalty kill and he came off and he’s smiling. He’s in pain and he’s smiling and that’s a huge contradiction, but it’s winning hockey, we call it.” Following Friday’s game Subban wished Pageau “ the best of luck,” saying “ it’s only going to get harder as the series goes on.” Pageau replied: “ I don’t care if his shots get harder. I’m not moving.” During the regular season the Senators were 25th in blocked shots, averaging 12.74 per game. So far in the playoffs, they are averaging 20 per game and sit fourth. Pageau and defencemen Marc Methot and Mark Borowiecki lead the way with 14 blocked shots each. Pageau and New York Islanders’ Frans Nielsen’s 14 blocked shots lead all forwards through the playoffs. Pageau says he definitely gives some thought before getting in front of a shot, but his instinct usually wins out. “ You always think about it,” said Pageau. “( Subban) has a bomb, like we say, and for sure you always think about it, but you want to block that shot for the team and I guess the team comes first over your thoughts.” Methot says seeing teammates sacrifice their bodies can be contagious, making other players want to do their part as well. “ When you see guys go all in like that it revs up the team,” said Methot. “ We feed off that energy and we’ve just got to keep doing that.” While the Senators know there’s much work left to be done, they say their confidence has grown as the series progresses. “ We know now that we can do this,” said Methot. “ Not to say that we were lacking confidence at the start of the series, but you just don’t know how these things are going to work out. When you come out of the gate and you’re down 3- 0 in a series a lot of stuff runs through your mind. “ It shows how resilient this group is, how mentally strong we can be and tough, and I like our chances.” NOTES : Cameron is hoping to have everyone back in the lineup for today’s game, but said he was still waiting for updates. — The Canadian Press Senators willing to pay the price Players blocking shots and taking abuse By Lisa Wallace ‘ You see guys in front of P. K. Subban teeing it up and they’re going to be there and they’re going to continue to be there. It’s one of those intangibles that goes into winning’ — Sens coach Dave Cameron DIRK SHADD / TAMPA BAY TIMES / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Detroit Red Wings centre Landon Ferraro celebrates a goal as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Anton Stralman kneels in defeat. Mrazek magical again Red Wings goalie gaining confidence with every win By Fred Goodall DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD / TAMPA BAY TIMES / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tampa Bay Lightning fans display a trio of signs poking fun at Detroit Red Wings Petr Mrazek, Gustav Nyquist and Pavel Datsyuk. B_ 02_ Apr- 26- 15_ FP_ 01. indd B2 4/ 25/ 15 10: 46: 37 PM

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