Mrazek stops 36 shots as Red Wings shut out Oilers 4-0
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EDMONTON — Detroit's backup goalie proved to be more than up for the task for the Red Wings on Sunday.
Petr Mrazek made 36 saves and Martin Frk and Anthony Mantha each had a goal and an assist as the Red Wings beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-0.
"I thought he (Mrazek) was excellent," said Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill. "He made some point-blank saves on Connor McDavid. We all know how good he is. Petr has put in tons of work in, both in the summer and in the moments he hasn't been playing for the last bit. He's put tons of work in, he's improved his technique, he was totally ready for this opportunity and that's great for Pete."
Frans Nielsen and Gustav Nyquist also scored for the Red Wings (7-7-1), who have won three of their last four games.
"I think that's one of the better games we've had since I've been here," Nielsen said. "It was 60 minutes, it was very few mistakes, we got pucks deep, good on the forechecks. It was a very solid, simple road game. Hopefully we've learned something from it."
The Oilers (4-8-1) have yet to win two games in a row this season.
"We had an opportunity to keep things going in the right direction after a good effort and win last game (6-3 over New Jersey) and it didn't happen," said Oilers forward Milan Lucic. "It sucks that we have to start all over again. We had a chance to finish off a homestand in the right way before going on the road and to feel good about ourselves. It was a disappointing way to come out of a game like this.
"It's on all of us, this hole that we have dug ourselves. Eventually you have to start doing something about it and stop feeling sorry for yourselves."
Detroit started the scoring 3:23 into the first period as Nielsen made a perfect redirection on a Nick Jensen point shot that was headed wide, giving Oilers goalie Cam Talbot little chance on the play.
The Red Wings went up 2-0 midway through the first during a scramble in front of the Edmonton net, with Nyquist whacking home his first goal of the season. Nyquist was helped to the dressing room later in the period after a knee-on-knee collision with Oilers defenceman Eric Gryba.
Detroit added to its lead midway through the second period as a turnover led to an odd-man break, finished off by Frk.
The Oilers came close early in the third as a puck was flipped over Mrazek by Zack Kassian and hit the crossbar before being batted to safety by the defence.
Detroit took a 4-0 lead on the power play six-and-a-half minutes into the third as a rebound came to Mantha and he deposited his seventh goal of the season into the net.
The Red Wings are back in action Monday with the third game of a four-game trip in Vancouver. The Oilers head out on a four-game road swing, starting Tuesday against the New York Islanders.
Notes: It was the first meeting of the season between the two clubs, which will meet again in Detroit on Nov. 22… Edmonton has not historically had much success in matinee games, coming into the game with a record of 52-72-9-6… Oilers forward Anton Slepyshev was injured. Kailer Yamamoto replaced him in the lineup. Should he play one more game with Edmonton, the first year of his contract kicks in.