Petr Mrazek Shines in Debut as the Detroit Red Wings Beat the St. Louis Blues
The 20-year-old made 26 stops, allowing just one goal as the Red Wings won 5-1 to end a two-game losing streak.
Dan Cleary opened the scoring five minutes into the game and Jakub Kindl added another to put the Red Wings up 2-0 after the first period.
Midway through the second frame Justin Abdelkader went off for holding only for David Backes to be called for boarding seconds later. A minute later during the ensuing 4-on-4, the Red Wings were called for too many men and Alex Pietrangelo scored on the subsequent power play to cut the lead in half.
Detroit responded, however, with back-to-back goals from Cory Emmerton and Damien Brunner in the final three minutes of the second period.
With the score still 4-1, Johan Franzen received a five-minute major for spearing and a game misconduct, while David Perron was assessed a two-minute penalty for boarding.
With the teams playing 4-on-4 Valtteri Filppula used a great burst of speed at center to get in alone on Brian Elliott. Filppula scored his third of the season on the breakaway to put the game out of reach.
The Red Wings benefited from a strong offensive performance from their third and fourth lines and a calm and composed showing from Mrazek.
The Red Wings selected Mrazek 141st overall in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL entry draft.
He made a name for himself at the 2011-12 World Junior Championships in Alberta, Canada. As a member of the Czech Republic, Mrazek made 52 saves in a win over Team U.S.A. in the preliminary round and 43 saves against Team Russia in an overtime loss in the quarterfinals.
Despite an early exit, Mrazek played more minutes than any other netminder and was named the tournament’s best goaltender.
After three great seasons with the Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League, Mrazek played in three games with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye this season, before moving up to Grand Rapids.
In 25 games with the Griffins, Mrazek has a record of 16-7-1, a goals against average of 2.26 and a save percentage of .916. If he can continue to perform at a high level in the AHL, Mrazek will likely see more action with the Red Wings in the next couple seasons.
At the very least, he provided Jimmy Howard with some much needed rest on Thursday.
The Red Wings’ next game is Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers, with the puck drop scheduled for 2 p.m. ET at Joe Louis Arena.
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